Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Improved Malta run Sweden close in entertaining match
Jan 29, 2020
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General
Futsal Euro Qualifiers
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

UEFA FUTSAL EURO 2022 (GROUP C) – 29/01/2020


SWEDEN 6
MALTA    4

 

Malta produced a lively and tenacious performance in their UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 Tournament opener against Sweden but it was the latter who claimed the points after weathering the hosts’ brave fightback at the National Sport School.
 


The Maltese players, led by coach Zeljko Anicic, ended the game on the attack as they sought to cancel out the two-goal deficit but Sweden held on to win 6-4. Only a year ago, Malta lost 5-1 to the same opponents in Sweden but this time their performance was distinctly better.
 

Sweden’s strong start eventually proved decisive. They forged ahead after just 90 seconds through captain Petrit Zhubi. With five minutes on the clock, Clint Mifsud produced a great save to deny Sweden but Adnan Cirak got the second. Two minutes later, a swift Sweden counter-attack ended with Emilio Rossi nudging the ball home from close in.

 

Malta reacted swiftly to reduce the arrears as Andy Mangion’s fierce strike deflected off Carl Azzopardi with the ball sailing into the Sweden net. Midway through the half, Malta came close but Giancarlo Sammut’s powerful effort struck the woodwork.

 

Fredrik Soderqvist added to Sweden’s lead with a low shot from the distance before Cirak netted his second with a low shot to put Sweden 5-1 up.

 

Two minutes from the interval, Malta pulled one back with Mark Zammit finding the unmarked Jovica Milijic who whipped in a curling shot.

 

Three goals down, Malta upped their game in the second half. Andy Mangion passed to Marrwan Telissi who found the net but six minutes into the second half, Sweden restored their three-goal lead through an Albert Hiseni effort after a fast counter-attack.

 

Midway through the half, keeper Vella’s finger-tip save frustrated Sweden with Malta capitalising thanks to a fast-flowing move which culminated in a well-taken goal by George Frendo with seven minutes remaining.

 

In the final minutes, Malta put Sweden under pressure, deploying the flying keeper tactic to boost their attacking potential, but the opposing team held tight to preserve their lead.

 

In the opening game on Wednesday, Poland beat Greece 5-2.

 

SWEDEN STARTING FIVE
Vikton Jansson, Petrit Zhubi, Yanku Marrah, Adnan Cirak, Fredrik Soderqvist.

 

SUBSTITUTES
Martin Herlin, Hampus Furublad, Pascal Elon Olsson, Emilio Rossi, Donat Gashi, Albert Hiseni, Fehim Smajlovic, Nima Kadivar, Ayoub Abassi.

 

MALTA STARTING FIVE
Clint Mifsud, Carl Azzopardi, Giancarlo Sammut, Andy Mangion, Marrwan Telissi.

 

SUBSTITUTES
Stefan Vella, Karl Sciortino, Dylan Musu, Jovica Milijic, George Frendo, Melvin Borg, Mark Zammit, Firas Aboulezz, Andrè Ciancio.

 

REFEREES
Balázs Farkas (HUN); Veljko Bošković (MNE); Igor Puzović (BIH).


REMAINING FIXTURES
Venue: National School of Sport, Pembroke

 

Thursday, 30th January, 2020

17.00 – Sweden vs Poland
20.00 – Malta vs Greece

 

Saturday, 1st February, 2020
16.00 – Greece vs Sweden
19.00 – Malta vs Poland

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