Disastrous debut for Saintfiet as Malta loses 0-3 to Estonia at home

Tom Saintfiet’s debut match in charge of the Maltese national team ended up in a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Estonia.

Tom Saintfiet was appointed coach of the Malta national team in the beginning of October
Tom Saintfiet was appointed coach of the Malta national team in the beginning of October

Malta went a goal down after just 54 seconds. Sergei Mosnikov passed the ball towards Rauno Sappinen who ran past Andrei Agius and hit a low shot from inside the penalty area left Henry Bonello with no chance.

The Maltese players responded on the 11th minute. Ryan Fenech fired a shot from distance that ended up over.

Estonia doubled their doubled their advantage three minutes later. Steve Borg floored Artur Pikk inside the penalty area and the referee signalled towards the spot. From the eleven metres mark, Sergei Mosnikov made no mistake.

A minute later, Rowen Muscat tried his luck from distance, but his shot sailed off target.

Henry Bonello was on the alert to deny Estonia from scoring again on the 23rd minute. From a free-kick, Mosnikov hit a powerful drive that was parried for a corner by the Maltese shot stopper.

Ten minutes later, it was time for Marko Meerits to produce an excellent save. Jean Paul Farrugia fired a shot from the right side of the penalty area which the Estonian goalkeeper tipped behind.

Meerits was a protagonist again on the 44th minute. Rowen Muscat delivered the ball towards Luke Gambin, and the latter went on a good run before hitting a low shot that produced good reflexes from the twenty-five year old goalkeeper.

The Maltese players were much more organised during the second half. In fact, they had more of the ball, while Estonia failed to threaten much.

On the 59th minute, Kyrian Nwoko earned his first cap with the national team after taking Farrugia's place.

The youngster made his presence felt immediately and went close to reduce the gap for Malta on the 69th minute. Michael Mifsud sent a cross from the right towards the Valletta striker who finished high from close range.

Six minutes later, Alfred Effiong attempted a shot from the edge of the penalty area which was neutralised by Meerits.

In their only chance created in the second half, Estonia managed to score again on the 90th minute. Mattias Kait’s cross was met by Henri Anier who slotted the ball inside the net.

Malta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius, Ryan Fenech (Alfred Effiong – 69), Michael Mifsud, Andre Schembri (Steve Pisani-59), Rowen Muscat (Paul Fenech- 65), Zach Muscat (Joseph Zerafa- 45), Jean Paul Farrugia (Kyrian Nwoko – 59), Luke Gambin (Clayton Failla – 77)

Estonia starting line-up: Marko Meerits, Madis Vihmann, Artur Pikk, Ilja Antonov (Mattias Kait – 55), Sergei Zenjov (Henri Anier – 79), Rauno Sappinen (Brent Lepistu – 82), Sergei Mosnikov (Ats Puje – 65), Karol Mets, Artjom Dmitrijev, Nikita Baranov (Joonas Tamm -58), Karl Mool (Taijo Teniste – 65)

Referee: Genc Nuza (Kosovo)

Assistant Referees: Fatlum Berisha, Bujar Selimaj

Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann

Yellow Cards: Clayton Failla, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Steve Borg