Malta 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland
REPORT | Malta 0-1 Republic of Ireland
Callum Robinson’s goal was the decisive element of the game as he capitalised on a defensive error as Stephen Kenny’s side ended 2022 with a victory. There was another senior international debut for Mark Sykes who came on late in the second half for Ireland.
Stephen Kenny made five changes to the side that lost to Norway with Ogbene leading the line as well as McGrath, McClean and Kelleher coming in with Seamus Coleman captaining the side.
Callum Robinson was to have the first sight on goal when a cross from Matt Doherty found the Irish forward but his effort was deflected for a corner. Ireland continued to press with a free kick from Jamie McGrath nearly finding Josh Cullen at the back post.
Still, Bonello, the Maltese goalkeeper intercepted the set piece at the final moment. Jones had a chance to test Caoimhin Kelleher, but his effort was well saved. Jamie McGrath went close for Ireland just on the half-hour mark as he evaded the challenge of Guillaumier but his effort went wide of Bonello’s far post.
Alan Browne had the best chance of the first half as Matt Doherty’s short pass in the Maltese area found the Irish midfielders run but his effort went wide.
Ireland opened the scoring ten minutes into the second half when Guillaumier played a short back pass to his goalkeeper and Callum Robinson intercepted the pass and rounded Bonello to slot the ball home to score his eighth senior international goal.
Mbong had a half chance to level the tie as he received a second ball from a corner but his effort from the edge of the Irish area went well over Kelleher’s bar. With a free kick taken by Jamie McGrath, Alan Browne met it with a header, but Bonello saved it.
Pisani had the best chance for Malta to equalise but his effort forced a well-placed held by Kelleher at his near post. Callum O’Dowda almost added a second for Ireland when a ball over the top found the run of the Irish winger, his first-time effort struck the butt of the post that denied him his first senior Irish goal.
Evan Ferguson had an effort blocked down later on as he controlled an excellent cross from Sykes but it was blocked en route to the goal. With the 2022 international season now concluded, Ireland will focus on preparing for their first Euro 2024 qualifier against France next March.
Malta: Bonello (GK), J. Borg, Camenzuli, Apap (Shaw 73), Guillaumier ©, J. Mbong, Pepe, Satariano (Montebello 73), Teuma (Nwoko 88), Kristensen (D. Vella 20 mins) (S. Pisani 52), Jones (Gambin 67).
Subs: Al-Tumi (GK), Galea (GK), P. Mbong, Paiber, Corbolan, Degabriele, Dimech, Micallef, Overand.
Republic of Ireland: Kelleher (GK), Coleman ©, Doherty, Egan, Cullen, Robinson (Sykes 85), Browne (Hendrick 66), McClean (O’Dowda 66), Collins, McGrath, Ogbene (Ferguson 76).
Subs: Bazunu, Travers, O’Shea, Obafemi, Brady, Smallbone, Molumby, Scales, Lenihan.
Referee: Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP)
Booked: Pepe (Malta), N. Collins (Republic of Ireland)
Sent off: None
Player of the Match: Jamie McGrath
CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS | Malta 0-2 Ireland
Ahead of tonight's trip to Ta'Quli's National Stadium, why not look back on one of the most famous matches in our history as Ireland sealed their spot at their first-ever World Cup.
John Aldridge's brace sealed a 2-0 victory which meant Ireland qualified for the 1990 World Cup in front of a huge travelling support at the National Stadium.
With tonight's international friendly kicking off later today, why not take a look back at our latest addition of classic highlights on FAI TV.
Match Preview | Malta v Republic of Ireland
Ireland will look to end the year on a high against the Maltese, with kick-off at 7pm (8pm local time), ahead of the start of the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers in March against France.
Stephen Kenny is set to make a few changes to the side which suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Aviva Stadium against Norway on Thursday evening.
Fixture: Malta v Republic of Ireland
Competition: International Friendly
Date: Sunday, November 20
Kick-off: 7pm (8pm local time)
Stadium: National Stadium, Ta' Qali
TV: RTE & Sky Sports
Referee: Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Ioannis Lazarou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Marios Dimitriadis (CYP)
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Please note that VAR will not be operation for this match.
Press Conference - Stephen Kenny & Seamus Coleman
What he said - Manager Stephen Kenny
“To be honest we’ve been scoring a fair amount of goals. Where we need to improve on in our last couple of performances is keeping clean sheets.
