England scored three late goals to register a 4-0 win over Malta in a match from Group F of the European Qualifiers at the National Stadium on Friday to edge closer to a place in next year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It was a highly disappointing result for Malta considering that during the first half, they managed to control their opponents, keeping them at bay, and even after conceding the first goal early in the second half, they were still giving a good account of themselves. However in the final stages, the Maltese lost composure, suffering three goals in the final seven minutes.
Malta had three changes from the team which lost 2-0 to Slovenia in June as Sam Magri, Joseph Zerafa and Jean Paul Farrugia replaced Alex Muscat, Clayton Failla and the suspended Alfred Effiong.
After just three minutes, Ryan Fenech tried his luck with a long-distance shot which missed the target. A minute later, the visitors went close with a Harr Kane header which was parried by Hogg.
For the rest of the first half, the Maltese managed to control their opponents with Hogg hardly being tested. In added time, Alex Oxdale-Chamberlain received a cross from the left, rounded Zach Muscat and tried his luck with a low shot from the right which was parried by the Malta custodian.
Six minutes in the second half, Andre Schembri went close for Malta with a powerful drive following a cross from the left by Joseph Zerafa but the ball just missed the target.
Two minutes later, England managed to break the deadlock when off a cross by Livermore from the right, there was a short clearance by Magri and Dele Alli served the unmarked Harry Kane on the left who slotted the ball home.
Malta threatened once again with a shot from outside the area by Sam Magri which scraped past the post on the 56th minute. On the hour, Harry Kane tried his luck with a powerful drive which was blocked by Hogg.
However four minutes from time, England sealed the issue with a second goal thanks to Ryan Bertrand’s long-distance shot from the left which surprised the Malta goalkeeper.
One minute in added time, Danny Wellback made it 3-0 when he lobbed the ball over Hogg following a cross by Harry Kane.
But the game was not over yet as two minutes later, Harry Kane scored a fourth goal, hitting home from close range following a Marcus Rashford cross from the right.[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”pic_name” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”true” album_id=”67″]
MALTA Andrew Hogg, Samuel Magri, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius, Ryan Fenech (83′ Paul Fenech), André Schembri (86′ Michael Mifsud), Zach Muscat, Jean Paul Farrugia, Bjorn Kristensen, Joseph Zerafa (75′ Ryan Camilleri), Stephen Pisani.
ENGLAND Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Ryan Bertrand, Jordan Henderson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Raheem Sterling (46′ Marcus Rashford), Jake Livermore, Harry Kane, Dele Alli (69′ Jamie Vardy), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (76′ Danny Welback).
Referee: Artur Dias (POR)
Assistant Referees: Rui Tavares, Paulo Soares (POR)
Fourth Official: João Pinheiro (POR)
Yellow Cards: none