Malta Independent

Greece rescue draw in dying minutes against gallant Malta


Malta 2 Greece 2

Malta: H. Bonello, J. Borg (K. Micallef 80’), R.Camenzuli, S.Borg (F. Apap 46’), M.Guillau‐ mier, J.Mbong (J. Corbalan 52’), P.Mbong (B. Kristensen 80’), E.Pepe, T.Teuma, J.Degabriele (A. Satariano 80’), S.Dimech (J. Jones 80’)

Greece: A.Paschalaki­s, G. Tza‐ vellas (K. Koulieraki­s 46’), D.Pelkas (T. Fountas 68’), A.Bakasetas (A. Bouchalaki­s 46’), L.Rota, P.Hatzidiako­s, P.Manta‐ los, D.Giannoulis (D.Kyri‐ akopoulus 79’), T. Charzigiov­anis, M.Siopis (S.Alexandrap­oulos 80’), F.Ioan‐ nidis (A. Douvikas 68’)

Referee: Alan Durieux (Lux‐ embourg)

Yellow Cards: Camenzuli, Mbong, Pepe, Mantalos, Siopis

Scorers: Bakasetas 39’, De‐ gabriele 54’, Teuma 67’ (p), Fouontas 86’

Malta registered a good result against superior opposition when in a friendly match played at the National Stadium they drew against Greece in match which came to life in the second forty five minutes.

Following the accusation­s of improper conduct that surfaced during the past weeks and the subsequent investigat­ion by the Malta Football Associatio­n, there came the resignatio­n of the man in the centre of all this Devis Mangia.

The powers to be acted quickly in appointing Under 21 National coach Gilbert Agius as interim coach and thus take charge of these two matches

Agius called back a number of players who were lately missed from the national set up for the matches in this internatio­nal window against Greece and Ire‐ land.

Greece headed into this match with a number of key players missing, offering coach Gustavo Poyet the chance to give some players a taste of what interna‐ tional football is all about.

Ranked 52nd in the FIFA list, Greece missed out on a place in the 2022 World Cup which kicks off in Qatar on Sunday. But they had a good Nations

League campaign gaining pro‐ motion to League B.

Malta had the first chance of the match on ten minutes when a Joseph Mbong cross found De‐ gabriele but the Paolites striker failed to control. Four minutes later Teuma had a low shot which missed out. Play was re‐ stricted for long stretches in the midfield area until Greece took the lead six minutes from the end of the first half.

It was Dimitris Pelkas who supplied the ball towards Takos Bakasetas who finished off with a good shot putting the visitors in the lead.

On resumption Greece were the better outfit and inside the first minute a Ioannidis shot was saved by Bonello. But it was Malta who drew level on 54 minutes. Matthew De‐ gabriele perfectly set Jurgen Degabriele who drafted the ball past a helpless Greece goal‐ keeper.

This was the best moment for Malta and ten minutes later they were awarded a penalty after Bouchalaki­s handled in the area. After order was restored since the Greek players protested heavily Teddy Teuma converted in style.

The visitors were now frus‐ trated and wanted a penalty after the ball allegedly hit Teuma’s arm but the match offi‐ cial waved play on.

The last minutes saw Greece putting all personnel on the at‐ tack and they managed to save the match three minutes from time through Fountas.

Indeed they could have snatched a dramatic winner in added time but Bonello was on the alert to tip a Fountas shot over the bar.

 ?? Photo: Domenic Aquilina ??
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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