The Czech Republic found no difficulty in beating Malta 6-0 in a friendly match at the Kufstein Arena in Kufstein, Austria on Friday. The first of two friendly matches in five days for Malta before facing Austria on Tuesday.
As expected, the Czech Republic were eager to impress as they are in the final preparations of the EURO 2016 where they will be facing holders Spain, Croatia and Turkey in Group D. They dominated from start to finish, scoring three in each half, giving the Maltese no chance to test the Czech rear-guard apart from one conclusion late in the game. The boys in red disappointed and considerable improvement is necessary to avoid another heavy defeat against Austria.
With Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg and Joseph Zerafa all ruled out injured and Andre Schembri unavailable for selection, Malta coach Pietro Ghedin opted to make a number of changes naming Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Gareth Sciberras in the starting line-up along with two players who were making their debut – Cain Attard and Luke Gambin. Paul Fenech and Rowen Muscat started on the bench.
Henry Bonello was confirmed in goal with Andrei Agius, Gatt Baldacchino and Zach Muscat in defence with Attard and Clayton Failla on the flanks, Roderick Briffa, Gareth Sciberras, Bjorn Kristensen and Gambin in midfield with Alfred Effiong in attack.
Jaroslav Plasil opened the score on the 15th minute with a long-distance shot which ended in the top left corner, following a slight deflection by Kristensen, giving goalkeeper Henry Bonello no chance.
Six minutes later, the Czech Republic doubled the score when off a cross from the left by Krejci, Milan Skoda flicked the ball past the Malta goalkeeper.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, Pavel Vrba’s side scored the third goal when off a freekick from the right by Plasil, Roman Hubnik beat Bonello with an acrobatic shot from close range.
David Lafalta made it 4-0 on the 74th minute when off a corner from the right, his first header was partially saved by Bonello, tapping the ball home off the rebound.
Nine minutes from time, Tomas Necid scored the fifth goal when off a cross from the left, he had all the time in the world to control the ball before hitting the ball past Bonello.
On the 87th minute, Malta went close to scoring a consolation goal when Rowen Muscat advanced upfield before intelligently serving Michael Mifsud whose conclusion from the left scraped past the far post.
One minute in added time, Patrik Schick sealed the issue with a sixth goal when he controlled the ball off a corner from the left and slotted the ball past Justin Haber.
CZECH REPUBLIC Petr Cech (46′ Tomas Koubek), Pavel Kaderabek (65′ Lukas Marecek), Roman Hubnik, Tomas Sivok, David Limbersky (46′ Theodor Gebre Selassie), Tomas Rosicky (65′ Patrik Schick), Milan Skoda (46′ Tomas Necid), Jaroslav Plasil (46′ Vladimir Darida), David Pavelka (65′ Daniel Kolar), Josef Sural (46′ David Lafata), Ladislav Krejci (46′ Jiri Skalak).
MALTA Henry Bonello (87′ Justin Haber), Andrei Agius, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Zach Muscat, Cain Attard (46′ Ryan Camilleri), Clayton Failla (75′ Ryan Camenzuli), Luke Gambin (74′ Llywelyn Cremona), Gareth Sciberras (90′ Steve Pisani), Roderick Briffa (62′ Rowen Muscat), Bjorn Kristensen (46′ Paul Fenech), Alfred Effiong (46′ Michael Mifsud).
Referee: Dominik Ouschan (AUT)