Malta hold Bulgaria to earn point

Malta held on to earn its first point in Group H of the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers as they played to a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria.

Malta earned a precious point against Bulgaria. Photo by Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA
Malta earned a precious point against Bulgaria. Photo by Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA

The Maltese players were better prepared for this match as in 2013 Bulgaria defeated Malta 6-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Bulgaria did not take long to score the first goal as they found the back of the net just after six minutes. Off a cross from the left, Mihail Alexandrov headed the ball in the direction of Andrej Galabinov who then beat goalkeeper Andrew Hogg from close range.

On the 27th minute, Andrej Galabinov went close to scoring again when his powerful shit hit the crossbar.

Late in the first half, Malta had an appeal for a penalty turned down by the referee, but four minutes into the second half, Malta were awarded a penalty.

From the penalty spot, clayton Failla made no mistake by beating goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov with his shot.

On the 61st minute, Andrew Hogg performed a great save when he deflected a shot by Mihail Alexandrov from close range.

Ivelin Popov was unlucky not to score when his header hit the woodwork on the 63rd minute.

Bulgaria lost a great chance to take the lead on the 77th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Rowen Muscat fouled Manolev inside the area to have the referee point to the penalty spot. From the penalty spot, Ivelin Popov missed the target.

Malta held on to earn a precious point in Group H.

BULGARIA: Vladislav Stoyanov, Georgi Terziev, Nikolay Bodurov, Mihail Aleksandrov, Ivelin Popov, Stanislav Manolev, Veselin Minev, Andrey Galabinov (58′ Ilian Micanski), Georgi Milanov (58 Marcos Marquinhos), Svetoslav Dyakov, Georgi Iliev (71′ Alexander Tonev).

MALTA: Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Paul Fenech, Andrei Agius, Clayton Failla (81′ Steve Bezzina), Roderick Briffa, Jean Paul Farrugia (93′ Terence Vella), Rowen Muscat, Andre Schembri (78′ Ryan Fenech), Ryan Camilleri, Zach Muscat.

Referee: Martin Strömbergsson (FIFA and Sweden)

Assistant referees: Daniel Gustavsson and Joakim Flink (FIFA and Sweden)

Additional assitant referees: Andreas Ekberg and Bojan Pandžić (FIFA and Sweden)

Fourth official: Per Brogevik (FIFA and Sweden)

Yellow Cards: Farrugia, Failla, Minev, Caruana, P. Fenech

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