Friendly | Malta 1 – Ukraine 0

Malta registered their first victory in nearly four years after securing a 1-0 win over Ukraine.

Malta 1 - Ukraine 0
Malta 1 - Ukraine 0

Ukraine were close to open the score on the 11th minute. Andriy Yarmolenko served Mykola Moruzyon down the right flank, and the latter sent a cross towards Yevhen Seleznev whose header hit the side netting.

Malta went ahead three minutes later. Alex Muscat sent a long ball towards Zach Muscat who guided home a close range header.

The Ukranians failed to respond and Malta created another good opportunity. Muscat sent another good cross in the direction of Alfred Effiong and the Balzan striker headed wide.

The Maltese side kept showing good play and had another opportunity on the 38th minute. Muscat who was being a constant threat down the right side delivered a low cross towards Effiong who finished slightly wide.

Ryan Fenech nearly gifted Ukraine the equaliser on the 42nd minute. The Balzan midfielder sent a careless back pass in the direction of Viktor Kovalenko. The Ukrainian forward went through, but Andrew Hogg rushed out of his position and blocked his effort.

Andriy Shevchenko’s side had another attempt on goal in the additional time prior to half time. Following a free-kick, the ball went in the path of the unmarked Seleznev. However, the Ukranian player slotted the ball wide.

During the second half, Ukraine had more possession but were unable to come up with any real threat.

In fact, the first chance of the second half was created on the 71st minute. Yehven Konoplyanka saw his shot from a free-kick ending up off target.

On the 87th minute, Shepeliev Volodymyr of Ukraine received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a powerful drive that sailed wide.

Despite Ukraine’s efforts, Malta kept firm to take a 1-0 win which will sure boost the confidence ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifying match against Slovenia.

Malta’s last win dates back to the 19th of November 2013. On that day, Malta won 3-2 against the Foroe Islands.

Malta starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius, Ryan Fenech, Clayton Failla, Andre Schembri, Bjorn Kristensen, Alfred Effiong, Zach Muscat, Steve Pisani, Alex Muscat

Ukraine starting line-up: Andriy Pyatov, Oleksandr Kucher, Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Yarmalenko, Rusian Mainovskyi, Mykola Morozyuk, Yevhen Seleznev, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Yaroslav Rakytskyi, Viktor Kovalenko, Matvienko Mykola

Referee: Alexander Harkam (Austria)