Finished
0
0
-
2
0
19:45
26/03/19
National Stadium
Euro Qualifying • Group F
  • 2nd Half
  • Malta
  • Spain
  • CaruanaMicallef
    85'
  • MorataRodrigo
    79'
  • Morata
    73'
  • Corbalan
    72'
  • MintoffMifsud
    70'
  • MbongMuscat
    65'
  • SaúlNavas
    65'
  • BernatMuniain
    57'
  • 1st Half
  • Malta
  • Spain
  • Morata
    31'
avant-match

LIVE
Malta - Spain
Euro Qualifying - 26 March 2019

Euro Qualifying – Follow the Football match between Malta and Spain live with Eurosport. The match starts at 19:45 on 26 March 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers Raymond Farrugia or Robert Moreno? Find out by following our live matchcast.

Have your say by voting on who will win between Malta and Spain? Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Football teams.
Head-to-head: see historical stats and visit our detailed profiles for Malta vs Spain. Get all the latest on Football: fixtures, results and tables.

    
30
Highlights 
 
 Remove
FT

FULL TIME! In the end, there was never likely to be a shock here at the Ta’Qali National Stadium, and so it proved.

Spain run out comfortable winners courtesy of Alvaro Morata's brace. It could have have been far worse for the hosts, and they'll take this 2-0 defeat as Spain go clear at the top of Group F.

93' 

SAVE! Bonello can be pleased with his work tonight as he springs to his right and saves from Asensio.

92' 

OVER! Michael Mifsud tries something adventurous from distance and this is the closest the Malta have come as his rigjht-foot shot from 25 yards sails over Kepa's crossbar.

90'

We're into four minutes of stoppage time as Rodrigo is penalised for a late challenge on Borg.

86' 
Spain

WIDE! That's Spain's 21st attempt and it really should be 3-0. Rodrigo runs into the box before unselfishly setting by Roberto but he drags his effort to the right of Bonello's left-hand post!

  • Karl Micallef
    OffJonathan CaruanaMaltaSUB! Caruana has hobbled off for the final few minutes. He's had enough after having to stay concentrated for so long, and he is replaced by Micallef.
  • Karl Micallef
    OnKarl MicallefMalta
85'

SUB! Caruana has hobbled off for the final few minutes. He's had enough after having to stay concentrated for so long, and he is replaced by Micallef.

82' 

The game has lost its edge since Spain's second goal and it's a training ground match now for the visitors. They keep the ball deep in Malta's half before Rodri looks to cross from the right but Malta win the goal-kick. Rodri has had a good game in the Busquets role.

  • Rodrigo
    OffÁlvaro MorataSpainSUB! Morata is not going to get his hat-trick as he makes way for Rodrigo. To be fair, he'll be happy with the two he has scored. The Spain fans sing his name, a good night's work.
  • Rodrigo
    OnRodrigoSpain
79'
Spain

SUB! Morata is not going to get his hat-trick as he makes way for Rodrigo. To be fair, he'll be happy with the two he has scored. The Spain fans sing his name, a good night's work.

77' 

SAVE! It's now a case of how many Spain can score as Morata looks to find space inside the box, the ball trickles loose for Ramos from distance, and his firm right-foot drive is beated away by Bonello!

  • Álvaro Morata
    GoalÁlvaro MorataSpainGOAL! Malta 0-2 Spain That secures the three points for Spain as Morata rises at the far post to meet Jesus Navas' cross and head in the second! He was left unmarked and now he is hunting the match ball.  It was the perfect ball in from Navas and this is turning into a very pleasing night for the maligned striker.
73'

GOAL! Malta 0-2 Spain

That secures the three points for Spain as Morata rises at the far post to meet Jesus Navas' cross and head in the second! He was left unmarked and now he is hunting the match ball.

It was the perfect ball in from Navas and this is turning into a very pleasing night for the maligned striker.

  • Michael Mifsud
    OffJohn MintoffMaltaSUB! Michael Mifsud, Malta's record appearance maker and goalscorer, as well as a one-time Coventry City striker is on for Malta. They're going to go for this in the final 20 minutes.
  • Michael Mifsud
    OnMichael MifsudMalta
70'

SUB! Michael Mifsud, Malta's record appearance maker and goalscorer, as well as a one-time Coventry City striker is on for Malta. They're going to go for this in the final 20 minutes.

