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Slovakia brush aside Malta to secure runners-up spot

Marek Hamsik's side still not guaranteed a playoff berth

Slovakia’s Vladimir Weiss in action with Malta’s Steve Borg.

Slovakia’s Vladimir Weiss in action with Malta’s Steve Borg.

Malta were handed their ninth defeat of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign as they were defeated 3-0 at Slovakia in Pietro Ghedin's farewell game. 

Despite securing second spot, the Slovak side are not yet confirmed as one of the playoff teams as Wales and Croatia, both second in their respective groups, still have to play in the coming days with Slovakia needing at least one of the teams to draw their match in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Meanwhile, Scotland bottled their chances of making it at least to the playoffs following their 2-1 defeat against Slovenia. 

It was a deserved result for the home side as they dominated the match from the early minutes, creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities spearheaded by their skipper Marek Hamsik. 

Malta's resilience lasted 34 minutes when Hamsik notched the ball towards Nemec and the Dinamo Bucharest striker lobbed the ball over Andrew Hogg.

After the change of ends, Slovakia added two other goals in a span of seven minutes.

First, it was Nemec again who capitalised on a Milan Skriniar's delivery from the right-flank after dispossesing Joseph Zerafa. 

Next, it was Albert Rusnak who set up Ondrej Duda for the third and final goal which sealed the decisive three points for the locals. 

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