Malta will face fellow Mediterranean island Cyprus this evening for a World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali in what will be the national team’s first home match with supporters since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With three games played from the first qualifying round, Malta finds itself at the bottom of Group H with a single point to its name but the country will be hoping that fans’ return to the stadium can give the national side a much-needed boost.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, national team coach Devis Mangia said that the match was particularly special for him given that it will be the first one with fans since he was appointed to lead the national team.
Since taking on the role, Malta has been praised for its positive performance, which it will now be looking to convert into points.
“It is a very important game as it is the first on our schedule this month and all the players are fully focused on the job that needs to be done,” Mangia said.
Malta, he said, was aware that Cyprus was a “very good team” having produced strong performances in their first three matches.
“It’s important for us to be fully focused and make sure we do what we need to do on the pitch,” he said.
Mangia said he expected a marked improvement in his players performance that would do justice to the work done over the past 18 months.
Will you be watching tonight’s match?