Malta obtain well-earned draw in Bulgaria futsal friendlyPublished: 20-01-2020 13:50
The Malta Futsal Team was in action on Sunday in first of the two friendlies in the space of 24 hours against Bulgaria at the National Sports School. Led for the first time by newly-appointed coach Zeljko Anicic, Malta produced a commendable performance in a 2-2 draw. The result is a very positive one considering the difference between the two nations in action with Malta currently lying in 111th place whereas Bulgaria are 16 places higher in 95th in the Futsal World Ranking. The score was also level until the interval 1-1 with Luxol forward Andy Mangion breaking the deadlock, hence giving an early lead to Malta, before Bulgaria bounced back and levelled the score midway through the half with veteran Boycho Marev slotting the ball past Malta keeper Brandon Debono. In the second period, the game remained balanced with Bulgaria going ahead through Aleksey Stepanov, but Malta showed resilience and their efforts reaped rewards with an equaliser mid-way through the second half when Dylan Musu converted his penalty to make the final score 2-2. The 2-2 draw follows the Malta futsal team's comeback performance in a 3-3 draw against Armenia in their last outing in October. On Monday evening, the second and final Bulgaria friendly for the Malta futsal team – kick off time 19.00h – as preparations intensify prior to the UEFA Futsal Euro 2022 Qualifying Group C in Malta. The tournament kicks off on Wednesday next week with Poland, Sweden and Greece the other countries in the group. LINE-UPMalta’s Starting 5: Brandon Debono (GK), Giancarlo Sammut, Carl Azzopardi, Andy Mangion, Aidan Micallef.Stefan Vella (GK), Jovica Milijic, Melvin Borg, Dylan Musú, Karl Sciortino, André Ciancio, George Frendo, Firaz Abouleez, Aaron Montebello.Bulgaria’s Starting 5: Ismet Idrizov Hadzhiev (GK), Boycho Todorov Marev, Vladimir Atanasov Baharov, Plamen Mikov Stoykov, Marko Kostich.Stanislav Dimitrov Ivanon (GK), Petar Miroslav Petrov, Dimitar Kostadinov Tsvetanov, Martin Biserov Stoykov, Dobrin Valentinov Mihaylov, Aleksey Anatoliev Stepanov, Pavlin Konstantinov Kuzov, Martin Krasimirov Nedkov, Yulian Evelinov Spasov.Referees: David Balzan, Pierre Bonnici.