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FINAL MEETING vs. MALTA
Friday, 1 September 2017
World Cup 2018 UEFA Group F qualification match


Malta 0 England 4 [0-0]
 

Stadium Nazzjonali, Ta' Qali, Ħ'Attard
Kick-off (CEST): 8.45pm 7.45pm BST
Attendance: 16,994.

95 minutes 47:01 & 48:09 England kicked-off. Match Summary
Malta Squad
England Squad
   
  [0-1] Harry Kane 53 52:31
8-yard tap in from an Alli thro' ball
[0-2] Ryan Bertrand 86 85:01
30-yard strike bouncing in front of Hogg
[0-3] Danny Welbeck volley 90+1 90:12
10-yard volley from a Kane pass
[0-4] Harry Kane 90+2 91:40
6-yard placed shot from a Rashford pass
no red or yellow cards
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle
 

Match Summary

Officials from Portugal

Malta

Type

England

Referee (sky blue) - Artur Manuel Ribeiro Soares Dias
37 (14 July 1979), Vila Nova de Gaia, FIFA-listed 2010.

Assistant Referees - Rui Licķnio Barbosa Tavares, 43 (1 August 1974), and Paulo Alexandre Santos Soares, 41 (31 August 1976).
Fourth official - Joćo
Pedro Silva Pinheiro, 29 (4 January 1988), FIFA-listed 2016.

4 Goal Attempts 16
0 Attempts on Target 10
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
0 Corner Kicks Won 6
1 Offside Calls Against 1
11 Fouls Conceded 13
28% Possession 72%

Malta Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (10 August 2017) 190th
EFO ranking
n/a

ELO rating =161st to 162nd
Colours: Made by Givova - Red collared jerseys with shadow diagonal stripes and white trim/cuffs, white shorts with red hem, red socks.
Capt: Andrč Schembri
Michael Mifsud, 86th min.
Manager: Pietro Ghedin, 64 (21 November 1962 in Scorzč, Italy). Previously apptd 5 July 1993-5 November 1995, re-appointed on 8 May 2012.
44th match, W 7 - D 4 - L 33 F ? A ?.
overall - 72nd match, W 61 - D 11 - L 50 - F - 42 - A 135.
Malta Lineup
1 Hogg, Andrew J. 32
183 days
2 March 1985
in Kingston-upon-Thames, England
G Hibernians FC 55 0
4 Borg, Steve 29
109 days
15 May 1988 RB Valletta FC 28 0
3 Magri, Samuel J. 23
155 days
30 March 1994
in Portsmouth, England
RCD Ebsfleet United FC, England 6 0
5 Agius, Andrei 31
20 days
12 August 1986 CD Hibernians FC 68 1
13 Muscat, Zach 24
10 days
22 August 1993 LCD US Arezzo, Italy 23 1
19 Zerafa, Joseph, injured off 74th min (73:15). 29
93 days
31 May 1988 LB Valletta FC 16 0
18 Kristensen, Bjorn 24
149 days
5 April 1993 RM Hibernians FC 22 0
6 Fenech, Ryan, off 83rd min. 21
134 days
20 April 1986 CM Balzan FC 46 1
21 Pisani, Steve 25
25 days
7 August 1992 LM Floriana FC 9 0
10 Schembri, Andrč, off 86th min. 31
97 days
27 May 1986 RF Apollon Limassol FC, Cyprus 83 3
14 Farrugia, Jean Paul 25
164 days
21 March 1992 LF FC Chiasso, Switzerland 8 1
Malta Substitutes
scoreline: Malta 0 England 1
17 Camilleri, Ryan, on 74th min. (73:20) for Zerafa 29
102 days
22 May 1988 RB Valletta FC 34 0
8 Fenech, Paul, on 83rd min. (82.50) for R. Fenech 30
255 days
20 December 1986 M Balzan FC 40 1
9 Mifsud, Michael, on 86th min. (85:45) for Schembri 36
137 days
17 April 1981 F Valletta FC 126 40
most apps most gls
result: Malta 0 England 4

unused substitutes:

2-Alex Muscat, 7-Clayton Failla, 11-Luke Gambin, 12-Henry Bonello, 16-Clyde Borg, 22-Michael Johnson.
 
