Bogdanovic-Mifsud duo make it look easy…. Ghedin debuts with victory

Saturday, June 2, 2012, 19:14

by Sandro Micallef.

A brace by Malta’s top scorer Michael Mifsud paved way to a historic victory against Luxembourg. The game proved to be a positive one also for Malta’s new coach Pietro Ghedin who was making his debut in his second stance as Malta’s coach.
Ghedin opted for a basic 4-3-2-1 formation and therefore practically continued on the base handed over to him by Robert Gatt. Ghedin’s only tactical surprise came during the match when he shifted Failla on the right back position.

Michael Mifsud scored a brace on Saturday

All the members of the Malta team performed really well but hats off to Cohen, Mifsud and Bogdanovic who had an above average performance.
Just under five minutes Malta could have gone a goal in front. Andrew Cohen’s low free kick was back headed by Bogdanovic towards Schembri that saw his close attempt blocked by the home keeper.
Luxembourg replied with a 30 metre shot by Bensi which ended wide.
After eight minutes Michael Mifsud set up a pass to Cohen, who’s first time low shot ended inches out.
Malta went one up after ten full rounds of the clock when Bogdanovic’s perfect invitation to Mifsud saw Malta’s top striker hit the opponent’s back of the net for 1-0.
Ghedin in his debut with the Malta team since his return as Malta coach was not only delighted to see Malta go one goal ahead but also witnessed more positive minutes as Malta kept on attacking. Schembri missed kicked what seemed to be a shot on target banker, but missed the goalposts.
Daniel Bogdanovic had a fine run on the right flank and his cross towards Mifsud was anticipated by Luxembourg defender in corner. The ex Notts County player tried his luck from outside the penalty area but his shot ended above the crossbar.
Leweck went close to level matter when his header anticipated our central defenders deep inside the penalty area. Malta was at this time playing with ten men when Sciberras was nursing a hand injury at pitch side.
Luxembourg’s captain Mutsch was again yellow carded for holding Cohen from his shirt. He was automatically red carded and left the hosts to play with ten men for the last minute of the second half and for the second part of the game.
In the beginning of the second half Joachim has a chance at goal but his attempt was far from causing any trouble to Valletta’s Hogg.
Despite playing with a man less, Luxembourg kept pushing for the equalizer and Joachim took another shot at goal this time hitting the side of the net.
Alex Muscat had to leave the pitch injured and was replaced by Steve Borg. In a strange tactical move Ghedin forced Failla on the right back defending position. Da Mota eventually had a walk over on this flank in which Failla was certainly not at ease. The left back position was awarded to Steve Borg in yet another awkward position for him as well.
When Andrei Agius was replaced by Zerafa, the latter went to play as left back to relieve the Borg who was then moved to his favourite position as centre defender to flak his co-mate at Valletta Caruana.
On the 73rd minute an indirect free kick fired by Mifsud saw Luxembourg’s keeper save the shot bravely.
Ten minutes from time Malta’s up front due did it again ! This time with the participation of Schembri. It was the latter who passed on to Bogdanovic who gave a splendid through pass to Mifsud who extended his foot to push the ball into the net for 2-0.
Hogg later on saved a low shot by Bettmer. Malta kept on playing flowing football with our midfielders finding it easy to control the game. Roderick Briffa tried personal glory from outside the area but to no avail.
Now Malta plays another away friendly game against San Marino before making the debut in the World Cup qualifier in August against Armenia on home soil.
Saturday’s game was played in front of 800 fans 150 of which were Maltese who work in EU institutions in Luxembourg that flocked to the Stadium to give their support to Malta. Amongst the Malta fans there was Dr. Louis Galea Malta’s Member of the European  Court of Auditors.
Malta: Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Gareth Sciberras (Paul Fenech 45min), Andrei Agius, Alex Muscat (Steve Borg 56min), Daniel Bogdanovic, Roderick Briffa, Michael Mifsud, Andrew Cohen, Clyton Failla, Andre Schembri (E.Agius 76min)
Referee: Mr. Hameter Markus   (FIFA &Austria FA) Assistant Referee 1: Mr. Trunner Christian  (FIFA & Austria FA) Assistant Referee 2: Mr. Katona Markus (FIFA & Austria FA) 4th Official: Mr. Romain Sales  ( Luxembourg FA)

1 Comment

  1. Alex Caruana says:

    a very well done to malta and the boys alex


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