Rampant Czechs hit Malta for six in Kufstein
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Rampant Czechs hit Malta for six in Kufstein

Goalkeeper Henry Bonello produced a string of fine saves but Malta still conceded a heavy defeat to Austria in an international friendly, in Kufstein, yesterday. Photo: Joe Borg

Goalkeeper Henry Bonello produced a string of fine saves but Malta still conceded a heavy defeat to Austria in an international friendly, in Kufstein, yesterday. Photo: Joe Borg

Czech Republic 6
Malta 0

Three goals in the first half put the Czech Republic on their way to a crushing 6-0 victory over Malta in a friendly at the Kufstein Arena, in Austria, yesterday.

It was a low-key match from the Maltese who struggled to keep the pace with their superior opponents as the Czechs gave their Euro 2016 preparations a huge boost with a fine display of attacking football.

Pavel Vrba’s men made all the damage through their incursions from the flanks that exposed huge gaps in the Malta defence with goalkeeper Henry Bonello conceding five of the goals but avoiding a more damaging defeat with a string of excellent saves.

Malta will now hope for a better showing when they face other Euro 2016 candidates Austria, in Klagenfurt, next Tuesday.

Malta coach Pietro Ghedin handed a debut to Cain Attard and Luke Gambin with the Birkirkara youngster given the job of patrolling the right wing while Barnet’s Gambin started on the left.

The Czechs took 15 minutes to score an opener when Jaroslav Plasil controlled the ball on the edge of the area before beating Bonello with a deflected drive.

The Maltese looked rattled and the Czechs doubled their lead six minutes later.

Ladislav Krejci outpaced Attard and surged into the box before serving Marko Skoda who anticipated Andrei Agius and stabbed the ball home.

Malta tried to lift their game but Alfred Effiong looked too isolated up front. Instead, it was the Czechs who almost made it 3-0 on 32 minutes but Bonello was on the right spot to keep out Plasil’s shot.

But Vrba’s men were not to be denied five minutes from the break.

Plasil delivered a perfect cross towards Roman Hubnik who drilled his shot home with a fine volley.

At the start of the second half, Ghedin, in his bid to add more solidity to his rearguard, drafted in Paul Fenech and Ryan Camilleri with Bjorn Kristensen and Attard making way for the substitutes.

But it was the Czechs who continued to boss the proceedings.

Bonello had to be alert to palm away a Gebre Selassie drive and right on the hour, the Valletta goalkeeper distinguished himself again with a fine save to neutralise a header from the unmarked David Lafata.

Selassie then nodded the ball into the path of Pavel Kaderabek who saw his volley stopped by the well-positioned Malta keeper.

However, there was little Bonello could have done on 74 minutes to avoid another goal.

From a corner, David Lafata saw his first attempt parried by Bonello but the Sparta Prague player pounced on the rebound to make it 4-0. Tomas Necid then added a fifth when he profited from some loose marking.

Michael Mifsud should have pulled a goal back late on when he was put through by Rowen Muscat but with only keeper Tomas Koubek to beat his shot rolled wide.

The Czechs rounded up the score in stoppage time to 6-0 thanks to a Patrick Schick goal as he hit home from routine distance past substitute keeper Justin Haber.

Czech Republic: P. Cech, P. Kaderabek, R. Hubnik, T. Sivok, D. Limbersky, T. Rosicky, M. Skoda, J. Plasil, D. Pavelka, J. Sural, L. Krejci.
Subs used: T. Koubek, G. Selassie, T. Necid, J. Skalak, D. Lafata, V. Darida, P. Schick, L. Marecek.

Malta: H. Bonello, Z. Muscat, C. Attard, G. Sciberras, A. Agius, L. Gambin, C. Failla, R. Briffa, B. Kristensen, A. Effiong, C. Gatt Baldacchino.
Subs used: M. Mifsud, P. Fenech, R. Camilleri, R. Muscat, R. Camenzuli, L. Cremona, J. Haber, S. Pisani.

Referee Dominik Ouschan (Austria).

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