World Cup Qualifier | Malta 1 – Slovakia 3

Slovakia registered a 3-1 win against Malta who ended up in ten men for the third time in five matches.

Cain Attard (Malta) and Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia) in action. Photo: Christine Borg
Cain Attard (Malta) and Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia) in action. Photo: Christine Borg

Malta went a goal down after just two minutes. Vladimir Weiss received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a strong shot that gave Andrew Hogg no chance.

However, the Maltese players hit back and equalised on the 14th minute. Following a mistake from Slovakia’s defenders, Jean Paul Farrugia went through on goal and hit a low shot past Matus Kozacik.

Malta created another opportunity on the 35th minute. Luke Gambin served Andre Schembri inside the penalty area and the latter saw his effort being blocked for a corner.

Six minutes later, Malta ended up a goal down once more. Jan Gregus sent a shot from distance which surprised Hogg and ended up inside the net.

Malta tried to get back into the game through Schemri. The Boavista player hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was neutralised by the Slovakian goalkeeper.

Slovakia started the second half on the attack and went close on the 50th minute. Robert Mak sent a through ball towards Adam Nemec who went inside the penalty area and finished high.

On the 57th minute, Slovakia nearly scored again. From a free kick, Marek Hamsik sent a cross towards Martin Skrtel whose header hit the post. The Slovakia captain tried to get on to the rebound but the assistant referee signalled an off side.

When the supporters thought that Malta equalised again, the referee sent off Farrugia on the 79th minute. The Sliema forward used his hands to go past the opposing goalkeeper before placing the ball inside the net. The referee noticed the infringement and showed him his second yellow.

This was followed by Slovakia’s third goal. Hamsik sent Nemec through and the Slovakian forward hit a low shot past Hogg to make sure of the three points.

In the first minute of the additional time, Slovakia had a man sent off as well after the referee showed Nemec his second yellow card.

A minute later, Gregus served Hamsik who fired a powerful drive that forced a good save from Hogg.

Malta starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Samuel Magri, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Andre Schembri, Luke Gambin, Jean Paul Farrugia, Ryan Camilleri, Joseph Zerafa, Zach Muscat, Cain Attard.

Slovakia starting line-up: Matus Kozacik, Peter Pekarik, Martin Skrtel, Jan Gregus, Vladimir Weiss, Adam Nemec, Patrik Hrosovsky, Milan Skriniar, Tomas Hubocan, Juraj Kucka, Robert Mak.

Referee: Ali Palabiyik (Turkey)

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