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‘This Is The Moment To Stand Behind Team Malta,’ Football Coach Says After 7-1 Loss To Croatia

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The head coach of Malta’s national football team has called for unity and support after a serious loss last night to Croatia in front of a home crowd in Ta’ Qali stadium.

“I stand behind my players. I will not throw away two years of work. Everyone can do what they want but I will stand behind the team. Whoever wants to stay with me can do so, however I cannot force others to stay,” Devis Mangia said after Croatia defeated Malta 7-1 on Thursday evening.

“The players are giving their best and they deserve all the encouragement,’ he continued. “However we should expect moments like these as well.”

Credit: Domenic Catania

Credit: Domenic Catania

Mangia thanked his players for their hard work, giving a special shout out to those who continued to train hard despite any injuries to be available for the Croatia match.

He emphasised that players and staff should forget last night’s game and be “strong to restart and recreate for the next one”. Malta will now gear up to play against Slovakia on Sunday 14th November 2021 at 15:00hrs.

The result, the worst in Malta’s so far successful world cup qualifying campaign, sees Croatia move with two points of group leader Russia.

The Maltese minnows knew they were going to face a stern test from the 2018 World Cup finalists, but the night got off to an awful start with Perisic slotting home to an empty net after five minutes. Caleta-Car doubled to score in the 22nd minute.

Malta managed to bring the score to 2-1 through a Brozovic own-goal, but Croatia quickly took command, ending the first half leading 4-1 after Modric and Pasalic scored.

Croatia did not rest on their laurels in the second half, with Majer scoring in the 47th minute to make the score 5-1. Kramaric scored next before Majer got his double in the 65th minute.

The match then petered out towards the finish, with the Croats in comfortable control at 7-1.

It was a disappointing night for Malta, who had so far managed a decent run of results throughout the campaign. Hopefully, Devis Mangia will be able to turn it around in Sunday’s home match against Slovenia.

Photo credit: Domenic Catania

Did you expect to see last night’s result?

READ NEXT: Malta Receives 7-1 Drubbing At The Hands Of World Class Croatia 

Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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