Malta disappoints in 0-5 defeat to Finland

Three goals within the half-hour paved the way for Finland as they defeated Malta 5-0 in a friendly match at the Gloria Sports Arena in Belek, Turkey where they are holding a training camp and where they had earlier played a friendly against FYR Macedonia which ended in a goalless draw.

For Malta, this was the third consecutive defeat in a series of friendly matches leading to the UEFA Nations League commitments later this year. In three matches, Malta conceded nine goals and scored none.

Coach Tom Sainfiet made minimal changes from the team which lost narrowly to Luxembourg on Thursday as he replaced Paul Fenech and the injured Zach Muscat with Joseph Zerafa and Jean Paul Farrugia.

However the team disappointed during the first half as Finland went out in search of early goals and once again conceded goals in the dying minutes.

Malta is expected to play three friendly matches in May/June as the national squad will be conducting a training camp in Austria.

The hosts took the lead on the 13th when off a corner by Moshtagh Yaghoubi from the left, Kalle Taimi header the ball into the direction of Teemu Pukki whose header, aided by the upright, beat Andrew Hogg.

On the 23rd minute, Finland doubled the score when Hogg partially saved a powerful drive by Pukki and off the rebound, Yaghoubi’s cross from the left was deflected by the Malta custodian and Kalle Taimi hit hard past the helpless goalkeeper.

Finland scored the third goal on the 27th thanks to Teemu Pukki who received a perfect pass from the right by Robin Lod on the edge of the area and beat Hogg with a shot in the bottom left corner.

The first attempt at goal for Malta occurred on the 59th minute when a Luke Gambin conclusion from just outside the area scraped past the post.

However the Finnish continued to hold the initiative and six minutes from time scored the fourth goal thanks to Fredrik Jensen who scored from close range following a cross by Joona Toivio from the left.

Two minutes from time, Pyry Soiri added another as he tapped the ball home from close range following a cross by Jura Pirinen from the left.

FINLAND Jesse Joronen (46’ Anssi Jaakola), Kalle Taimi (82’ Joona Toivio), Paulus Arajuuri, Sauli Vasainen, Jere Uronen (62’ Juha Pirinen), Robin Lod (62′ Pyry Sori), Glen Kamara, Thomas Lam, Moshtagh Yaghoubi (46’ Robert Taylor), Teemu Pukki (77’ Akseli Pelvas), Fredrik Jensen.

MALTA Andrew Hogg, Cain Attard, Jean Borg, Steve Borg (72’ Michael Johnson), Andrei Agius, Steve Pisani (46’ Triston Caruana), Rowen Muscat (46’ Roderick Briffa), Luke Gambin, Joseph Zerafa (46’ Myles Beerman), Andre Schembri (62’ Alfred Effiong), Jean Paul Farrugia (46’ Michael Mifsud).

Referee: Husseyin Gocek (TUR)


  1. Has Maltese football gone backwards in the last thirty years? During the 70’s we used to be competitive with such countries. I suppose not anymore. What is making us such a poor country in the football world? Lack of young Maltese footballers given opportunity to establish themselves in the respective leagues. I cannot comprehend why Maltese teams prefer to bring foreign players when there are so many Maltese players who can produce and perform better than them. How can a third division team justify their position and play foreign players in the team. How do they obtain a work permit when most of the foreign players last only for a few months? Shouldn’t the government get involved how they issue work permits to clubs regarding foreign players? Remember during the 70’s when the clubs had the opportunities to bring ex international Bulgarians who I might add brought some good players which benefitted Maltese football in general. Those where the days where we all enjoyed to experience how good those Bulgarians were. It is a shame to read this morning that we lost five zip.

  2. No WHERE to run………………………We are going to be like this for EVER unless we don’t change the our mentality..and FIRST and FOREMOST it must be implemented in our young ones…..AND THA’S REALLY A BIG ISSUE!!!!!!!!

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