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  • 18 November 2023

England vs Malta: Can Malta defeat England Today?

If Malta fails to outshine the home team at its den, England will remain the Euro qualification group C leader. England has qualified for finals in Germany with a three-point lead over Ukraine, who have only played another match. Malta, who is yet to score a point in this group, will be determined to make it difficult for them to win by three goals. On the twenty-ninth of November, England, led by Gareth Southgate, will play with fourth-placed North Macedonia, which would be its last group game.

Nevertheless, this game is more important for Malta because they utilize it as a precursor to their UEFA national league program. On Friday, as underdogs heading into Wembley Stadium, Malta will likely incur another loss; however, they will continue working on themselves for subsequent tournaments.

Let’s take a look at today’s match highlights:

First-half begins!!!

  • At the beginning of the Euro 2024 qualification match, there is a moment of silence in memory of Charlton, after which the referee, Luis Miguel Branco Godinho, blows the whistle.
  • England has a tricky moment in the 2nd minute when Gallagher hands over the ball carelessly in his backyard. Guillaumier is, therefore, able to make a quick run toward the goal and give an easy pass to Teuma right outside the box.
  • Teuma nearly places her left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner of the net with power, forcing Pickford to make a hurried diving effort for a save.
  • During the 6th minute, Teuma from Reims intercepted Kane’s poor pass intended for Foden. Initially, Teuma has shown an outstanding performance at Wembley within five minutes.
  • Reid slid and tackled the Ball in front of Alexander-Arnold in the 7th minute, being offside; however, he missed out on getting cautioned. Alexander-Arnold has been brought down in the middle of the pitch again for the second time in the first ten minutes for Liverpool.
  • England scored first through a goal in the 8th minute, leading to a 1-0 scoreline. A score that was taken differently and excitingly – Guehi to Foden and then to Kane on the right side of the gate. Nevertheless, Pepe accidentally kicks it away and bounces off Bonello as the goalkeeper. When the ball rises over Bonello’s head, he attempts to save it but hits it on his net and sends it in. Pepe makes his worst mistake in a way that leads to an own goal and gives England an early advantage at Wembley Stadium.
  • In the 12th minute, Pepe immediately cleared the ball just as Alexander Arnold would almost receive a pass from Trippier at the right flank. On the other hand, Maguire comes in handy to offer Pickford with a cushion against Reid.
  • Rashford does not use an opportunity at the far wing in the 15th minute, and Henderson misses an attempt to make passes to Alexander-Arnold. As a former Liverpool midfielder, Henderson is under pressure to have a good performance in Wembley and answer his critics.
  • In the 17th minute, a cross from Alexander-Arnold finds its way to Kane in the corner just outside the box. However, Alexander-Arnold moves swiftly to capture this pass but fails to score a shoot for a goal.
  • In the 18th minute of the game, Foden goes up on the left side and gets a pass from Rashford. He then sends a high cross and aims it at the front post. The ball hits into the Bonello’s six-yard box.
  • Paul Mbong from Malta gets a yellow card in the 23rd minute for late tackling Tomori near the area's periphery.
  • Trippier receives a pass from Foden in the 24th minute. Jean Borg heads out of play with a cross from Trippier before Newcastle United's Trippier began to deliver the first corner kick.
  • In the 25th minute, Trippier discusses with some Maltese players and will take a corner to be headed at the furthest post. Maguire sends it to the right-hand corner, but Teuma's leadership ensures that the defense clears it efficiently on behalf of Malta.
  • In the 26th minute, Mbong is sent off for mistiming a tackle on Yankam. After that, the referee warns Tomori with a yellow caution card. However, an ill-feeling Tomori has towards playing as a defender for Milan on the left-hand side at this particular phase of the game.
  • In the 27th minute, Teuma shoots a free-kick from the right-hand side, which is headed out by Kane at the near post and thus prevents the opposing team's goal. Teuma might probably take the decision of crossing rather than the direct shot.
  • There was a potential foul against Kane in the 28th minute of the match in the penalty area for Malta. Nonetheless, the Referee awarded a yellow card to England’s captain in place of either a free kick or a penalty for diving. As a result, this decision made England feel cheated and irritated.
  • At that time in a game, in the 30th minute, coach Southgate talked to the assistant referee because he charged Kane for diving. Although the referee could have penalized Bonello for allegedly tripping him, it looked like the defender’s leg grazed the attacker’s leg too quickly.
  • In just the 31st minute, Alexander-Arnold made a long ball to pass it on to Kane, who failed to get an opportunity to take a shot on target. Rashford gave up possession after playing a move on the left wing.
  • The performance of 171st-ranked Malta during the first half of the play in the 36th minute proved commendable and impressive. Marcolini’s leadership has created a moving football for Malta, which had the misfortune of letting Pepe score initially.
  • Subsequently, in the 39th minute, Mattheu Guillamier from Malta gets a warning yellow card.
  • In the 40th minute, Trippier runs down the right side, which enables Foden to move towards the middle and give the ball to Alexander-Arnold on the left side. Alexander-Arnold has a shootout outside the box using his right leg that flies above Bonello’s goal.
  • Kane cleverly pivots past Borg in the 41st minute before passing it to Rashford on the left flank. He overcomes this by overcoming two of Malta’s defenders and almost putting the ball into the net despite earning only a corner for England.
  • The referee stopped Ghei’s foul to interrupt the corner kick taken by Foden in the 42nd minute. It seemed like an insignificant event, but Malta felt this meant avoiding a second defense of a set piece.
  • The goalkeeper with 16 touches was busier than Kane, who managed only 13 touches until the 44th minute. This shows that the country’s offense has been poor. Although England may not likely lose this game, the Wembley crowd wants a better-paced play and lead from their team.
  • In the 45th minute, it was announced that there would be just one more minute of play on the clock in the first half. This break will allow the home supporters to leave the chilling weather and poor game for a while.
  • At this time, England was still in the lead against Malta by 1-0 for the first half.

