A goal deep into stoppage time handed Estonia a 2-1 win over Malta in a match from Group D2 of the UEFA Nations League at the National Stadium on Thursday. A win which puts Estonia on top of the group with maximum points from two matches.
It was soon evident that it was not Malta’s day as Teddy Teuma missed a penalty early in the game and a few minutes later, Estonia forged ahead. Malta managed to equalise early in the second half but four minutes in added time, Estonia notched the winner.
Overall it was a disappointing performance by Malta. The team failed to impress during the first half and although it showed some improvement on the restart, the team committed too much mistakes throughout the ninety minutes.
Mangia made two changes from the team which defeated San Marino on Sunday as Ryan Camenzuli and Teddy Teuma replaced Adam Magri Overend and Dunstan Vella.
Henry Bonello started in goal with Steve Borg, Enrico Pepe and Jean Borg employed at the back, Joseph Mbong and Ryan Camenzuli on the flanks, Matthew Guillaumier and Teddy Teuma in midfield with Brandon Paiber supporting Alex Satariano and Jurgen Degabriele.
Photos courtesy of domenic aquilina / Malta FA
Following a quiet start, the locals had a golden opportunity to take the lead on the 15th when they were awarded a penalty following a VAR check as Teniste had handled the ball inside the area following a Jurgen Degabriele freekick; however, from the penalty spot, Teddy Teuma’s effort was neutralised by Estonia goalkeeper Karl Hein.
Estonia took the lead on 21 minutes. Soomets intercepted a pass by Teuma and served Konstantin Vassiljev who beat Bonello with a low shot which saw the ball hit the foot of the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Malta replied with a timid cross shot by Alex Satariano which was parried by the Estonia goalkeeper. The visitors threatened once again with a powerful shot by Matias Kait which was partially saved by Bonello on the 45th and off the rebound, Sorga’s low shot was parried by the Malta goalkeeper.
Two minutes in the second half, a diagonal shot by Camenzuli scraped past the post. Two minutes later, Joseph Mbong tried his luck with a long-distance shot which ended just wide.
On the 56th, Teuma put Degabriele through and the latter’s conclusion was blocked into a corner by the goalkeeper. Jurgen Degabriele delivered the corner from the right and the ball was deflected by the goalkeeper into the net to restore equilibrium.
The Maltese gained confidence and were now sharing the exchanges with their opponents.
Ten minutes from time, Karol Mets concluded a good move on the left flank and went close with a powerful shot which ended just wide. On the 83rd, Vella released Montebello on the left but his conclusion was blocked into a corner.
Three minutes in stoppage time, Bonello performed a good save on a powerful shot by Kallaste from the left.
But it was not over yet as one minute later, Estonia notched the winner. Steve Borg lost the ball to Sergei Zenjov and the latter advanced rounding Bonello who rushed out of the area, serving the unmarked Henri Ainer who hit home from close range.
MALTA Henry Bonello, Ryan Camenzuli, Steve Borg, Matthew Guillaumier (80’ Dunstan Vella), Joseph Mbong, Jurgen Degabriele (80’ Luke Gambin), Brandon Paiber, Enrico Pepe, Alex Satariano (68’ Luke Montebello), Teddy Teuma, Jean Borg (85’ Zach Muscat).
ESTONIA Karl Hein, Mattias Kait, Markus Soomets, Erik Sorga (59’ Henri Anier), Konstantin Vassiljev (90+6′ Martin Miller), Maksim Paskotso. Joonas Tamm, Robert Kirss (59’ Sergei Zenjov), Karol Mets, Ken Kallaste, Taijo Teniste.
Referee: Robert Adam Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referees: David Rooms, Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Fourth Official: Craig Napier (SCO)
Video Assistant Referee: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Clay Ruperti (NED)