MALTA       0


Raschica 16, 86

Kolloli 73

Avdijaj 78, 80

Malta suffered a heavy defeat to Kosovo in the UEFA Nations League after an erratic defensive performance that condemned the team to their third loss in the competition.

It was a poor performance from Ray Farrugia's men who were made to pay for two costly defensive blunders that paved the way for Kosovo to post a crushing victory that pushed them closer to promotion.

Kosovo started brightly and after two minutes Milot Rashica dispossessed Joseph Zerafa and quickly crossed the ball towards Vedat Muriqi who headed wide.

Three minutes later, Herolind Shala hit a thumping drive from the edge of the area that hit the sidenetting.

Kosovo were regaled with the opener after 16 minutes when Joseph Mbong inexplicably sent a poor pass towards Ryan Camilleri who was anticipated by Rashica and in came Muriqi who stabbed the ball past Hogg.

The Maltese looked shell-shocked as they struggled to contain the pacey Kosovo forwards and when managing to get hold of the ball they failed to produce any semblance of fluidity in their game.

Kosovo should have doubled their lead on 36 minutes when Arbell Zeneli played in Rashica who turned past Ryan Camilleri and picked Valon Berisha inside the area but luckily the Lazio midfielder blasted the ball over.

Five minutes from the break, Hogg showed great reflexes to keep out Berisha’s low shot.

Two minutes into the second half, Schembri almost dispossessed goalkeeper Samir Ujkani but the Kosovo no.1 kept his composure to clear the danger.

On 50 minutes, Gambin picked Briffa on the edge of the area and he turned past his marker and his thumping drive was deflected over.

Malta’s hopes of salvaging something from the match were extinguished 20 minutes from time when Kosovo doubled their lead following another defensive howler.

Ryan Camilleri and Zach Muscat tumbled into each other in an attempt to cut Raschica’s throughall and Kolloli kept his cool to lob the ball over Hogg to the despair of coach Farrugia.

Kosovo wrapped up the win 12 minutes from time when in a swift break, the excellent Muriqi picked the unmarked substitute Donis Avdijaj who stabbed the ball home with virtually his first touch of the match.

Avdijaj was not finished yet and a minute later, in another swift raid, the Willem II striker was again left unmarked to fire home from Rashica’s delivery.

Rashica capped a fine performance with a stunning strike three minutes from time to wrap up a convincing victory for Kosovo.

Andre Schembri (left) tries to move past Kosovo's Herolind Shala. Photo: Matthew MirabelliAndre Schembri (left) tries to move past Kosovo's Herolind Shala. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli


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