Second-half begins!!

  • Two substitutions for England in the 46th minute start the second half. Bukayo Ayoyinka Temidayo Saka replaces Oluwafikayomi Oluwadamilola Tomori, while Conor John Gallagher is brought off the pitch and replaced with Kyle Andrew Walker.
  • The poor performance is demonstrated in England’s lackluster first half, having just two shots that did not hit any target. This marks the first time since Nov 2018 that the Three Lions failed to score a goal in the first half of a home international match. Southgate’s team must rise to the challenge and become more robust during the second half.
  • Rashford battles for a corner on the left in the 51st minute, and Foden fires toward the far post. Maguire beats Pepe in the header, but Bonello collects in the yard’s box.
  • A potential penalty in the 53rd minute occurs as Foden, through a swift movement, passes the ball to Rashford. Rashford turns past Steve Borg before falling inside the box, but the referee blows for a foul against Rashford. England’s bid for another penalty is turned down again.
  • In the 56th minute, Rashford beats Joseph Mbong but is unsuccessful as he passes a low cross to his mates on the left side. The ball was close to them for Kane, Foden, and Alexander–Arnold.
  • In the 58th minute, Alexander-Arnold starts and picks pace only to hit Rashford on the outlines of the zone. The two go down on the ground for medical treatment following an impact, freezing the match for a while.
  • However, he opted to substitute two fresh players when, in the 59th minute, Marcolini’s teammates, Rashford and Alexander-Arnold, required medical attention. Guillaumier was forced out, and in came Kristensen into that position, while Paul Mbong gave his spot to his brother Joseph, who became the team’s new right wing-back. Midfielder from England, Jones, playing League Two with Notts County, was another one of the players who joined the game.
  • Not long afterward, England followed suit with Cole Jermaine Palmer replacing Marcus Rashford in the 61st minute. At halftime, their coach, Southgate, saw a chance to go further by taking off Henderson for Rice. Although he was an uncommon starting player on his national team, Henderson made no substantial differences in the game.
  • By this time, Rashard, the victim of his collusion with Alexander-Arnold, comes off the pitch for Palmer in his first-ever international cap for the senior British national team. Palmer, a senior Chelsea forward, represented England at the Under-15 level to the Under-21, having been in the winning Euros team.
  • In the 63rd minute, the famous Palms striker walks out on Wembley field. Excitement over whether or not the Chelsea player will be able to perform well during his first senior English game.
  • In the 64th minute, Saka pursues Walker’s long pass, but Camenzuli headers it out on the edge of the area. Malta responds with Alexander-Arnold volleying the ball that bounced in front of the goalpost, which Bonello comfortably saves.
  • This time, however, in the 75th minute, Harry Edward Kane succeeds to place his goal down on the board. Bukayo Ayoyinka Temidayo Saka provides support for achieving this goal.
  • Another goal for England as they currently lead Malta by two goals. The team amps the attack’s tempo as Walker makes a hard run on the right flank and Foden receives the ball. Then, Foden locates Saka, who situates themselves within the goal area before sending the ball to Kane. With his right foot, Kane puts home from very close range past Bonello and into the netting.  This is a long-awaited reward for playing so well to England's captain.
