The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

UEFA Nations League: Agius, Borg back for Malta against Faroe Islands after suspension

Henry Brincat Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 11:37 Last update: about 19 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Malta faces The Faroe Islands on Tuesday evening in the final League D Group 4 at the Ta' Qali national stadium (kick-off 8.45pm).

It is a match which is crucial for both sides as the two teams are fighting to avoid the bottom place in the Group. The Faroe Islands are third on 4 points, while Malta is two points behind in bottom place.

In the first match in September, the Faroes had defeated Malta 3-1. But if Malta wins today, it will certainly be a sort of boost for the future of the national team. A win for Malta will condemn the Faroes to bottom place, but a draw or a defeat will leave Farrugia's boys in bottom place.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two teams are coming from defeats. Malta suffered a heavy 5-0 home defeat against Kosovo on Saturday evening, while The Faroe Islands lost 2-0 against Azerbaijan in Baku.

National coach Ray Farrugia said yesterday that the boys were disappointed with the result against Kosovo and were now looking forward to get back on track.

"They are now eager to regain the confidence of the fans with a good performance this evening in the hope of winning this important clash," he said.

Farrugia added that he had worked hard to rebuild the morale of the team after Saturday's defeat.

But he reiterated that the boys will have to avoid committing banal mistakes which often result in goals for our opponents. "Those two goals suffered against Kosovo should never have happened. I am sure that had we avoided them, it would have been a totally different story.

"Unfortunately, after the second goal which arrived 20 minutes from the end, there was a complete collapse and we suffered three more to make it an overwhelming victory for the Kosovo side," he said.

The coach said it was evident that we missed both Andrei Agius and Steve Borg in the heart of the defence. But now we will have them back in the side for this final match and they should be the inspiration for the others.

Farrugia said he was not yet in a position to announce his starting formation as there were one or two doubts about players who received knocks on Saturday evening. "But I am sure that all the 18 players in the squad are ready to face the Faroe Islands with renewed confidence," he said.

Today's match will also be the last for Andre Schembri with the national team. He announced his retirement last week. 
  • don't miss