Slovenia secured victory in Malta in the opening 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 8 fixture in Corradino.
Rene Mihelič proved the key to defeating a spirited home side, converting a free-kick just past the hour and then scoring a 65th-minute penalty. The closest Malta came was when substitute Julian Galea forced an injury-time save from Udinese Calcio goalkeeper Jan Koprivec after a fine solo run.
Victorious coach Tomaž Kavčič told uefa.com: "Malta played really well. It was a very difficult match today, but we showed more motivation and I am happy with the performance of our team. I am happy because the important thing is the three points."
Malta's Edwin Camilleri, whose side like Slovenia also face France, Ukraine and Belgium for a chance to play off for a finals place in Denmark, added: "My players gave 200 per cent, they gave it all and the result doesn't reflect the performance of our team. We created more chances than our opponents. I could not ask for more. The fighting spirit was there, my players gave everything they could give in this match. Technically we were up against a very difficult side – just take into consideration that their goalkeeper is third goalkeeper at Udinese."