Malta disappoints in goalless draw with Moldova

Malta and Moldova shared the spoils in a goalless draw in a friendly match at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Much more was expected from the two teams. Shots at goal were quite rare and in fact, the two goalkeepers were hardly tested throughout the ninety minutes.

For Malta, this was the first of four friendly matches leading to the European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which kick-off in September with the clash with Scotland at Ta’ Qali.

Ghedin opted to start with Henry Bonello in goal, Jonathan Caruana, Andrei Agius and Zach Muscat as central defenders with Joseph Zerafa and Clayton Failla on the flanks, Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat and Bjorn Kristensen in midfield with Andre Schembri supporting Alfred Effiong in attack.

Following a short freekick by Clayton Failla, Paul Fenech’s fine shot was turned into a corner by the Moldovan goalkeeper on the 12th minute. Moldova replied with an Artur Ionita freekick ending just wide on the 39th.

Nine minutes in the second half, Andrei Agius came to the rescue as he blocked on the goal line an Eugeniu Sidorenco effort after the Moldovan striker rounded the goalkeeper.

Finally eleven minutes from time, Alexandru Gatcan tested Henry Bonello with a shot from outside the area.

MALTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana (87′ Justin Grioli), Joseph Zerafa, Andrei Agius, Clayton Failla (81′ Ryan Camilleri), Paul Fenech (87′ Ryan Scicluna), Rowen Muscat, Andre Schembri (84′ Michael Mifsud), Bjorn Kristensen (52′ Gareth Sciberras), Alfred Effiong, Zach Muscat (56′ Steve Borg).

MOLDOVA Artiom Gaiduchevici, Igor Armas, Adrian Cascaval, Alexandru Epureanu (46′ Petru Racu), Vitalie Bordian, Artur Ionita, Andrei Cojocari, Alexandru Gatcan, Alexandru Antoniuc (72′ Maxim Mihailov), Eugeniu Sidorenco (62′ Alexandru Dedov), Vadim Cemirtan (77′ Radu Ginsari).

Referee: Roomer Tarajev (EST)
Assistant Referees: Hannes Reinvald, Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann