The Malta Independent 4 October 2023, Wednesday
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Generous performance not enough as Malta goes down with two first half goals

Wednesday, 13 September 2023, 07:48 Last update: about 20 days ago

An overall generous performance by Malta was not enough yesterday against Macedonia as we suffered yet another defeat. Malta had more possession of the ball but failed to create clear cut scoring opportunities.

On the other hand North Macedonia had very few shots on target, but scored twice and hit the post on another occasion.

In the second hald Malta moved the ball much better with Montebello and Cain Attard making a very good impact, but the end product was still the same, disappointing to say the least.


An uphill start for the Maltese who suffered the goal after barely five minutes when Elmas fired home from the edge of the area giving Bonello no chance to save.

The Malta side immediately recovered increasing their efforts in attack but the main problem was in attack. In fact the Maltese practically played much of the first half in the opposing half but they had no shots at goal, even though having more possession of the ball.

Ryan Camenzuli had a good cross from the left towards Nwoko intercepted by a defender and Jones tried his luck from the edge of the area but his grounder was off target. This was practically all the Maltese had to show at the end of the first half, even though almost in control of the match.

Four minutes from the break Macedonia scored their second goal on their second effort towards goal.

A Bardhi corner towards the unmarked Manev whose header finished at the back of the net. Two shots two goals.

And it could have been even worse as just before the break Henry Bonello made his first save, a great save indeed, off a Bardhi freekick.

Michele Marcolini made three changes at the start of the second half, roping in Cain Attard, Yanick Yankam, and Luke Montebello for Joseph Mbong, Bjorn Kristensen and Jodi Jones.

Malta seemed to have more punch and played more direct football but still the efforts at goal failed to arrive. Halfway through the second half in a rare Macedonia attack Alioski hit the upright from an acute angle.

Two minutes later Ryan Camenzuli’s effort sailed over the bar. On 83 minutes finally Pepe managed a shot at goal, a shot which was blocked by Shiskovski. Minutes later Camenzuli had a good opportunity but his header went well over the bar.

The match dragged with Malta’s efforts proving futile as we once again left the field empty handed.

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