Sloppy start paves way for Israel’s jovial win

Thursday, September 2, 2010, 18:48

by Sandro Micallef in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gam Stadium

Full  Time score: Israel 3 v Malta 1 (Y.Benayoun 7th min 65th min 75th min, J.Pace 38th min, )

Video: Entry of players on pitch –

A sloppy start by the Malta team paved the way for a 3-1 win for Israel as they registered their first three points in Group F of the EURO 2012 qualifiers.

John Buttigieg opted to start the match with a 4-4-1-1 game plan fielding Herrera and Mamo on the defensive flanks with Agius and Caruana as central defenders. Pace and Sciberras helped the back four throughout the game with Bajada and Briffa being more offensive when the opponents permitted. Bogdanovic and Mifsud tried to put as many pressure as possible when balls reached them but this happened on very few occasions due to the fact that Buttigieg’s men were constantly under attack.

Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun was the hero for the National team of the Republic of this Middle East squad as he registered a personal hat trick. Malta had a very slow start with some players evidently still psychologically cold and constantly running after Blue shirts.

The players thus entered to the dressing room for the half time talk in high spirit as Jamie Pace managed to level the score with a header after Malta went a goal down after only seven minutes.

Even though Herrera and Mamo struggled to keep up the pace with Maccabi Haifa’s Refaleov and Eran Zehafi, coach Buttigieg kept faith in his original choices as left and right back respectively affecting no changes at all. His decision proved right as both players settled down and their confidence grew.

Louis Fernandez who was making his home debut as National coach of Israel was a happier man in the second half as his team continued to impose the game and instigate pressure on Hogg and Co. Benayoun’s two goals in the second half assured the first three points for Israel in this Group. He can now eat more lollypops at ease after having eaten three in 90 minutes.

Although this cannot be considered as one of the best matches played by the Malta team under the helm of Buttigieg one must mention a series of positive aspects apart from the individual pluses of Hogg, Pace and Bajada. The team had a good reaction and was not demoralized after going a goal down in the early stage of the game. Another positive thing was that physically the majority of the players seemed to have coped with the opponents even though our domestic league is yet to begin. In a nutshell this 3-1 defeat sees our National team return to Malta with heads up eager to make up for this defeat in the next Group qualifier match against Latvia which is scheduled for Tuesday 7th September at 7.30pm at the National Stadium.

The players and the contingent return to Malta on Friday afternoon.

Starting Line Ups.

Malta: Andrew Hogg, Edward Herrera, Andrei Agius, Jonathan Caruana, Carlo Mamo, Jamie Pace, Garreth Sciberras, Shaun Bajada, Roderick Briffa, Michael Mifsud, Daniel Bogdanovic.

Israel: Dudu Aouate, Ben Dayan, Tamir Cohen, Dani Bondar, Tal Ben Haim, Almog Cohen, Biram Kayal, Yossi Benayoun, Lior Rafaelov, Eran Zahavi,  Ben Sahar.

Referee Ennjimi Said. Assistants Cano Frederic and Harchay Fredji. 4th Official Sebastien Moreira (France)

Attendance 17,365

Details in local time +1 hour CET

7pm Players meet at the Hotel Lobby

7:10pm Players and technical staff leave with bus for Ramat Gam Stadium

7:35pm Bus arrives at Stadium

7:45pm Players walk on to the pitch

8:00pm Players return to the dressing room to make final preparations

8:15pm Players re enter on the pitch to start warming up

8.45pm Players finish warming up and re enter dressing room to put on official vests

9.05pm Players of both sides enter on pitch and National Anthems are played

9.15pm Kick Off for Israel

Malta playing in full White kit whilst Israel have a full Blue kit

1′  Israel’s Yossi Benayoun finds the net but ruled offside

6.49′  GOAL. Israel 1-0. Yossi Benayoun

9.24′ Nurenberg’s Almong Cohen shoots wide

10.41′ Ben Sahar’s half volley just wide Hogg’s crossbar

17.50′  Herrera in difficulty as Refaelov crosses with ease from the left for Benayoun who sees his effort saved by Hogg

19.01′ Andrew Hogg saves a powerful shot by Hapoel Tel Aviv player Dedi Ben Dayan

27.30′  Free Kick by Eran Sahar for Israel, Ben Dayan’s header just wide

29.10 First approach towards opponent’s side by Malta. Bogdanovic long ball to Mifsud who shields the ball and wins a corner kick which was eventually not well taken

32′  Malta wins second and third corner respectively after pressure by Mifsud inside the Israel’s box

33.05′ Yellow Card for Bogdanovic for dissent towards Referee Ennjimi after a soft foul

37.55′  GOAL for Malta 1-1. Jamie Pace heads home after a Briffa free kick

39′ Almog Cohen hits the crossbar with an immediate Israel’s reaction

39.25′ Yellow card for Yossi Benayoun after protests

40.05′  Carlo Mamo delivers a cross which hits goalkeeper’s Aouate top of crossbar and out

43.25′  Corner y Maccabi Haifa’s Refaelov, and Hogg saves in corner a header by Ben Haim who plays for West Ham

46′ Half  Time result Israel 1 – Malta 1

9.18pm Start of second Half. No substitutions affected from either side

47′ Andrei Agius clears the ball inside the Malta box with a risky header

50′ Sub. G. Vermouth In, E.Zehavi Out

51′  Hogg intercepts Sahar and stays on the floor for some minutes

54.30′  Hogg saves a header by Celtic’s Kayal after a cross from Carlo Mamo’s defending side by Bonder

