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Pellè earns Italy victory against Malta

Published: Thursday 3 September 2015, 23.00CET
Italy 1-0 Malta
Graziano Pellè's goal on 69 minutes ended Malta's resistance and lifted Antonio Conte's side level on points with Croatia at the Group H summit.
by Paolo Menicucci
from Stadio Artemio Franchi

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Match statistics

ItalyMalta

Goals scored1
 
0
Possession (%)63
 
37
Total attempts20
 
4
on target4
 
1
off target9
 
2
blocked7
 
1
against woodwork1
 
0
Corners8
 
1
Offsides0
2
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed12
 
18
Fouls suffered18
 
12

Standings

SSI Err
Published: Thursday 3 September 2015, 23.00CET

Pellè earns Italy victory against Malta

Italy 1-0 Malta
Graziano Pellè's goal on 69 minutes ended Malta's resistance and lifted Antonio Conte's side level on points with Croatia at the Group H summit.

  • Italy beat Malta 1-0 to move level on points with Group H leaders Croatia
  • Graziano Pellè scores the only goal midway through the second half
  • Italy muster just one shot on target throughout the first half
  • Manolo Gabbiadini is denied by the bar soon after the interval
  • Next matches: Italy v Bulgaria, Malta v Azerbaijan (Sunday)

Italy had to work hard to beat Malta but Graziano Pellè's second-half goal was enough to take the Azzurri level with Croatia at the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H summit.

Despite playing with three creative midfielders and three attackers, Italy struggled to find space against an organised Malta defence. Antonio Conte's men enjoyed most of the possession in the first half but failed to threaten Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.

Meanwhile, Clayton Failla fired over from distance as Malta slowly started to grow in confidence. The visitors – coached by Italian Pietro Ghedin – went as close as it gets to taking a surprise lead soon after when Alfred Effiong dribbled past Leonardo Bonucci on the left and sent a dangerous shot just wide of Gianluigi Buffon and the far post.

Italy finally had their first attempt on target after 36 minutes, when Hogg was forced to dive to his left to palm away a deflected attempt by Andrea Bertolacci. Éder then slalomed past several Malta defenders only to rifle a low effort from the edge of the box centimetres wide.

Italy continued to attack after the break and threatened when Manolo Gabbiadini curled a wonderful strike from the edge of the area with his left foot. Hogg could only watch the ball hitting the bar to his right. The Maltese goalkeeper, however, had less luck when Pellè deflected in with his shoulder following a neat cross from the right by substitute Antonio Candreva. The same goalscorer had rescued Italy the last time these teams met Malta; this was an even more important three points.

Last updated: 05/09/15 0.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000446/match=2013978/postmatch/report/index.html#pelle+wins+italy

Lineups

Italy

Italy

Malta

Malta

1
BuffonGianluigi Buffon (GK) (C)
1
HoggAndrew Hogg (GK)
3
ChielliniGiorgio Chiellini
2
A. MuscatAlex Muscat
4
DarmianMatteo Darmian
5
AgiusAndrei Agius
8
BertolacciAndrea Bertolacci
Substitution55
6
P. FenechPaul Fenech
Yellow Card35
10
VerrattiMarco Verratti
Substitution77
7
FaillaClayton Failla
17
ÉderÉder
8
BriffaRoderick Briffa (C)
Substitution90+1
19
BonucciLeonardo Bonucci
11
R. MuscatRowen Muscat
20
PellèGraziano Pellè
Goal69
13
SchembriAndré Schembri
Substitution73
21
PirloAndrea Pirlo
15
S. BorgSteve Borg
22
GabbiadiniManolo Gabbiadini
Substitution64
19
EffiongAlfred Effiong
Yellow Card69
Substitution90+3
23
PasqualManuel Pasqual
22
Z. MuscatZach Muscat

Substitutes

12
SiriguSalvatore Sirigu (GK)
23
BonelloHenry Bonello (GK)
13
PadelliDaniele Padelli (GK)
12
HaberJustin Haber (GK)
2
De SciglioMattia De Sciglio
3
J. ZerafaJoseph Zerafa
5
FlorenziAlessandro Florenzi
4
SciberrasGareth Sciberras
Substitution90+1
6
CandrevaAntonio Candreva
Substitution64
Yellow Card88
9
MifsudMichael Mifsud
Substitution90+3
7
ZazaSimone Zaza
10
CohenAndrew Cohen
9
VázquezFranco Vázquez
14
TriganzaJean-Pierre Triganza
11
InsigneLorenzo Insigne
16
T. VellaTerence Vella
14
SorianoRoberto Soriano
Substitution77
17
R. CamilleriRyan Camilleri
15
BarzagliAndrea Barzagli
18
KristensenBjorn Kristensen
Substitution73
16
De RossiDaniele De Rossi
20
S. PisaniStephen Pisani
18
ParoloMarco Parolo
Substitution55
21
BaldacchinoClifford Baldacchino

Coach

Antonio Conte (ITA) Pietro Ghedin (MLT)

Referee

Ivan Kružliak (SVK)

Assistant referees

Tomaš Somolani (SVK), Tomaš Mokoš (SVK)

Fourth official

Ondrej Brendza (SVK)

Additional assistant referees

Vladimir Vnuk (SVK), Mário Vlk (SVK)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution