An early goal by Michael Mifsud paved the way for a comfortable 3-0 win for Malta over Liechtenstein in a friendly match at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
This match marked the final appearance for the former Malta captain who therefore earned his 143rd international cap, scoring a record 42 goals for Malta.
For the Malta national team, this was the fifth consecutive positive result and a morale-booster ahead of the final two matches from the UEFA Nations League as Malta hosts Andorra on Saturday and the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Coach Devis Mangia named a number of younger players in the starting line-up as he rested the more regular ones like Ryan Camenzuli, Andrei Agius, Luke Gambin and Teddy Teuma. Zejtun’s Neil Tabone was handed his debut along with Alex Satariano and Jan Busuttil who were both included as substitutes.
Galea started in goal with Steve Borg, Triston Caruana and Jean Borg at the back, Juan Corbalan and Neil Tabone on the flanks, Bjorn Kristensen and Steve Pisani in midfield with Jack Grech and Shaun Dimech supporting Michael Mifsud in attack.
Malta had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 5th minute. Seyhan Yildiz addressed a throw in into the direction of Aron Sele but Bjorn Kristensen stole the ball off the defender’s feet and served Michael Mifsud who rounded Andreas Malin and beat goalkeeper Thomas Hobi with an angled shot from the right which hit the foot of the upright before ending at the back of the net.
On the 20th minute, Malta doubled the score when off a Jake Grech freekick from the right, Steve Borg headed home past the Liechtenstein goalkeeper.
Ridvan Kardesoglu received an assist in midfield, advanced and pulled to the right before trying his luck with a diagonal shot which scraped past the post on 25 minutes.
In the second half, the locals controlled without particular difficulty but on the 79th minute, Max Goppel tried to surprise Jake Galea with a lob from midfield, ending just over the bar.
However, six minutes from time, Malta scored the third goal. Triston Caruana sent substitute Jean Paul Farrugia through on the left and the latter’s attempt to enter the area was halted by Daniel Brandle who handed the ball; referee Manfredas Lukjancukas ordered a penalty and Jean Paul Farrugia converted from the penalty spot.
Photos: Copyright domenic aquilina/MFA
MALTA Jake Galea, Jean Borg (28′ Karl Micallef), Neil Tabone, Steve Borg (77′ Kurt Shaw), Jake Grech (77′ Jan Busuttil), Michael Mifsud (60′ Alex Satariano), Steve Pisani (60′ Rowen Muscat), Juan Corbalan, Bjorn Kristensen, Shaun Dimech (77′ Jean Paul Farrugia), Tristan Caruana.
LIECHTENSTEIN Thomas Hibi, Daniel Brandle, Max Goppel, Andreas Malin, Ridvan Kardesoglu, Aron Sele (70′ Philipp Ospelt), Martin Buchel (86′ Alexander Marxer), Seyhan Yildiz, Fabio Wolfinger (70′ Noah Graber), Nicolas Hasler, Sandro Wolfinger (78′ Andrin Netzer).
Referee: Manfredas Lukjancukas (LTU)