  • In the 76th minute of the game, England scores its second goal courtesy of Declan Rice, who is still on fire.
  • At this time, Saka capitalizes on Foden’s brilliant shift to his left and makes a dribbling towards the target in the 74th minute. Then, Kane gets set up by the player and scores England’s second goal.
  • One minute later, in the 76th minute, Declan Rice makes it 2-0 for England following an outstanding and out-of-box shot courtesy of Alexander-Arnold. Wembley erupts into a loud cheer, but this celebration soon fizzles out as VAR comes to inspect the goal.
  • The English team’s misfortune was that the referee ruled out Rice’s goal in the 78th minute when he was fouled and was positioned between Bonnello and the goal line, thus impeding Bonnello’s view to the incoming shot, which dropped down at the bottom. In the end, Kane’s nearby position on the ball counts despite Rice’s excellent finish; this leads to a decision made by VAR.
  • In the 79th minute, Kyrian Nwoko was substituted by Kemar David Reid, among other changes. This followed a period when England scored their second and had one disallowed goal, adding to the electrifying environment. After this, Marcolini opted for another change for his side, promoting Jean Borg’s assistant, Muscat to take over from him with Steve Borg still playing the central defender.
  • Then, Nwoko comes in and plays up front in the 79th minute, marking the end of Reid’s first appearance for Malta.
  • In the 81st minute, a bold sprint from Malta’s box is made by Foden, who is blocked by Borg just before scoring with his right foot. They have upped their game during the past few minutes in England.
  • In the 83rd minute, Malta came close to scoring a goal. Pickford is safe as Yankam attempts a shot from the right of the goal after a powerful strike with his right foot goes wide past the post from the right side.
  • The 86th minute has seen both Mbong brothers substituted and replaced by Joseph Mbong, who is playing in the position of Attard.
  • With only three minutes to go, England almost took advantage of an opportunity in the 87th minute. After running over Kane, Walker delivers a low cross directed for the near post. Consequently, the opponents have gained another goal kick.
  • In the 88th minute of the match, Malta’s captain, Borg, is injured and goes off looking for medical assistance behind his six-yard box. Still, although this poses a significant setback, he shows incredible tenacity not to surrender. In just a few moments, he is again up on his feet and sprinting towards the touchline, wishing to join their game.
  • With the seconds on the clock nearing the 89th minute, Alexander-Arnold launches a venomous right-footed blast from outside the area. Malta’s keeper Bonello finds it hard to convince himself with a reliable save because of the strange dip in the trajectory of England’s midfielder.
  • There will be 6 extra minutes at normal time, with just 1 minute remaining here at Wembley Stadium. With this news, the home crowd grunts in agitation as it can hardly wait for the end of this Euro 2024 qualifier game. England seems to be leading in comfort, and fans are now awaiting the final sound of the whistle.
  • In the 90 + 2-minute, England’s dominance with ball possession is almost 75%, as Palmer moves toward the left side of the goal. Borg blocks his shot into a corner kick that crosses.
  • By the 90th+4 minute, Malta keeps the ball for a while. Since Kane hit the second England goal in the 75th minute, the game's competitive aspect has almost vanished.

England won by 2-0 against Malta after 90 minutes plus 6 in overtime.

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