57′  Sub. A. Cohen In, D. Bogdanovic Out

58.50′ Shaun Bajada has space in midfield advances and shoots wide

60′ Yellow card Andrew Cohen for an extended foot foul

63.50′ Penalty for Israel as Andrew Cohen fouls Almong Cohen inside the Malta box

64.40′ GOAL for Israel as Yossi Benayoun of Chelsea beats Hogg from the 11 metre mark 2-1

68′  Clayton Failla, Ryan Fenech and Paul Fenech intensify their warming up adjacent to the field of play

71.05′ Roderick Briffa penetrates the opponents area from the right hand side with his cross shot well saved by keeper Aouate

75′ GOAL. Hogg makes a super save on substitute Vermouth but from the rebound Yossi Benayoun heads the ball home as he anticipates Mamo 3-1

80′ Sub. M Muscat In, E. Herrera Out

82′ Sub C.Failla In, R.Briffa Out

84′ Announcement Attendance 17,365

86.10′ Sub E. Golsa In, B.Kayal Out

90′ Yellow Card Jamie Pace

93′ Full Time Whistle. Score Israel 3 – Malta 1

Malta v Israel before National Anthems

Malta v Israel before National Anthems


  1. olly says:

    s’issa ma smajna xejn dwar jekk andre schembri hux se jsejjahlu man nazzjonal ghal-mal latvia nisperaw li jajjatlu ghal kontra l-georgia away f’ottubru


  2. frank says:

    jien alija konna hazin fid difiza kif tridu jlehhqu mamo u herry fuq wara b’dak il hin kollu gejjin u hadd ma jamel foul fnofs ground?


  3. arnold says:

    who the hell taught hererra and Mamo to defend !


  4. strips says:

    veru laghbu tajeb,izda il-hmar il makus idur ghalih id-dubien jajdu.meta ikun team zghir kollox kontra taghna,penalty li ma kienx. prosit malta


    Christian Reply:

    min laghab tajjeb? apparti l-goal prattikament ma kellnix xutt iehor lejn il-lasta. Jien nammetti li ghandna hafna limitazzjonijiet imma ejja nibdew inkunu ftit iktar oggettivi u ma nghidux li laghbna tajjeb meta bilkemm inkunu xuttjajna lejn il-lasta


    jerry Reply:

    fl- loba shiha malta kellha xi 3 xuttijiet on target u il bqija xi ftit counter attacks li spiccaw fi xejn…… forsi jista jkun li billi kiente l-1 loghba pero bl-iskuzi ma naghmlu xejn issa nisperraw li kontra il latvia li mill-loghoba tall lum jidher li away uma battew aktar minna forsi nistghu nirbhu bix inqajjmu l moral … ga uwa progress li skurjajna l-1 goal li jista jijna pero emm bzonn ta leader fil ground u dan andna bzonn mill – aktar fiss possibli ….minix nejd li jrid ikun gilbert bil fors …izda xi player bhal luke jista jejn ukoll ax bid difiza maghquda namlu aktar kurrag … u ian azzopardi fejnu dak ukoll jista jejn …. …jamie andu jinqa emm ax dejjem wera li huwa kuraaguz imma cohen il bierah ma kinx bhas soltu kin ijsu aktar nervus mis soltu ……nisperraw li l-affarijiet jitrangaw al ahjar …b norman darmanin demajo bhala president ….. naheb li wara dawn it 2 games emm bzonn li jiltaqaw in nies ikkoncernati u jibdew jidduskutu kif se jgibu players bhal andre schemmbri u luke dimexh lura lejn in nazzjonal .. u kif players maltin jistghu jinaqdu ma timmijiet rinomati madwar l-ewropa ….dejjem bil hsib li jihdu l-esperjenza an nazzjonal mhux imbad jibqu emm u ma najtulom qatt… imma lbija rizultat li mhux daqsekk gravi


    frank Reply:

    taf li schembri u kien talab biex ma jkompliex man nazzjojnal.u ma tarax li buttigieg se jgib lura lil luke biex ikisser jerga lit-team bil-karattru li gahndu …. tajjeb u lilmin jaqla lil andrei agius jew lil caruana mux it-tnejn kienu tajjeb ?

    jerry Reply:

    Iva naqbel imma fuq il bicca ta schembri bi ftehim ma l- mfa il gdida jista jkun li jerga jibda jilghab …….jien nahseb li schembri jista jqajjem il moral ma shabu ax veru sejjer tajjeb ma ferencvaros u jekk jitrasmetti il prestazjoni ma nazzjonal jista jighn mhux hazin fuq il bicca ta l- leader ma taqbilx li jrid ikun emm leader fil ground li jkellem il players waqt il loghba frsi jista jkun justin haber forsi allura ( mhux ax hogg ma kienx tajjeb anzi nahseb li kien strumentali) imma emm bzonn ta leader biex immexxi lin nazzjonal fil ground … il bqija nahseb li kien emm progress enormi alix qabel meta konna naqilaw il gowl konna nibqaw tahtu u issa skurjajna id draw din mhux ta darba kienet ax anke mal macedonja ek amilna … Proset Malta proud of you

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