5-3-2 Hogg -
S.Borg, Magri, Agius, Z.Muscat, Zerafa (Camilleri) -
Kristensen,
R.Fenech (P.Fenech), Pisani -
Schembri
(Mifsud), Farrugia

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27 years 6 days Appearances/Goals 33.1 0.6
 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (10 August 2017) 13th
EFO ranking Group 4
ELO rating 9th
Colours: The Nike 2017 third uniform - Midnight blue v-necked jerseys with black sleeves with black collared trim/side stripe, midnight blue shorts with black side trim, navy blue socks.
Capt: Jordan Henderson
(third (6) captaincy)
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 46 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
ninth match, W 4 - D 3 - L 2 - F 17 - A 8.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 30
135 days
19 April 1987 G West Ham United FC, on loan from Manchester City FC 72 47 GA
the 42nd United player to represent England
2 Walker, Kyle A. 27
96 days
28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC 28 0
the 49th City player to represent England
3 Bertrand, Ryan D. 28
27 days
5 August 1989 LB Southampton FC 15 1
100th England player to score a WC goal
4 Henderson, Jordan B. 27
76 days
17 June 1990 DM Liverpool FC 33 1
5 Cahill, Gary J. 31
256 days
19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 56 4
6 Jones, Philip A. 25
192 days
21 February 1992 CD Manchester United FC 22 0
7 Sterling, Raheem S., off 46th min. 22
267 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
LM Manchester City FC 33 2
8 Livermore, Jake C.L. 27
291 days
14 November 1989 DM West Bromwich Albion FC 4 0
9

Kane, Harry E.

24
35 days

28 July 1993

CF

Tottenham Hotspur FC 20 10
(11)
the 176th/177th player to reach this milestone
the 56th player to reach ten goals
10 Alli, Bamidele J., off 70th min. 21
143 days
11 April 1996 AM Tottenham Hotspur FC 20 2
the 176th/177th player to reach this milestone
11 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander M.D., off 76th min. 24
17 days
15 August 1993 RM Liverpool FC 28 6
the 71st Liverpool player to represent England
England Substitutes
22 Rashford, Marcus, on 46th min. for Sterling 19
305 days
31 October 1997 RM Manchester United FC 10 2 1
8
scoreline: Malta 0 England 1
21 Vardy, Jamie R., on 70th min. (69:11) for Alli 30
233 days
11 January 1987 CF Leicester City FC 17 8 6
9
20 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., on 76th min. (75:56) for Oxlade-Chamberlain 26
279 days
26 November 1990 F Arsenal FC 35 25 15
10
result: Malta 0 England 4

unused substitutes:

12-Chris Smalling, 13-Jack Butland, 14-Aaron Cresswell, 15-Michael Keane, 16-John Stones, 17-Nathaniel Chalobah, 18-Jermain Defoe, 19-Daniel Sturridge, 23-Tom Heaton.

team notes:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's father, Mark Chamberlain, also played for England (1982-84).

records:

England have now gone 36 qualification matches unbeaten (W27 D9).
Manager Gareth Southgate was a 57th minute substitute when England played Malta in a June 2000 friendly.
 
4-5-1 Hart -
Walker, Cahill, Jones, Bertrand -
Oxlade-Chamberlain
(Welbeck), Livermore, Alli (Vardy), Henderson, Sterling (Rashford) -
Kane
notes: for most of the second half, played as 4-2-4 with Rashford and Welbeck joing upfront.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26 years 141 days Appearances/Goals 30.1 2.0

   

    Match Report by Mike Payne

England's first international of the new season was another World Cup group match, this time in Malta.  The minnows of the group put up a stubborn show, and England again struggled to break down a hard-working defence, but this time the visitors remained patient, and in the end ran out comfortable winners thanks to some late goals.

The match was similar to the last game, against Scotland, in as much as Malta sat back, kept ten men behind the ball and frustrated England, who, it has to be said, lacked ideas in breaking them down.  The first half was difficult for the fans to watch as England dominated possession but lacked any sort of flair going forward.  It could have been so different had Raheem Sterling reacted quicker to Harry Kane's pass into the box in the first minute.  The winger could not get a shot away and the goalkeeper, Andrew Hogg, was quickly down to smother the Manchester City man's effort.  A minute later and Malta attacked hard and Ryan Fenech shot over.  That was to be Malta's only serious threat to the England goal as the visitors totally took over.

