Malta Football Association
VIDEO – It was a collective win, says scorer Muscat
Jun 7, 2017
Posted in:
National Team
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

Zach Muscat has paid tribute to his team-mates after his goal helped Malta gain a 1-0 win over Ukraine in a friendly match in the Austrian city of Graz on Tuesday.


The Arezzo defender’s stooping header after 14 minutes proved decisive but he insisted that the victory owed to the team’s collective and resilient effort.


“It was a very difficult match for us,” Muscat said.


“As we all know, we are not a team that dictates the pace but we adapt to the game.


“We managed to be very compact, worked together in the defensive phase and also did well in counter-attacks. It was a collective win because there was also the defensive work of the strikers who worked hard to help us preserve the result.

“We are a united group and this showed during the game, also in terms of communication as we helped each other and made it easier for ourselves to secure this win.”


Muscat was overjoyed after scoring his first goal in his 21st appearance for national team.


“For me, it was already a dream to play for the national team,” the former Birkirkara centre-half said.


“The fact that I’ve managed to score my first goal for my country is another dream come true.


“Of course, there were 75 minutes left to protect this result, so it was thanks to everyone that the goal I scored translated into a victory. The game could have gone either way as after 15 minutes, there was still a lot to do.


“I’m very happy to have scored my first goal. It was a nice move, a perfect ball from Alex (Muscat). It was something that I had been waiting for.”


As Malta’s focus now switches to the 2018 World Cup Group F qualifier against Slovenia at the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Muscat is hopeful that the team will keep the positive momentum going.


“From my experience with the national team, both with the first squad and at youth level, the trend was that, after a good result, we didn’t manage to keep up the positive performances,” he said.


“This time we are conscious of what we have done but we need to watch the game and see where we did well and where we can do better. We need to keep our feet on the ground and pull in the same direction.


“With the right attitude, we must go out for the game on Saturday with the aim of giving everything and play as a team. And if we take the positives from the Ukraine game, work on them in the coming days and remain concentrated rather than dwelling on yesterday, I think we will leave the stadium with our heads held high.”


Malta will be looking to gain their first point in Group F when they meet Slovenia who are third in the standings with five games played.


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