Malta lifted their performance by several notches in the second half of tonight's friendly international at home to earn a morale-boosting draw against Macedonia ahead of the more challenging qualifiers for the 2012 Euro Championship next month.

The visitors were more in the picture in the opening half, taking the lead on 31 minutes when Ivan Trickovski hit the loose ball home after a Goran Pandev chip had struck the Maltese woodwork.

Michael Mifsud, the team captain, sounded Malta's comeback after the break scoring a 47th-minute equaliser after hitting home from a Shaun Bajada cross.

The locals held possession and looked more dangerous going forward.

Mifsud was unlucky on 71 minutes to see his effort hitting the post from a Ryan Fenech delivery as Macedonia held on for the draw.

This was Malta's first official showing of the 2010-11 season. In the first week of September, the national team plays against Israel (away) and Latvia (home).

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