Malta got its Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to the best possible start with a 2-1 home victory over the Faroe Islands this evening.
Malta dominated the first half and were rewarded in the 13th minute when 21-year-old Kyrian Nwoko slotted home, in what was his first international goal.
It seemed the game would turn into heartbreak in the second half, when Andrei Agius was sent off for a foul in the box, but goalkeeper Henry Bonello stood firm to deny Brandur Hendriksson from the spot and get the home crowd roaring again.
Malta got a penalty of their own in the 77th minute after Joseph Mbong was mowed down in the box after an eye-watering run, and defender Steve Borg made no mistake, calmly scoring his penalty to send the crowd wild.
The referee awarded a mammoth seven minutes of injury time and late drama ensued after the Faroe Islands managed to score in the dying moments. Bonello was booked for time wasting and Gilli Sorensen and Hallur Hansson both saw yellow for arguing on the pitch, ultimately meaning that the seven minutes of injury time was prolonged to ten whole minutes.
Yet there was no time for the Faroe Islands to stage a late comeback and Malta saw the game out to secure a rare victory that has put them, at least temporarily at the top of Group F.