Salomon Rondon hands Venezuela narrow win

A goal by Everton’s Salomon Rondon handed Venezuela a narrow win over Malta in a friendly match at the National Stadium on Wednesday. A friendly match as part of the team’s preparation ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League clash with San Marino away from home before the two home matches on June 9 and June 12 against Estonia and San Marino respectively.

Malta had James Brown and Matias Garcia making their debut as Malta coach Devis Mangia opted to rest a number of players including Henry Bonello, Adam Magri Overend, Jean Borg, Joseph Mbong, Alex Satariano and Jurgen Degabriele who were all left out of the match-day squad in view of the three UEFA Nations League matches. Matter Veselji, who was included as a substitute late in the game was also making his first appearance for the national team.

Goalkeeper Jake Galea was, in fact, handed a rare start in goal with Karl Micallef, Enrico Pepe and Zach Muscat employed at the back, James Brown and Ryan Camenzuli on the flanks, Matthew Guillaumier and Matias Garcia in midfield with Teddy Teuma supporting Jake Grech and Paul Mbong in attack.

Photos: Copyright domenic aquilina / Malta FA

Venezuela tried their luck with a Solomon Rondon low shot on the 3rd minute which was saved by Jake Galea and on the 10th, a freekick by Eduard Bello was turned into a corner by the goalkeeper. Malta replied with a corner from the left by Paul Mbong which was cleared into safety by a defender on the 32nd.

Two minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Christian Larotonda won the possession after a tackle on Theuma and released Soteldo who advanced and delivered a cross from the left with Solomon Rondon heading home past Galea.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, Galea performed a good save on an Osorio header following a corner from the right by Soteldo.

Photos: Copyright domenic aquilina / Malta FA

Shots at goal were few and far in between during the second half with Malta trying its luck with a Teddy Teuma freekick from the right which was blocked by a defender on the 74th.

MALTA Jake Galea, Ryan Camenzuli, Matthew Guillaumier (46′ Dunstan Vella), Jake Grech (64′ Luke Gambin), Paul Mbong (64′ Luke Montebello), Enrico Pepe (46′ Steve Borg), Karl Micallef (84′ Mattia Veselji), Teddy Teuma, James Brown, Matias Nicolas Garcia (77′ Jan Busuttil), Zach Muscat.

VENEZUELA Wailer Farinez, Nahuel Ferraresi, Yordan Osorio (77′ Roberto Rosales), Jhon Chancellor, Yangel Herrera (85′ Jose Martinez), Yeferson Soteldo, Jhon Murillo (46′ Adalberto Penaranda), Eduard Bello (80′ Christian Casseres), Salomon Rondon (80′ Fernando Aristeguieta), Yohan Cumana, Christian Larotonda (77′ Tomas Rincon).

Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referees: Silveir Koiv, Sten Klaasen (EST)
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MAL)