Super Haber and co. register prestigious draw

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 20:13

by Sandro Micallef

The Malta National football team played its first international game of 2011 this evening with John Buttigieg’s squad hosting Switzerland. The Swiss led by Ottmar Hitzfeld featured in the 2010 World Cup edition in South Africa and had a positive run last summer.

Both teams were looking to rehearse tactical football ahead of their EURO 2012 respective qualifiers scheduled for 26th March. Malta plays against Greece at home whilst the Swiss play away in Sofia against Bulgaria.

It was a night to remember for Justin Haber as the Ferencvaros keeper saved two penalties during the game. The Maltese players featured in a well disciplined tactical game which was well prepared by Buttigieg.

The initial 4-4-1-1 line up turned also into a 4-3-3 in the beginning of the second half (with Cohen assisting more Schembri and Mifsud upfront) seemed to be functioning well as the Swiss were finding it very difficult to contain the fast counter attacks.

Andrei Agius and Jonathan Caruana led the defence with Mamo and Briffa contributing in all aspects. Our midfield was also sharp each and every time they had to run after the Swiss and were almost perfect when coming to distribute up front.

Mifsud and Schembri had several chances to score and this augurs well for the EURO 2012 qualifier in March.

Before the game Andre’ Schembri was presented with the Sportiv tas-Sena Trophy he won in the latest edition of the SportMalta Awards l-Ghazliet Sportivi Nazjonali by Charles Camenzuli President of the Sports Journalists Association.

First Half:

1min. Switzerland awarded a penalty after a Caruana hands ball in the penalty area.

2min. Justin Haber saved Alexander Frei’s kick from the 11 metre mark.

10min. Diego Benaglio the Swiss keeper saves an Andre Schembri low shot after he received a return pass from Qormi’s Mifsud.

17min. Cohen intercepts a Swiss possession and with a long ball delivers the ball towards Mifsud who is floored down by central defender Von Bergen just outside the area.

18min. From the same free kick, Bajada’s direct kick was saved into corner by Benaglio.

24min. Von Bergen is booked after he floors Mifsud a second time to halt another counter attack by the Maltese.

25min. From this free kick Cohen sees his attempt deflected by the human wall and then saved into a corner by the Swiss keeper.

30min. Following a short corner, Malta was close to open the score when Cohen dribbled inside the penalty area and was only unlucky that his shot was inches away from the goalpost.

Second Half:

48min. Frei is careless with his conclusion as he misses the target after a cross from Sampdoria’s Ziegler.

55min. Cyprus FA and FIFA Referee Marios Stamattis orders the second penalty in favour of the Swiss in this match after Paul Fenech floors an opponent in the box.

56min. Justin Haber saves yet another penalty in this game as this time he denies Udinese’s player Gokhan Ilner with a superb save.

69min. A Shaun Bajada cross towards Cohen sees the Hibs’ player heading just above the crossbar.

74min. Shaqiri who came in on the 61st minute mark as a substitute missed the target as he tried to beat Haber on the second post.

75min. Marco Steller’s header is just wide after a Lichsteiner cross from the right.

77min. Haber saves on Eren Derdiyok of Bayern Leverkusen

Malta: J.Haber, J.Caruana, C.Mamo (C.Failla 64min), G.Sciberras, A. Agius (J.Zerafa 79min), P.Fenech (J.Pace 58min), R.Briffa, M.Mifsud, A.Cohen (K.Sammut 90min), S.Bajada, A.Schembri (I.Woods 84min).

Switzerland: D.Benaglio, S.Lichsteiner, R.Ziegler, S.Von Bergen, P.Schwegler (B. Dzemaili 41min), G.Ilner (G.Fernandes 74min), A.Frei (D.Degen 79min), H.Yakin (MStreller 45min), S.Grichting (F. Affolter 32min), V.Stocker (X Shaqiri 62min), E.Derdiyok.

Referee: Marios Stamatis (Cyprus Federation)

Assistant Referees: Doros Touros and Stelios Nikita (Cyprus Federation)

Yellow Cards: S.Von Bergen, S.Grichting, S.Lichsteiner (S), M.Mifsud, A. Schembri (M) player of the Match: Justin Haber

Photo Domenic Aquilina

Photo Domenic Aquilina


  1. supporter Malti says:

    issa oqoddu iktbu li hemm bzonn Gilbert Aguis u afarjiet kontra il coach xorta rizultat gibnieh.


  2. CLINTON says:

    PROSET li team nazzjonali li laghab loghba tajba hafna l unika haga li dejqitni hi li laghab lil jamie pace meta seta ada minajru ax kellu injury u gejja loghba tahraq fil kampjonat il bqija all in all very well done to the pleyers


  3. 19 il-leugue says:

    Proset forza malta.


  4. Pompa says:


    Kieku tlifna kien ikun mifquh bil “kowcis” hawn jghidu u jajru l dak u l iehor, imma stahbew naqra, sparixxew!!!!


  5. Kuragg says:

    Rajt il-loghba fuq it-tv u nahseb li bdejna naghmlu progess. Jekk ma tikbirx ras il-players u l-coaches dan it-team jista jasal il-quddiem u forsi tizdied l-attendenza fil-ground.


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