Malta suffers humiliating 7-0 defeat at the hands of Spain

Spain produced a dominant performance that enabled them to register a 7- 0 win over Malta.

Dominic Aquilina / MFA
Dominic Aquilina / MFA

Malta resumed their European Qualifiers with a very difficult Match against Spain.

The Maltese were coming from a disappointing defeat against Faroe Islands in their previous encounter. Such defeat meant that Malta are now sharing last place in the group with the Faroes.

On the other end, Spain secured their place inside the final tournament in October. However, they’ve been far from their best and only managed a draw against Norway and Sweden.

Ray Farrugia had to do without Steve Borg who was suspended. He was replaced by Jonathan Caruana.

Malta’s coach also decided to keep on giving debuts. In fact, Brandon Paiber and Jurgen Pisani were handed their first cap following their recent performances with Floriana.

Spain made their intentions clear from the start and threatened Malta after 5 minutes. Following a cross from the right, Sergio Ramos headed the ball slightly wide.

The Spanish created another chance on goal on the 23rd minute. Alvaro Morata was played through down the right, but found henry Bonello in his way.

However, Spain scored from the resulting corner. Malta’s players failed to clear their marks despite their attempts. The ball went into the path of the Atletico Madrid forward who slotted the ball past Malta’s goalkeeper.

Spain had a goal disallowed on the 27th minute. Following another corner, Ramos forced a good save from Bonello. Gerard Moreno took the rebound and smashed the ball inside the net. However, the goal was ruled out since Morata interfered with play while being in an offside position.

Malta’s coach was also forced to make an early substitution as Juan Corbalan suffered an injury and had to be replaced. Karl Micallef took his place.

The score become 2-0 on the 41st minute. Moreno exchanged possession with Santi Cazorla and the latter drilled a low shot past Bonello.

Moreno lost a golden opportunity for Spain a minute later. Pablo Sarabia sent a cross in the direction of the unmarked team mate who failed to make proper contact with the ball in front of an open goal.

The Spanish lost another great opportunity on the 58th minute. First it was Paco Alcacer whose effort was tipped by Bonello. Rebound fell for Sarabia whose effort was blocked by Jonathan Caruana off the line.

Seconds later, Moreno found himself face to face with Bonello, but failed to hit the target from close range.

Spain increased the margin on the 62nd minute. Following another corner, Alcacer headed the ball towards Pau Torres who diverted the ball behind Bonello.

Sarabia added another goal for Spain seconds later. Alcacer passed the ball in the direction of the Paris Saint Germain player who fired a shot that gave Bonello no chance.

Bonello denied Spain on the 66th minute. Olmo received the ball inside the penalty area and fired a powerful trike that was blocked by Malta’s goalkeeper.

Olmo managed to score two minutes later. The young player received a through ball before going round Bonello and placing the ball inside an open goal.

Spain made the score 6-0 on the 72nd minute. Juan Bernat delivered the ball in the direction of Moreno who finished home from close range.

Malta kept on struggling and conceded again on the 85th minute. Jesus Navas fired a volley that stunned Bonello.

The post denied Spain from scoring again on the 90th minute as Alcacer’s effort stamped off the woodwork.

Malta will now be hoping for a better performance on Monday against Norway at Ta` Qali.

Spain starting line-up: Pau Lopez, Raul Albiol, Alvao Morata (Dani Olmo-66), Thiago Alcantara, Pablo Sarabia, Juan Bernat, Sergio Ramos (Pau Torres-61), Rodri, Gerard Moreno, Santi Cazorla (Paco Alcacer-53), Jesus Navaz

Malta starting line-up: Jonathan Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Andrei Agius, Joseph Mbong, Kyrian Nwoko, Rowen Muscat (triston Caruana-64), Dunstan Vella, Brandon Paiber, Juan Corbolan (Karl Micallef-33), Jurgen Pisani (Jake Grech-76) , Zach Muscat

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

Assistant Referees: Gyorgy Ring, Vencel Toth

Fourth Official: Tomas Bognar

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