67' 

CHANCE! Credit to Malta, they've certainly been no pushovers as Hermoso claims he has his shirt pulled at the corner, but referee Dallas waves away his protests. The ball ran through to Morata, but it kicks off his shins and goes out for a goal-kick.

  • Rowen Muscat
    OffJoseph MbongMaltaMalta use the break in play to make their first alteration as Rowen Muscat replaces Jospeh Mbong.  Incidentally, Sergi Roberto has dropped into midfield for Spain allowing Navas to take up his familiar right-sided berth.
  • Rowen Muscat
    OnRowen MuscatMalta
66'
Malta

Malta use the break in play to make their first alteration as Rowen Muscat replaces Jospeh Mbong.

Incidentally, Sergi Roberto has dropped into midfield for Spain allowing Navas to take up his familiar right-sided berth.

  • Jesús Navas
    OffSaúlSpainIt's a second change for Spain as Saul Niguez - who has been so below par this evening - is replaced by the right winger Jesus Navas.
  • Jesús Navas
    OnJesús NavasSpain
65'
Spain

It's a second change for Spain as Saul Niguez - who has been so below par this evening - is replaced by the right winger Jesus Navas.

61' 
Spain

CHANCE! And still Spain can't find the second goal! Roberto is again free down the right, he tees up Asensio, and after his left-foot shot is saved by Bonello, Saul's rebound deflects over the bar!

Ramos keeps a close eye on Mbong
59' 

SAVE! The frustration is written all over the face of Marco Asensio after Spain's best move of the match. Rodrigo shows great vision to spot the run of Seri Roberto down the right. He lays the ball into Asensio's path first-time but the midfielder scuffs his shot into the gloves of Bonello.

58' 
Spain

WIDE! Morata rises above Borg to meet Sergi Roberto's cross but he can't get the necessary diferction as he glances the ball a good couple of yards wide of the psot. He's got his goal, but it's still far from convinving from the striker. He should've had a hat-trick!

  • Iker Muniain
    OffJuan BernatSpainSUB! Here comes Spain's first change of the night and it's Juan Bernat who makes way for Iker Muniain.
  • Iker Muniain
    OnIker MuniainSpain
57'
Spain

SUB! Here comes Spain's first change of the night and it's Juan Bernat who makes way for Iker Muniain.

55' 

This is much better from Borg as he shows real composure to chest Asensio's cross from the right back to Bonello with Bernat on his shoulder.

FOUL! He now catches Saul right on the edge of the penalty area, and that has to be a final warning from Dallas. Ramos' free-kick doesn't threaten the goal as the wall does its job!

Robert Moreno Malta España
51'

FOUL! Referee Andrew Dallas has been reluctant to show his cards tonight, but you do wonder if his patience is running out as that's a bit of a naughty challenge from Borg on Gaya.

50' 

It's a similar pattern to the start of this second period with Zerafa having to deal with yet another raking Ramos pass seeeking the advanced Sergi Roberto. He's going to sleep well tonight.

  • 2nd Half
46'
Spain

We're back underway in this Euro 2020 Qualifier with Spain shooting towards the end housing the travelling supporters.

20:37 

HALF TIME STATS

Spain have had 80 per cent possession but only three of their 10 attempts have been on target.

It's been a bit of a disjointed display, which you might expect from a side boasting eight changes from the side that beat Norway in their last match, but there is still an abundance of quality on show.

  • End of 1st Half
HT 

HALF-TIME

Alvaro Morata's strike separates the sides at the interval. Spain need to lift their game, they're among the favourites for Euro 2020 but Malta are giving a very good account of themselves.

Sergio Ramos celebrates with Morata
44' 

Paul Fenech gives Zerafa a hug as they work well together to deny Asensio the chance to cross at the expense of a corner. But they survive the set piece and that should be it for the half.

43' 

Morata is in the mood now having got that monkey off his back, but this speculative effort from 30 yards is up in the sky and easy for Bonello to pluck.

You wonder how different Spain would be playing if Enrique was in the technical area. It's been very pedestrian so far.

Alvaro Morata
40' 
Spain

OVER! It's Asensio standing over the free-kick, just outside Malta's penalty area. Bonello can surely not see much of this, but the Real Madrid midfielder's shot is wayward, failing to test the goalkeeper.

38' 

Malta are limping to half-time now as Nwoko tracks Ramos back only to concede a foul in a dangerous position. He's so desperate to get involved but he's been a virtual spectator so far...

