Late penalty denies Malta the second draw in Austria

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 9:13
MALTA         0

GEORGIA     1

(HT 0-0)

A late penalty denied Malta what would have been another positive result as Georgia prevailed 1-0 in a friendly match played on Friday at the Silberstadt Arena in Schwaz. Captain Guram Kashia, of top Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, leading the defence in his 64th international cap, made no mistake from the spot to give his side a boost for their next friendly early next week in Luxembourg.

Malta coach Ray Farrugia made four changes from the 1-1 draw agaunst Armenia.

After being included as a substitute against Armenia on Tuesday night, Hibernians winger Joseph Mbong, aged 20, made his starting debut on the right flank while 19-year-old Rangers midfielder Myles Beerman did the same on the left flank, his fifth international cap but his first ever start for the seniors.

Goalkeeper Henry Bonello started ahead of Andrew Hogg while Ryan Camilleri replaced Ferdinando Apap in the heart of the defence.

The first half belonged to Georgia who created the better opportunities but were denied by the alert Bonello and the woodwork.

Halfway into the first half, Saba Lobzhanidze had the best chance to open the scoring for the Georgians but failed to find the net when face to face with Bonello.

In the 40th minute, Dinamo Tbilisi striker Dudu Zivzivadze missed another chance for his side, with Bonello effecting another good save.

Tension crept into the game early in the second half, resulting in five yellow cards in the space of 10 minutes, including the expulsion of Georgia midfielder Valerian Gvilia for a double caution.

Camilleri had a glorious chance to put Malta ahead in the 57th minute after connetcting with a dangerous fee-kick by Beerman at the far post but his effort from close-in was parried by Georgian goalkeeper Roin Kvaskhvadze.

With a man less on the pitch, Georgia struggled as the Maltese grew more adventurous.

Kyrian Nwoko, on as a substitute, broke through on goal after chasing a long ball but his low effort was repelled by the Georgia goalkeeper.

With one minute on the clock, Steve Borg was adjudged to have pulled down Giorgii Beridze and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Guram Kashia coolly slotted the ball home despite Bonello diving the right way.

On the positive side for Malta, in the 84th minute, Hibernians midfielder Dunstan Vella made his debut for the national team, replacing Roderick Briffa, who played his 96th game.

MALTA

Henry Bonello, Joseph Zerafa, Ryan Camilleri, Andrei Agius, Steve Borg, Roderick Briffa,(Dunstan Vella 84), Paul Fenech, (Jake Grech 65), Myles Beerman, (Luke Gambin 58), Joseph Mbong, Michael Mifsud, (Kyrian Nwoko 70) Alfred Effiong, (Jurgen Degabriele 81).

Referee: Manuel Schuttengruber (Austria)





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