Malta win in Liechtenstein
Malta beat Liechtenstein 1-0 in a friendly match at the Rhein Park Stadion in Vaduz this evening.
Defender Jonathan Caruana marked his recall to Malta's starting XI by scoring the winning goal seven minutes from half-time.
Caruana was on hand to guide the ball past Liechtenstein goalkeeper Peter Jehle after the hosts had partially cleared a corner.
Malta coach Pietro Ghedin made several substitutions in the second half but his team repelled Liechtenstein's growing pressure in the second period to extend their positive run in friendly games.
Hamrun Spartans forward Terence Vella earned his first cap for Malta as he received Ghedin's go-ahead to deputise for captain Michael Mifsud in attack. Rowen Muscat, the Birkirkara midfielder, also made his senior debut after coming on for club-mate Gareth Sciberras late in the game.
Ghedin made some changes from last month's World Cup qualifying defeat against the Czech Republic as Justin Haber started in goal ahead of Andrew Hogg, Clayton Failla, back in the frame after serving a doping ban, replaced the injured Steve Borg and Caruana was preferred to Alex Muscat.
Andrew Cohen also returned to Malta's starting formation after the Hibs midfielder missed the trip to the Czech Republic with an elbow injury.
Malta have lost their opening three 2014 World Cup qualifiers, against Armenia (1-0), Italy (2-0) and Czech Republic (3-1), but today's narrow win in Vaduz stretched the team's fine run in friendlies against fellow minnows.
After beating Liechtenstein 2-1 in a friendly at the National Stadium last February, Malta won 2-0 away to Luxembourg - Ghedin's first match in charge of the national team - and edged out San Marino 3-2 in another pre-World Cup warm-up in August.
J. Haber, J. Caruana, G. Sciberras, A. Agius, L. Dimech, C. Failla, R. Briffa, T. Vella, A. Cohen, E. Herrera, A. Schembri.