The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

Under 21 UEFA European Championship qualifier: Malta no match for strong Sweden

Henry Brincat and Domenic Aquilina Thursday, 7 June 2018, 21:33 Last update: about 6 months ago
Malta's Kyrian Nwoko (C) tries to go through the Swedish defence. Photos © Domenic Aquilina
Malta's Kyrian Nwoko (C) tries to go through the Swedish defence. Photos © Domenic Aquilina

Malta                         0
Sweden                     4

Malta: J. Galea, J. Borg, K. Micallef, D. Vella, J. Mbong, J. Grech (Z. Scerri), K. Nwoko, J. Degabriele (M. Sansone), M. Beerman, N. Tabone (K. Shaw), J. Corbolan.

Sweden: O. Linner, L. Wahlqvist, F. Dagerstal, F. Brorsson, J. Andersson, J. Levi, E. Rakip, I. Ssewankambo, S. Ingelsson (D. Irandust, T. Tesfaldet), C. Strandberg (G. Engvali), J. Larsson.

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Referee: PK Andersen (Denmark).

Asst. refs: V. Skytte, DW Rasmussen

4th official: A. Poulsen.

Scorers: J. Andersson, Strandberg 2, Rakip pen.

Attendance: 525.

Malta captain Jake Grech (L) defends his lines against Sweden's Daleho Irandust. Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Silvio Vella's Malta side proved to be no match for a strong Sweden side yesterday as the visitors cruised to an easy 4-0 win at the Centenary Stadium.

Two goals from Carlos Strandberg, another from Joel Andersen as well as a penalty from Erdal Rakip were enough for the Swedes to make sure of joining Belgium at the top of the Group F standings on 17 points.

Coach Silvio Vella had to do without three injured players - Matthew Guillaumier, Conor Borg and Kurt Zammit.

Facing the strong wind at Ta' Qali, the Malta side had to defend for long stretches against a superior Swedish side.

It was an uphill task for the Maltese youngsters from as early as the 4th minute when Sweden were already leading 1-0.

Having dominated the proceedings, Sweden certainly deserved to lead 2-0 at the interval as they also contrived to miss some other chances which came their way.

The Maltese also had some attacks to their credit but they found it difficult to penetrate the Swedish defence so much so that their only shots were well off target before a Corbolan good shot finished against the side rigging before the interval.

In the second half, not much changed even if the Maltese now had the winds blowing from behind their backs.

But the Swedes remained firmly in command and went on to add two further goals to make it a more convincing win.

Sweden immediately took the game in their hands and did not take long to open the scoring. In fact, in the 4th minute, a cross from Ingelsson caught the Malta defence napping and Joel Andersen was unmarked to hit home from close in.

Malta replied through a Joseph Mbong shot which was blocked by Brorsson.

In the 23rd minute, Juan Corbolan tried an effort from outside the area, but the ball went wide.

On the 30th minute, goalie Jake Galea did well to intercept an Andersen dangerous cross.

Three minutes later, Sweden went close to adding a second goal when Rakip crossed low on the edge of the area, from where Levi saw his effort going wide.

However, the goal was in the offing and a minute later, substitute Strandberg hit home past Galea following a cross from Irandust.

On 38 minutes, Jake Galea came to Malta's rescue as he blocked a Strandberg close range effort following a fine cross from Larsson.

In added time, from a Myles Beerman corner, a Corbolan effort finished against the side rigging.

At the start of the second half, Sweden again went close to scoring when in a fast breakaway, Levi had a fine inswinger just missing the target.

The score became 3-0 on 60 minutes, when off a low cross from Rakip, it was Strandberg who flicked home from practically on the goalline.

In the 70th minute, Nwoko had a shot blocked to a corner.

In the 80th minute, Sweden scored their 4th goal from a penalty when Levi was floored by Jean Borg. From the spotkick, Rakip made no mistake.

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