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Updated: Low-key Malta lose 2-0 to Cape Verde

Malta failed to gain a morale booster ahead of Wednesday’s qualifier against Sweden after slipping to a 2-0 defeat to Cape Verde in a friendly match at the National Stadium this evening.

Maltese hopes of making it two wins in two friendly games suffered a setback when Cape Verde took a deserved lead after 15 minutes.

Heldon Ramos sprinted clear of the Malta defence and entered the box where he tried to take the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg only to be tripped by the sliding Brian Said.

Italian referee Luca Banti ordered a penalty and Ramos beat Hogg with a low drive to give Cape Verde the lead.

With Malta failing to make a reaction, Cape Verde stayed in control and duly doubled their lead five minutes from half-time. Elvis Macedo’s corner from the left was met with a spectacular diving header from Adilson Monteiro.

Late in the first half, Malta threatened to halve the deficit but Said’s header from Andrew Cohen’s free-kick was punched away by the Cape Verde goalkeeper.

The second half lacked excitement as Malta’s scrappy efforts to get back in contention posed little trouble to Cape Verde.

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