Malta missed out on a historic promotion to the UEFA Nations League Group C when they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Estonia in Tallinn in their final match of the campaign.
It was a disappointing outcome to a match that saw the Estonians seal promotion with a deserved victory over an inconsistent Maltese side that showed different facets throughout the game.
In fact, the Maltese side looked off the pace for much of the first half as they struggled to contain the home side despite the visitors committing a series of technical errors, most notably poor distribution of the ball in key areas of the pitch as well as lax marking and lack of fight.
The dismissal of Jean Borg at the end of the first half for a dangerous tackle on Zenjov that procured the penalty that handed the lead to the home side might have suggested that the Maltese were set for a freefall.
But after the break, the introduction of Steve Borg and some tactical twists effected by Mangia had the desired effect as the team improved considerably and they were quickly rewarded by Teuma’s leveller from another penalty.