32' 

OVER! Spain very nearly double their lead immediately as the impressive Sergi Roberto gets clear down the right and his ball is hooked over by Saul! He's not brought his shooting boots tonight...

  • Álvaro Morata
    GoalÁlvaro MorataSpainGOAL! Malta 0-1 Spain He's not missing this time. After six games without a goal for his country, here's Alvaro Morata's 14th strike for Spain. Defender Mario Hermoso plays a delightful ball down the left flank but Morata has little to aim at... Bonello should be doing much better, but he allows the striker's shot to go underneath him from the angle as the ball spins over the line!
31' 

GOAL! Malta 0-1 Spain

He's not missing this time. After six games without a goal for his country, here's Alvaro Morata's 14th strike for Spain. Defender Mario Hermoso plays a delightful ball down the left flank but Morata has little to aim at...

Bonello should be doing much better, but he allows the striker's shot to go underneath him from the angle as the ball spins over the line!

29' 

Good defending from Joseph Zerafa once more as he gets to the ball in front of Morata after Canales had met Bernat's more direct cross.

SAVE! Morata this time does manage to test Bonello with his header from Roberto's cross but it's a comfortable save.

27' 

OFFSIDE! Spain have been getting more joy down the right, but on this occasion after Roberto combines with Asensio, Morata is found after drifting into an offside position before his shot is saved by Bonello.

25' 

Malta are nice and compact and are doing very well so far. Spain are being crowded out and forced back as Mbong does just enough to thwart Sergi Roberto's cross from the right.

Saul then tries to slip the ball inside the full-back to Gaya but Muscat scampers across the grass to clear.

Incidentally, the left-back Zerafa has plied his trade in England for Grays Athletic and Welling United.

Spain
18' 
Spain

MISS! Saul's late arrivals into the box is a major part of Spain's plans tonight, but this time he really ought to score.

It's the same combination as Roberto advances down the right and finds the Atletico Madrid midfielder, but he lacks composure as he slices his left-footed shot high and wide!

16' 
Spain

SHOT! There's the first half-chance of the evening for Spain as Sergi Roberto lays the ball into Saul Niguez's feet, he rolls his man before lashing a left-footed drive that is a yard wide of Henry Bonello's right-hand post!

13' 

Spain fans are making themselves known. They lost their last away game against Croatia, but it's been total dominance of the ball from them so far. 82 per cent possession to be precise.

Malta, to their credit, are defending resolutely. Asensio clips a ball into the box, Morata this time tries an acrobatic kick but he doesn't connect.

11' 

Gaya is getting forward at will down the left and his inviting ball is well defended by Jonathan Caruana with Morata lurking with intent behind him.

Bernat is next to swing one in and anywhere will do for Malta right now as Muscat hacks it off the feet of Saul!

8' 

As expected, Malta have lined up in what is currently a nine-man defence as they seek to keepy this at 0-0 for as long as possible.

Zach Muscat does well to cut out Ramos' ball seeking Morata, and the on-loan Atletico Madrid striker then fouls Joseph Zerafa.

5' 

OVER! Steve Borg is penalised for pulling back Juan Bernat, presenting Spain with a free-kick. Canales hangs it into the box, and Ramos has to readjust his body, heading harmlessly over the bar from the penalty spot.

Juan Bernat
2' 

Patient early possession for Spain, and an early observation is that Sergio Ramos is getting booed on the ball. Clearly there's a fairly strong Liverpool fanbase amongst the Maltese supporters inside the ground....

  • 1st Half
1' 

KICK OFF! Kyrian Nwoko scored Malta's opening goal against the Faroes and he will get us underway!

19.44 

So the team ranked 182 in the FIFA world rankings will line up in a 5-4-1 formation this evening.

The match official is Andrew Dallas from Scotland, and he greets Sergio Ramos in the centre circle for the coin toss.

19.41 

Here come the players, to the familiar tune of the European Qualifying campaign, which has lasted the test of time, beyond multiple Eurovision Song contests.

And now, the anthems of Spain, and then Malta...

19.38 

COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF!

Not long to go now until we get underway at Malta's National Stadium.

Spain last met Malta back in 1997 and this will be the seventh ever meeting between the two sides, with La Roja winning all of the previous matches.

In fact, the European giants recorded one of the biggest victories in a competitive game when they beat Malta 12-1 in a European qualifying game back in 1983.

