Last night saw Malta kick off their World Cup Qualifying campaign on home soil against Scotland.
Ryan Scicluna who was involved in the action at The Ta’ Qali stadium spoke to ElWriteBack after the game.
After just nine minutes of play Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring for Scotland through an ambitious effort which beat Malta’s Andrew Hogg at the far post.
Scotland’s early lead was cancelled out by Nigerian born striker Alfred Effiong. The Balzan star headed home for Malta in the 13th minute, making the score 1-1.
With the score at halftime remaining at 1-1 it was all to play for as both teams aimed to get three points on the board for Europe’s Group F.
Chris Martin scored Scotland’s second in the 53rd minute with a side-footed effort which was followed by a Snodgrass penalty in the 61st.
Jonathan Caruana was controversially sent off in the lead up to the penalty which caused anger amongst his Maltese team mates.
Scotland added a fourth through Steven Fletcher in the 78th minute which was followed by Snodgrass’ tap in, allowing the player to complete his hat-trick in the 84th minute.
Barnet’s Luke Gambin was sent off in the 90th minute for kicking out at an opponent.
Malta’s Ryan Scicluna spoke to ElWriteBack after the game saying, “I believe that in the first half we played well and tactically we were very disciplined with few mistakes. In the second half, for me personally, some decisions changed the outcome of the game.”
When questioned about the referee, Scicluna said. “It’s frustrating because it did have an effect on the game. The worse thing is that it does not just punish us for the Scotland game but also for our next encounter.
“For me I believe we have to approach the next match in the same manner we did in the first half against Scotland, obviously we are always trying to improve.”
Scicluna went on to say, “A manager can never be happy with a 5-1 defeat. He was pleased with our efforts and wanted us to put this result behind us and focus on our next match.”