“We played a really good side against Norway and dominated for the first 25 minutes of the second half. Then, we undid our good work by conceding from a set play, which was kind of an innocuous goal which we shouldn’t have conceded. That’s an area we have to improve on, from recent performances.
"It’s fair to say we’ve introduced a lot of players over the last two years, and that’s not to say that we won’t do that again, introduce players if they deserve it. “We’ve had radical enough change and we need a level of continuity to some degree."
What he said - Captain Seamus Coleman
“As players we are all competitive. You’ve got that fire in your belly, you always want to play.
“But you’ve got to understand from every angle as well. There have been times when I’ve come in not in the best of form and times when I have come in in form.
“It’s just about when you get the opportunity to give as good as you can, because ultimately you never know when it’s your last opportunity.
“So you have just got to give it everything you’ve got all the time. Ultimately for me it’s always important how the team gets on."
Head-to-head - Republic of Ireland v Malta
Games Played: 7
Games Won: 7
Games Drawn: 0
Games Lost: 0
30/03/1983 - Malta 0-1 Republic of Ireland, UEFA European Championship
16/11/1983 - Republic of Ireland 8-0 Malta, UEFA European Championship
28/05/1989 - Republic of Ireland 2-0 Malta, FIFA World Cup
15/11/1989 - Malta 0-2 Republic of Ireland, FIFA World Cup
02/06/1990 - Malta 0-3 Republic of Ireland, International Friendly
14/10/1998 - Republic of Ireland 5-0 Malta, UEFA European Championship
08/09/1999 - Malta 2-3 Republic of Ireland, UEFA European Championship
Famous Game - Malta 0-3 Republic of Ireland, 1990
Jack Charlton prepared his 1990 World Cup squad with a trip to Malta for an international friendly as preparation for the tournament in Italy.
It was a good night for Ireland and a good run-out for the team as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in Ta'Quli.
Niall Quinn scored the opener just before the break as Andy Townsend added a second in the 77th minute before Frank Stapleton closed out the victory with the third goal three minutes from time.
OPTA FACTS - Malta v Republic of Ireland
- This will be the first meeting between Malta and Republic of Ireland since a EURO 2000 qualifier in September 1999; the Boys in Green won 3-2.
- Republic of Ireland have won all seven of their previous internationals against Malta by an aggregate 24-2 score.
- Malta are unbeaten in their last two matches (W1 D1); they last went three without defeat in November 2020 (run of seven).
- Republic of Ireland have won just one of their last 14 away friendlies (D8 L5), a 4-1 win at Andorra in June 2021.
- Republic of Ireland have lost four of their last seven internationals (W2 D1), including defeat to Norway last time out. The Boys in Green had only lost three of their previous 15 matches before this (W5 D7 L3).
- Malta have only lost one of their five friendlies in 2022 (W3 D1), a 0-1 defeat to Venezuela in June.
- Teddy Teuma has scored more goals for Malta in 2022 than any other player (three), including netting a penalty in two of his last three internationals.
- Alan Browne has scored three goals for Republic of Ireland in 2022, more than any other player; he had only scored twice in 17 international appearances before this year.
Republic of Ireland Squad - Malta
Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Darragh Lenihan (Middlesbrough), Liam Scales (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Preston North End), Mark Sykes (Bristol City).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jeff Hendrick (Reading, on loan from Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United, on loan from Wigan Athletic).
Forwards: Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Callum Robinson (Cardiff City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City).
- 12 Rashed Al-Tumi (G)
- 16 Jake Galea (G)
- 5 Kurt Shaw
- 8 Paul Mbong
- 9 Luke Montebello
- 10 Stephen Pisani
- 11 Brandon Paiber
- 15 Juan Corbolan
- 18 Jurgen Degabriele
- 20 Luke Gambin
- 21 Shaun Dimech
- 22 Dunstan Vella
- 24 Karl Micallef
- 25 Adam Overand
- 26 Kyrian Nwoko
Republic of Ireland
- 1 Gavin Bazunu (G)
- 23 Mark Travers (G)
- 4 Dara O'Shea
- 10 Robbie Brady
- 13 Jeff Hendrick
- 14 William Smallbone
- 15 Jayson Molumby
- 17 Callum O'Dowda
- 19 Mark Sykes
- 21 Liam Scales
- 22 Darragh Lenihan
- 24 Evan Ferguson
- Referee Chrysovalantis Theouli
- Assistant Referees Ioannis Lazarou
- Assistant Referee Two Marios Dimitriadis
- Fourth Official Trustin Farrugia Cann
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
2Shots on Goal3
Minute by Minute Commentary