Malta lost to Gibraltar by the odd goal in seven in an international futsal friendly at the Tercentenary Hall in Gibraltar on Thursday.
Gibraltar took the lead through Andrew Lopez after just three minutes but Malta levelled the score through Jovica Milijic shortly after. The home team forged ahead through swift counter attacks and mid-way through the first half regained the lead once again through Andrew Lopez, scoring a gem of a goal. The hosts remained the better team for the rest of the first half and went close to scoring again on a number of occasions with Bjorn Vassallo coming to Malta’s rescue on more than one occasion. The home team made it 3-1 just before the half time through Ian Rodriguez.
Coach Kevin Mifsud urged his players to be more accurate in their passing and set pieces during the break. In the second half, Malta emerged more aggressive as they pulled one goal back through Cedric Sciberras. With most of the game being played in Gibraltar’s half pitch, the Reds pushed for an equalizer with Giancarlo Sammut and Rennie Tanti leading the attacks. However, the home team added another goal in another typical swift counter-attack with Duane Robba finding the net to make the score 4-2. At this point, with nothing to lose, Kevin Mifsud switched to the flying keeper strategy pushing the Gibraltarians into their own half court for the rest of the match.
An exciting finale ensued, with Malta mounting on the pressure as Dylan Musu reduced the deficit with a beautiful shot and Jovica Milijic hitting the posts shortly after. Malta’s final efforts however proved futile as the home team resisted bravely until the final whistle.
Another friendly between the two countries is scheduled for Saturday.