It was a match of hope, belief and heart-shattering moments as Malta’s national team had their win dashed from them in the final moments of the UEFA Nations League matchup against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn last night.
The Maltese side got off to a slow start with a lackluster defense allowing plenty of opportunities for the Faroes to find the net and so they did in the 23rd minute courtesy of Meinhard Olsen.
Malta’s Jurgen Degabriele managed to equalise with a fine, low strike that found its way into the bottom left corner in the 37th minute, giving a much-needed confidence boost to a Maltese side that looked lost in the first half.
The two equally matched sides continued to battle back and forth throughout the second half with Malta putting on a more aggressive attack resulting in a perfectly-executed set-piece that saw the ball land right at the feet of Andrei Agius who captalised on the situation to give Malta a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute.
Hopes were high, and Malta seemed to be teetering on a new dawn of football when the Faroes side pulled back with two last-minute goals in the 87th and 90th minute courtesy of substitutes Andreas Olsen and Solvi Hendriksson.
The last-minute comeback left the Maltese players shocked and frustrated, especially after displaying some signs of brilliance in their playing – a reflection of new head coach Devis Mangia’s regime, no doubt.
Malta’s undoing was its subpar defense which seemed disorientated throughout the night and which would have resulted in a humiliating defeat had it not been for the stellar work of goalkeeper Henry Bonello who made some crucial and brilliant saves throughout the night.
Last night also the debut of some new players to the senior squad, including Ryan Camenzuli, late substitute Paul Mbong and Teddy Teuma who saw limited match time.
The Malta national team will have to put last night’s woes behind them as they face a short week where they play Latvia this Sunday at Ta’ Qali national stadium in their second matchup in the UEFA Nations League tournament.