The Maltese players worked their socks off to try and stay in the game, closing England down and denying them any real space.  The ball moved across from side to side but both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sterling seemed reluctant to go outside their markers.  Instead, they wanted to come inside, where it was already congested, and only the runs of Kyle Walker offered hope.

England forced several corners, but we never score from corners do we, and Jordan Henderson's weak shot from one corner sort of summed up their apathy on that particular set piece.  On 11 minutes Walker pulled the ball back for Henderson to cross to Dele Alli and the Spurs man shot over from a good position, but at least that was more promising.  Ten minutes later, believe it or not, we scored from a corner, except that we didn't.  Henderson's kick was headed home by Phil Jones but Kane was penalised for a foul, so the goal was disallowed.

Down the left-hand side, Ryan Bertrand was also seeing a lot of the ball.  However, his first movement always seemed to be to turn inside and pass back to Gary Cahill or Jones.  When he did find himself in a good position he also seemed reluctant to take the defender on the outside.  To make matters worse England's crossing from either wing seldom beat the first defender, which made life easy for Malta's defenders and infuriated the England fans.  At the other end though, Joe Hart was a virtual spectator as England dominated possession.  You could not fault the workrate of Henderson, Jake Livermore or Alli but nothing was being created because the final ball into the danger zone was so poor.  Right on half-time Oxlade-Chamberlain had a shot easily saved and one could understand the frustrations of some of the England fans as the players trooped off at the break to a chorus of boos.

As the second-half began Malta continued with their terrific workrate and on 49 minutes Andre Schembri put a good effort just wide.  England had brought on Marcus Rashford for the disappointing Sterling after the interval, in an effort to inject a bit of pace and strength to their attack, and he was soon in the action.  Finally, on 53 minutes, England at last made a breakthrough.  Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled the ball back for Livermore to chip the ball into the box.  The defenders managed to clear but only as far as Alli, lurking on the edge of the box.  He tried to work some space for a shot but then found Kane with a terrific pass that was just what the striker ordered.  Kane thrashed his shot past the keeper and England were on their way at last.  There was a collective sigh of relief from the England fans and a collective groan from the disappointed home supporters.

Four minutes later Steve Borg shot wide as Malta tried to hit back but England were now in control.  Unlike in Scotland, there was no way that England would make the same mistake in letting the opposition back into the game and on the hour mark Kane hit a fine shot which Hogg parried away with some difficulty.  With 20 minutes to go Jamie Vardy came on for Alli and on 73 minutes he so nearly converted a lovely cross from Rashford with a typical Vardy flick.  Unfortunately it went wide, but another effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain signalled England's intent to settle the match.  That shot also went wide and was Oxlade-Chamberlain's last involvement as he was then replaced by Danny Welbeck, but not until Rashford saw another good effort well saved by Hogg.

Malta had given their all but were now visibly tiring and after 85 minutes England finally wrapped up the points.  Cahill received the ball just inside the Malta half and passed the ball square to Bertrand.  The full-back had acres of space and decided to let fly from about 25 yards.  The ball dipped and went under the diving goalkeeper's hands.  Hogg might have done better but the goal sealed the points for England.  I always imagined that if I had ever been lucky enough to score a goal for England I would have been up in the clouds with joy, not Bertrand, he showed no emotion whatsoever, not sure why, maybe he had his reasons?

England did not worry about that though and they continued to press home their superiority.  A typical marauding run by Walker, aided by a delightful flick by the impressive Rashford, almost brought number three, and then Kane's fine cross should have been converted at the far post by Welbeck, but his touch wasn't decisive enough.  However, the same two players combined a minute later, and this time Welbeck beat the goalkeeper to Kane's chipped pass to guide the ball up and over Hogg into the net for his 15th England goal.  Three minutes into added time, a Malta player went down injured, but England and Rashford carried on and the Manchester United player found Kane with another excellent pass, and Tottenham's favourite son ended the match with a clinical finish for number four.

Some say 4-0 flattered England but I prefer to say that the scoreline reflected England's total dominance and the fact that three of the goals came late on was irrelevant.  Job done.

   

Source Notes

TheFA.com
BBC Sport
MFA.com
UEFA.com



Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

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