However, Malta’s first win in a competitive game since 2013 will surely give them confidence as they look to cause an upset.

The teams are in the tunnel!

Rodrigo Moreno of Spain celebrates
19.33 

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique shouted down fans of the Catalonia regional team for insulting anti-Spain chants during a friendly against Venezuela on Monday, then urged citizens of the region to "preach by example".

Pique, who quit the Spain squad after last year's World Cup, was the most high profile player to feature in Catalonia's 2-1 win after several La Liga clubs blocked their players from representing the team, which is not recognised by FIFA or UEFA.

He was given a raucous reception by supporters but gave a firm response when he heard anti-Spain chants, gesturing towards supporters by wagging his finger and urging them to stop.

READ FULL STORY HERE

19.30 
Spain

Ramos offers sympathy to absent Enrique on behalf of squad and vows to win in Malta for their boss...

The Real Madrid and Spain captain wrote on Twitter: "Mister, we're very sorry for the news. We hope that everything goes as well as possible.

"You know that the team is with you to death and today will face to get a good victory. The family is sacred.

"We'll win for you, too. A lot of strength and encouragement. Big hug."

19.25 

MATCH STATS!

  • Both sides have met six times previously, with Spain winning every single time they have faced Malta.
  • Malta’s 2-1 victory over Faroe Islands on Saturday was their first win in a competitive game since June 2013.
  • Spain recorded one of their biggest ever victories, crushing Malta 12-1 in a Euro qualifying game back in 1983.
  • La Roja have lost only one game away from home since June 2016.
  • Malta have conceded 28 goals in their games against the Spanish national football team – an average of 4.66 per game.
19.20 
Spain

Spain coach Luis Enrique will not be with the squad for tonight's European Championship qualifying match at Malta because of personal reasons.

The Spanish football federation did not provide any details, asking for "discretion and respect" for the coach's privacy.

Assistant coach Robert Moreno will instead lead the team.

The 48-year-old Luis Enrique, a former Barcelona player and coach, took over the Spanish national team after last year's World Cup.

Luis Enrique
19.17 
Spain

Remarkably, Sergio Ramos has scored in each of his last five appearances for Spain.

Not for the first time, he scored a Panenka as Norway were eventually dispatched to hand the 2008 and 2012 European champions a winning start to their qualifying campaign.

He's scored 16 goals in all competitions this term for club and country, would you believe. What chance of another tonight?

Sergio Ramos converts a Panenka penalty
19.13 
Malta

Malta manager Pietro Ghedin opts to make two changes to the side that beat Faroe Islands 2-1 at the weekend.

Andrei Agius drops out due to suspension, meaning a start for Zach Muscat, while veteran striker Michael Misfud drops to the bench, making way for Joseph Zerafa.

19.08 
Malta

Malta XI: Bonello; Borg, Caruana, Corbolan, Muscat, Guillaumier; Mbong, Fenech, Mintoff, Z. Muscat, Zerafa; Nwoko.

Subs: Camilleri, J. Grech, L. Grech, Haber, Kristensen, Micallef, Montebello, Mifsud, N. Muscat, R. Muscat, N. Vella, D. Vella.

19.05 
Spain

Alvaro Morata continues to spearhead the side having missed a host of opportunities in that game, but Luis Enrique makes a total of seven alterations.

Kepa Arrizablaga, Jose Gaya, Mario Hermoso, Sergi Roberto, Juan Bernat, Saul and Rodri come in.

David De Gea, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Inigo Martinez, Rodrigo, Daniel Parejo and Jesus Navas all drop out.

Kepa Arrizabalaga
19.01 
Spain

Spain make wholesale changes to the side that beat Norway 2-1 at the Mestalla during the weekend...

Spain XI: Kepa; Gaya, S. Roberto, Hermoso, Ramos; Rodri, Saul, Canales; Bernat, Asensio, Morata.

Subs: Lopez, De Gea, Alba, Busquets, Ceballos, Gomez, Martinez, Mata, Rodrigo, Muniain, Navas, Parejo.

19.00 

Hello there and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE text commentary of Spain's clash with Malta.

Luis Enrique's side will look to continue their perfect start to the 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign at the Ta’Qali National Stadium.

Spain opened up their campaign with a 2-1 win over Norway while 10-man Malta secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Faroe Islands on Saturday, their first home win in 13 years.

It looks like Sergio Ramos will be leading the charge once more for the Spanish team.

Full team news to follow...