Malta failed to get the positive result they were looking for as a goal by Rogvi Baldvinsson mid-way through the second half gave the Faroe Islands a narrow win in another match from Group F of the European Qualifiers leading to EURO 2020 at the Torsvollur in Torhsavn on Tuesday.
It was a highly disappointing result for Ray Farrugia’s side as Malta aimed to avoid the bottom spot with a positive result against a team which Malta had managed to beat 2-1 at Ta’ Qali last March. The Faroe Islands now join Malta on the three-point mark with two matches to go.
Malta coach Ray Farrugia made three changes to the team which lost 0-4 to Sweden on Saturday as Steve Borg, Paul Fenech, Jake Grech and Michael Mifsud replaced Kurt Shaw, Joseph Zerafa, Luke Gambin and Alfred Effiong.
Henry Bonello started in goal with Zach Muscat, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius and Joseph Mbong at the back, Dunstan Vella as holding midfielder, Jake Grech, Rowen Muscat, Michael Mifsud and Paul Fenech were employed in midfield with Kyrian Nwoko as the only striker.
Photos: Copyright © 2019 domenic aquilina
Michael Mifsud had a shot blocked by Vatnsdal on the 18th and five minutes later, the hosts went close to taking the lead on the 23rd minute when Hansson failed to connect off an inviting cross.
Michael Mifsud served Jake Grech who had a shot from outside the area saved by the goalkeeper on the 35th minute and two minutes from the end of the first half, Kyrian Nwoko, served by Grech, had a shot from close range served by Gregersen.
Henry Bonello was superb with a great save at point blank on Viljormur Davidsen following a cross from the right by Joannes Danielsen on the 67th minute.
Four minutes later, the Faroe Islands took the lead when off a Brandur Henriksson corner from the right, Rogvi Baldvinsson headed home past Bonello.
This goal changed the plans of Ray Farrugia’s side since at this point, Malta needed to score a goal. Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat and Michael Mifsud were replaced with Joseph Zerafa, Luke Gambin and Alfred Effiong.
Two minutes from time, Andrei Agius failed to connect off an inviting cross by Joseph Mbong from the right and one minute in added time, Alfred Effiong had a close-range header saved by the goalkeeper following a cross by Zerafa from the left which was deflected by a defender.
Deep into stoppage time, the Faroe Islands could have doubled the score when Klaemint Olsen had a shot from close range blocked by Bonello and off the rebound, Hansson hit incredibly wide.
FAROE ISLANDS Gunnar Nielsen, Viljormur Davidsen (85′ Arni Frederiksberg), Atli Gregersen, Heini Vatnsdal, Hallur Hansson, Brandur Hendriksson, Solvi Vatnhamar, Rogvi Baldvinsson, Joan Edmundsson (85′ Arni Frederiksberg), Joannes Bjartalid (65′ Klaemint Olsen), Joannes Danielsen.
MALTA Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius, Jake Grech, Joseph Mbong, Paul Fenech (71′ Luke Gambin), Michael Mifsud (71′ Alfred Effiong), Kyrian Nwoko, Rowen Muscat (80′ Joseph Zerafa), Dunstan Vella, Zach Muscat.
Referee: José María Sánchez (ESP)
Assistant Referees: Raúl Cabañero, Roberto Alonso (ESP)
Fourth official: Alejandro Hernández (ESP)