Lithuania leave it late to beat Malta

Jonathan Caruana saw red once more, as Lithuania pushed hard to earn a 2-0 win over Malta.

Malta suffer a 2-0 defeat in the hands of Lithuania
Malta suffer a 2-0 defeat in the hands of Lithuania

Lithuania went close after one minute. Meijus Valskis received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and fired a shot that was neutralised by Andrew Hogg.

On the 38th minute, Paul Fenech tried his luck from distance, but his shot sailed wide of the post.

The home side had another effort on goal in the additional time given by the referee prior to half time when Fiodor Cernych attempted a shot from the edge of the penalty area that produced another good save from Hogg.

Malta had a good chance on the hour mark after Michael Mifsud found Gareth Sciberras who fired a shot that ended up slightly wide.

Andrew Hogg was on the alert on the 69th minute to deny the Lithuanians. From a free kick, the ball fell for Tomas Mikuckis who fired a shot from close range. However, Hogg showed his reflexes and tipped the ball behind.

Lithuania pushed forward in the latter stages of the match and managed to go ahead on the 75th minute. From a corner, the Maltese defenders failed to clear their marks, and Cernych jumped high to place a header in the top corner.

Malta’s hopes of an equaliser diminished on the 81st minute when the referee whistled for a penalty and sent off Jonathan Caruana after committing a violent conduct. From the spot kick, Arvydas Novikovas made no mistake and finished past Hogg.

Gricaravicius missed a golden opportunity for Lithuania in the additional time given by the referee after firing wide in front of Hogg.

Malta starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras, Andrei Agius, Steve Borg, Paul Fenech, Michael Mifsud, Andre` Schembri, Bjorn Kristensen, Zach Muscat.

Lithuania starting line-up: Ernestas Setkus, Georgas Freidgeimas, Tomas Mikuckis, Egidijus Vaitkunas, Arvydas Novikovas, Vykintas Slivka, Mantas Kuklys, Arturas Zulpa, Nerijus Valskis, Fiodor Cernych, Vytautas Andriuškevičius.

Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain)

Assistant referee: Angel Nevado Rodriguez , Roberto Alonso

Fourth official: Carlos Del Cerro