Four games in five days for national teams

The Malta A national team and the Under-21 side will be in action once again in the coming days in two EURO 2012 and two UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

The senior side travels to Riga to face Latvia on Friday and then hosts Israel at the National Stadium, Ta’ Qali on Tuesday 11, kick-off at 19:00. On the other hand, the Under-21 national team will be hosting Ukraine and Lithuania at the Gozo Stadium on Friday 7 at 18:00 and Tuesday 11 at 15:00 respectively.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo said the association is working hard to attract the general public to the stadium for national team matches. He said that in recent years, the team showed improvement and could achieve a positive result from these two games, in particular the home game against Israel.

Against Latvia, Malta played four times – winning two and losing two while against Israel, Malta obtained two draws in seven matches.

As regards the Under-21 side, the MFA CEO said that the association felt it had to give Gozitans the opportunity to watch one of the national teams in action and hence decided to hold these two matches at the Gozo Stadium.

MFA Head of Marketing Norman Saliba explained that tickets for Malta vs Israel have now gone on sale from the MFA Headquarters – Ta’ Qali, Eros Stationery – Paceville, Lion King Stationery – Pietà, Star Tourism – Bugibba, TeamsporT- Iklin and all Agenda Bookshop, Bookends, Exotique, Newskiosk and 8 ‘till Late outlets around Malta & Gozo

Tickets cost €15 for the West Stand, €6 for the Millennium Stand and €3 for the South Stand. Tickets for children cost €1 for all stands.

On match day, tickets for the South Stand will be on sale at the Ticket Booths at West Side C

Public transport will be provided by Arriva as follows:

Buses from Valletta Terminus (next to Bus Bay No. 15) to the National Stadium leave at 16:45 and 17:30. Buses from the National Stadium (infront of the MFCC Entrance Gates) to Valletta leave at 21:00 and 21:15.

The windscreen tags on these buses will indicate ‘National Stadium Direct Service’

Football fans who choose to make use of this service also have the option of making use of the Park & Ride Facilities in Blata l-Bajda.

Tickets for the Under-21 national team matches cost €4.

Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina

Provisional squads:
goalkeepers Rueben Gauci (Marsaxlokk), Justin Haber (Kerkyra), Andrew Hogg (Valletta);
defenders Roderick Briffa, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg (Valletta), Edward Herrera, Clayton Failla (Hibernians), Carlo Mamo (Marsaxlokk), Andrei Agius (Latina Calcio), Joseph Zerafa (Birkirkara), Kenneth Scicluna (Qormi);
midfielders Paul Fenech, Gareth Sciberras, Trevor Cilia (Birkirkara), John Hutchinson (Chengdu Blades), James Pace, Ryan Fenech (Valletta), John Mintoff (Floriana), Andrew Cohen (Hibernians);
forwards Christian Caruana, Ivan Woods (Floriana), Andrè Schembri (Panionios), Michael Mifsud (Valletta), Daniel Bogdanovic (Blackpool).

goalkeepers Daniel Balzan (St. Andrews), Adrian Parnis (Sannat L.), Steve Sultana (Qormi);
defenders Owen Bugeja (Floriana), Yessous Camilleri (Balzan Y.), Cleavon Cassar, Zach Muscat (Pietà H.), Kane Paul Farrugia, Luca Martinelli (Mosta), Matthew Robert Gauci (Hamrun S.), Jonathan Xerri (Marsaxlokk); midfielders Clyde Borg (Floriana), Triston Caruana, Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians), Sheldon Grech (Mosta), Dylan Grima (Balzan Y.), Rowen Muscat (Birkirkara);
forwards Miguel Ciantar, Lydon Micallef (Balzan Y.), Leighton Grech, Terence Vella (Birkirkara), Steve Pisani (Hibernians).