Malta loses out on historic promotion after draw

Malta draws level with Faroe Islands as dream promotion in UEFA Nations League is thwarted • Malta ends league with nine points, places second in group

Matthew Guillaumier celebrating after scoring Malta's goal. Faroe Islands drew level 10 minutes later
Matthew Guillaumier celebrating after scoring Malta's goal. Faroe Islands drew level 10 minutes later

Malta missed out on promotion in the UEFA Nations League after a 1-1 draw against the Faroe Islands at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali.

Malta needed a victory at all costs but Matthew Guillaumier’s goal on the 54th minute was cancelled out by Jonsson’s strike on 68 minutes.

The draw left Malta with nine points, three points behind the Faroe Islands that won promotion to League C. The disappointment of missing out on a historic promotion was visible on the faces of the Maltese players at the end of the game.

Malta played flowing football and kept possession for long stretches but rarely threatened the Faroe Islands goal in the first half, which ended goalless.

The second half was a different story. After five minutes Luke Gambin tapped the ball in the opponent’s net after a fine run by Joseph Mbong but the referee deemed it to be offside.

Just four minutes later, Malta scored with a low drive from the edge of the box by Guillaumier.

Under pressure, the Faroe Islands responded well, taking advantage of a Malta side that let down its guard.

The visitors levelled the score on 68 minutes when Jonsson knocked the ball into Henry Bonello’s net after a low cross that cut across the goal.

Malta piled on the pressure and coach Devis Mangia made four substitutions. A Guillaumier shot five minutes from the end was deflected by the Faroese goalkeeper.

Three minutes of added time were not enough for Malta to find that magical goal before the referee’s final whistle.

Malta ended the game with 55% possession and three attempts on goal, versus the Faroese’s 45% possession and four attempts on goal.

In his first post-match comments, Mangia praised the players for their performance and insisted this was only the start of longer term project.

READ ALSO: Malta prepares for greatest football battle but betting odds favour Faroe Islands