Malta’s home end of the stadium appeared less full than the away end tonight as the national team was brutally punished by Sweden.
There were several empty seats at the South End, where the Maltese fans traditionally congregate, and a large number of Swedish supporters gathered in the ‘neutral’ Millennium Stand and the Main Stand too.
If the Maltese fanbase had no hope of their team securing anything from tonights Euro 2020 qualifier, then they were spot on. Sweden took the lead in the 11th minute, with Marcus Danielson scoring from a corner and maintained the momentum throughout the rest of the game.
Some ten minutes after the break, Malta’s Joseph Mbong conceded a penalty, which the veteran Sebastian Larsson duo converted. Then in the 65th minute, Andrei Agius scored an own goal, diverting a cross by Robin Quaison past the hapless Henry Bonello.
Sweden wrapped the game up in the 70th minute, when Larsson scored his second penalty of the night following a foul by Jonathan Caruana.
It was a dismal performance by Malta and the team must now shake of the heavy loss ahead of next week’s crucial game away against the Faroe Islands.
Malta is currently fifth in its group with three points, ahead of the Faroe Islands who have no points at all but a superior goal difference. If Malta wins or draws the game, they will move a step closer towards finishing the group in a position other than rock bottom, which by the island’s standards will be pretty momentous.