Two goals in the first half by Alex Satariano and Teddy Teuma handed Malta a second win on the trot as Devis Mangia’s side defeated Kuwait 2-0 in another friendly match at the National Stadium on Tuesday.
Like the match against Azerbaijan on Friday, the locals were once again clearly a better side, creating a number of goal scoring opportunities. Two good performances which augur well for the UEFA Nations League commitments where Malta will be facing San Marino and Estonia with the first three matches scheduled for June.
Mangia made three changes from the team which defeated Azerbaijan on Friday as Enrico Pepe replaced Andrei Agius, Adam Magri Overend took the role of Ryan Camenzuli and Dunstan Vella was preferred to Brandon Paiber.
Henry Bonello started in goal with Steve Borg, Enrico Pepe and Jean Borg at the back, Joseph Mbong and Adam Magri Overend on the flanks, Dunstan Vella and Matthew Guillaumier in midfield with Teddy Teuma supporting Alex Satariano and Jurgen Degabriele.
Photos courtesy of domenic aquilina / Malta FA
The locals went out in search of an early goal and goalkeeper Al Khaledi was forced to make a difficult save on a Jurgen Degabriele effort from the left after just 42 seconds.
On the 11th minute, Jean Borg tried his luck with a shot from outside the area which ended high. Sixz minutes later, Mbong advanced on the right, inside the area, and served Degabriele whose conclusion ended off target.
However on 25 minutes, Ahmad Al Dhefeery brought the best out goalkeeper Henry Bonello turned a fine rising shot from outside the area into a corner.
On the 29th minutes, Malta took the lead. A freekick by Teddy Teuma, deflected by a defender, was about to reach Degabriele but a short clearance by another defender allowed Alex Satariano to place the ball at the back of the net despite the desperate attempt of goalkeeper Al Khaledi and defender Abujabarah to clear the ball into safety.
Four minutes later, Malta doubled the score. Alex Satariano served Teddy Teuma through inside the area and the Union Saint Gilloise captain hit the ball hard in the roof of the net.
Shots from outside the area by Mbong and Degabriele were then neutralised by the Kuwait goalkeeper.
Twelve minutes in the second half, Satariano and Degabriele failed to connect off an inviting cross by Mbong and Teddy Teuma’s diagonal shot from the left scraped past the post.
Teuma pounced on a through ball on the 62nd but his close range effort was blocked by Al Khaledi. On the other side of the pitch, a powerful drive by Al Dhefeery just missed the target on the 75th.
Two minutes from time, the visitors went close to reducing the gap with a close-range header by Yousef Alsulaiman which partially saved by Bonello with the Malta custodian blocking Ebrahim Marzouq’s effort off the rebound.
MALTA Henry Bonello, Steve Borg (58’ Zach Muscat), Jean Borg, Matthew Guillaumier (72’ Steve Pisani), Joseph Mbong (72’ Ryan Camenzuli), Enrico Pepe, Alex Satariano (83’ Jake Grech), Teddy Teuma (82’ Brandon Paiber), Jurgen Degabriele (58’ Luke Montebello), Adam Magri Overend, Dunstan Vella.
KUWAIT Ahmad Al Khaledi (68’ Hussain Kanikone), Sami Al Sanea, Ahmad Al Dhefeery, Fahed Al Hajeri, Fawaz Al Otaibi (46’ Talal Al Fadhel), Fahed Al Ebrahim (46’ Sultan Al Enezi), Khaled Al Fadhli (46’ Ali Issa), Fahad Al Reshidi, Redha Abujabarah (46’ Bader Al Mutawa), Mobarak Al Faneeni (80’ Yousef Alsulaiman), Ebrahim Marzouq.
Referee: Thomas Gary Owen (WAL)
Assistant Referees: Lewiss Edwards, Johnathon Bryant (WAL)
Fourth Official: Stefan Pace