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Malta make their mark in Sofia

Published: Sunday 16 November 2014, 23.20CET
Bulgaria 1-1 Malta
Malta scored their first goal and picked up their first point in Group H to deliver a huge blow to Bulgaria's qualifying hopes.
by Stoyan Georgiev
from Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski

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Match statistics

BulgariaMalta

Goals scored1
 
1
Possession (%)65
 
35
Total attempts24
 
8
on target3
 
2
off target12
 
3
blocked9
 
3
against woodwork2
 
0
Corners12
 
3
Offsides2
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
11
Fouls suffered10
 
14

Standings

SSI Err
Published: Sunday 16 November 2014, 23.20CET

Malta make their mark in Sofia

Bulgaria 1-1 Malta
Malta scored their first goal and picked up their first point in Group H to deliver a huge blow to Bulgaria's qualifying hopes.

• Andrej Galabinov's early strike puts Bulgaria in front
• Clayton Failla draws Malta level from the spot early in the second half 
• Ivelin Popov blazes a 76th-minute penalty over the crossbar
Bulgaria winless in three Group H games; Malta earn first point
Next games: Bulgaria v Italy, Azerbaijan v Malta (28 March)

Bulgaria's hopes of reaching UEFA EURO 2016 were dealt a blow after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Malta in Group H at the Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski in Sofia.

The home side started brightly and gave themselves the perfect platform when Andrej Galabinov put them ahead in the sixth minute. Captain Ivelin Popov crossed from the left and Mihail Alexandrov headed the ball into the path of the AS Livorno Calcio forward, who stabbed in from close range.

Galabinov almost had another in the 26th minute but smashed a volley onto the crossbar, and after that Malta began to find a foothold in the game. After showing promise going forward towards the end of the first half, they promptly drew level early in the second. Paul Fenech was brought down in the penalty area by Popov and that gave Clayton Failla the chance to fire in Malta's first goal of the qualifying campaign – which he duly did, ending their goal drought at 319 minutes.

Bulgaria coach Luboslav Penev responded soon after by bringing on forward Ilian Micanski and attacking midfielder Marcos Marquinhos, and it was not long before the home side were making chances again. In the 61st minute, Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg saved brilliantly from Alexandrov at close range, and Popov then headed against the woodwork.

Bulgaria looked to have finally forced their way back in front in the 75th minute when Micanski was brought down in the area by Rowen Muscat, only for Popov to blaze the resulting penalty over the crossbar. Bulgaria pressed for the winner, but Malta's defence held firm to earn their first point of the campaign and extend the hosts' winless run to three games.

Last updated: 02/06/15 6.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000446/match=2013915/postmatch/report/index.html#bulgaria+held+malta

Lineups

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Malta

Malta

1
StoyanovVladislav Stoyanov (GK)
1
HoggAndrew Hogg (GK)
4
TerzievGeorgi Terziev
2
CaruanaJonathan Caruana
Yellow Card89
5
BodurovNikolay Bodurov
4
P. FenechPaul Fenech
Yellow Card90+4
7
AlexandrovMihail Alexandrov
5
AgiusAndrei Agius
9
PopovIvelin Popov (C)
Penalty76
7
FaillaClayton Failla
Goal49
Yellow Card77
Substitution81
11
ManolevStanislav Manolev
8
BriffaRoderick Briffa (C)
14
MinevVeselin Minev
Yellow Card86
9
J.P. FarrugiaJean Paul Farrugia
Yellow Card43
Substitution90+3
16
GalabinovAndrej Galabinov
Goal6
Substitution58
11
R. MuscatRowen Muscat
17
MilanovGeorgi Milanov
Substitution58
13
SchembriAndré Schembri
Substitution78
21
DyakovSvetoslav Dyakov
17
R. CamilleriRyan Camilleri
22
G. IlievGeorgi Iliev
Substitution71
22
Z. MuscatZach Muscat

Substitutes

12
MitrevBozhidar Mitrev (GK)
23
N. VellaNicky Vella (GK)
13
MihaylovNikolay Mihaylov (GK)
12
HaberJustin Haber (GK)
2
PopovStrahil Popov
3
BezzinaSteve Bezzina
Substitution81
3
TunchevAleksandar Tunchev
6
R. FenechRyan Fenech
Substitution78
6
MinevYordan Minev
10
CohenAndrew Cohen
8
GamakovMilen Gamakov
14
B. FarrugiaBrooke Farrugia
10
V. HristovVentsislav Hristov
15
BugejaOwen Bugeja
15
ChochevIvaylo Chochev
16
T. VellaTerence Vella
Substitution90+3
18
MarquinhosMarcos Marquinhos
Substitution58
18
KristensenBjorn Kristensen
19
MitsanskiIlian Mitsanski
Substitution58
19
GrioliJustin Grioli
20
TonevAlexandar Tonev
Substitution71
20
Clyde BorgClyde Borg
23
A. AleksandrovAleksandar Aleksandrov
21
ScerriMark Scerri

Coach

Luboslav Penev (BUL) Pietro Ghedin (MLT)

Referee

Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)

Assistant referees

Daniel Gustavsson (SWE), Joakim Flink (SWE)

Fourth official

Per Brogevik (SWE)

Additional assistant referees

Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Bojan Pandžić (SWE)

Legend:

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