By the end of the first half, the reds were down by three goals… the same margin as last week’s match against Sweden
In a clash played on home turf, Malta succumbed to a big loss last night as the Eastern European side of Romania defeated the reds in what quickly became a one-sided match.
The Romanian side managed to slide four goals without even conceding one in a comfortable and easy victory at the National Stadium.
Coach Ray Farrugia changed the starting 11 and tried a different formation for this match as Malta came on the field hoping to obtain a better result than the previous loss of 3-0 to Sweden.
The Maltese defence was annihilated by Palermo striker Pușcaș, who managed to give an early breakthrough in the 7th minute. The task looked like an uphill task for the hosts as he again managed to slide the ball past Bonello at the 29th minute.
Maltese shoulders were already down, but Alexandru Chipciu’s curvy kick to the top corner of the net made it worse as the Romanians were three goals ahead by the 34th minute.
As per their standard, the Maltese players managed to gain some respect and showed promising signs in the second half, when Effiong went on a promising attack on the 56th minute but ended up marginally wide.
Even after Romania was reduced to the 10-man squad when Chipciu was sent off after being shown his second yellow card following a foul on Corbalan, Malta’s hope was in vain.
Despite their already comfortable position, Romanian substitute Dennis Man acted as a last nail in the coffin for the Maltese. Man slithered the ball past Bonello in additional time and sealed the deal, bringing it up to a big 4-0 defeat.
Malta is now back down to fifth place in Group F, with the team’s three points only making it above the Faroe Islands’ zero. Malta now faces Norway on the 5th of September… before coming up against Romania again (this time away).