Football: Malta eye first point in Slovakia qualifier on March 26

Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:10

Gavin Muscat

Malta will be aiming to open their account in the FIFA 2018 World Cup campaign when they face Slovakia in a European qualifying match on March 26 at the National Stadium (kick-off 8.45pm).

As was to be expected, the national team have found the going tough in this qualifying competition, losing their first four games in Group F.

After opening their campaign with a 5-1 home defeat to Scotland, Malta suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats to England, at Wembley Stadium, and Lithuania, in Vilnius.

The Maltese team, under the guidance of Italian coach Pietro Ghedin, produced arguably their best performance so far in this World Cup trek in their last qualifier back in November but our players’ bold efforts again fell short as Slovenia prevailed 1-0 to keep within touching distance of group leaders England.

No doubt, Ghedin will be hoping that his players hit peak form for what promises to be another gruelling test against Slovakia.

Ghedin said: “The objective is to try and gain our first point in this competition. Slovakia are not the ideal team to face in these circumstances because they are very strong but, as always, the aim is to give our best by putting our faith in the seriousness and professionalism of our players.”

The Malta coach has called on the local fans to give our national team a boost in the Slovakia qualifier.

“This is a home game and we need our fans to come to the National Stadium and support us,” Ghedin said.

“The sense of togetherness is very important.

“Make no mistake, this will be another tough game for us but we will try to do our utmost to come out of this undesirable situation by winning our first point.”

Defenders Andrei Agius and Jonathan Caruana are out of the frame for the Slovakia qualifier due to suspension.

Agius, the experienced Hibernians defender who has 65 Malta caps to his name, was handed a one-match ban after collecting his second yellow card in the Slovenia defeat.

Valletta captain Caruana, who has played 40 times for the national team, must see out the second of a two-match ban following his red card in the 2-0 away defeat to Lithuania last October.

For their part, Slovakia will surely be going all out to pick up the three points and stay in  contention for a top-two spot in Group F.

Led by coach Jan Kozak, Slovakia cruised to a 4-0 home win over Lithuania in their last qualifier to take their tally to six points from four games.

With three wins and one draw, England lead Group F on 10 points followed by Slovenia on eight. Lithuania are behind third-placed Slovakia on five points, Scotland have four while Malta are still without a point.

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TICKET INFORMATION

Ticket prices for this match are listed below.

The North and South Stands will not be opened for this match.

ADULTS  -  MATCH TICKET SALES  
 

West A & C Stands

Millennium Stand – D and F

South Stand

 
 

€ 25

€ 15

n/a

 
 
CHILDREN (Under 12)  -  MATCH TICKET SALES  
 

West  Stand

Millennium D Stand

South Stand

 

n/a

Children Under 12 years will be admitted FREE OF CHARGE when accompanied by an adult in possession of a South Stand or a Millennium Stand GOAL CARD, or a valid ticket for the Millennium D Stand

n/a

 
         

Important Notes           

  • The pre-sale of tickets for the MALTA vs SLOVAKIA 2018 FIFA World Cup European Qualification Match will be available from our usual Retail Outlets as from Friday 3rd March 2017, and will remain open until Match Day.
  • Local fans can purchase tickets for West C Stand, and Millennium D & F Stands.
  • Visiting fans can purchase tickets for West A Stand, online, by visiting www.mfa.com.mt
  • GOAL CARD holders – ALL Goal Card holders will be granted access into the stadium upon presentation of their personal Goal Card. – Holders of a West C Stand Goal Card will be allowed access to their reserved seat at West C – Holders of both a Millennium D Stand Goal Card and/or a South Stand Goal Card will be allowed access to Millennium D Stand. The South Stand will not be opened for this match.
  • CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS OF AGE  -  Children Under 12 years of age will receive free entrance to the Millennium D Stand when accompanied by an adult who is in possession of a South Stand or Millennium Stand GOAL CARD, or a valid ticket for the Millennium D Stand. Nevertheless, every child would still require to be in possession of a valid complimentary ticket which can be obtained from any of our Points of Sale.
  • All sectors in the West Stand will be on allocated seating.
  • Seating in all other areas of the stadium will be on a free seating basis.
  • There will also be a limited number of spaces at Millennium Stand D and F for persons who make use of a wheelchair. Such persons will be admitted into the stadium Free of Charge (upon prior request and on a first come first served basis). These persons will however need to be accompanied by another assisting person who needs to be in possession of a match ticket bought at the standard rates. Such requests should be sent to worldcup2018@mfa.com.mt

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