Malta’s national football team ended its international friendly campaign with a 2-1 loss at Kosovo, the team’s last performance together before the highly-anticipated World Cup Qualifiers in September.
A lackluster Maltese defence allowed Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica to score early, giving Kosovo the lead before Malta’s Steve Dimech levelled the score just before the end of the half.
However, a much more experienced and seasoned Kosovo proved too strong for the Maltese side, which continuously struggled on the defensive phase, with Rashica finding the net yet again in the closing minutes of the game.
Following tonight’s game, Malta has ended its training campaign in Austria with two disappointing losses against Northern Ireland and Kosovo.
Malta lost to Northern Ireland 3-0 last Sunday, prompting head coach Devis Mangia to speak out against the restrictions imposed by local health authorities on organised sports, causing the termination of the local league, resulting in national players entering this week’s friendlies unfit and unprepared.
Despite the end result, Mangia was pleased with the player’s performance against a Kosovo side made up of players who compete in Europe’s top leagues including Serie A and the English Premier League.
Malta’s national team will next face Cyprus at Ta’ Qali National Stadium in what will be the second half of its World Cup Qualifying duties. With little game time throughout the year, Mangia hopes that his players will be fit and ready for the upcoming challenge.
Photo Credit: Stephen Gatt
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