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Malta stun wasteful Bulgarians in Sofia draw

Posted on 01/31/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

The defeat left Bulgaria coach Luboslav Penev under more pressure after he was criticised by local media and fans for the team’s poor performances last month.

深圳桑拿网

Bulgaria, hoping to maintain their hopes of reaching the finals of a major competition for the first time since 2004, have struggled since their 2-1 win in Azerbaijan in their opening qualifier, losing 1-0 at home to Croatia and then 2-1 in Norway.

The draw gave Bulgaria four points from four games, five points behind third-placed Norway while Croatia and Italy lead the group with 10 points. Malta have one point.

Penev’s men were in complete command and had a bagful of chances but were again missing a finishing touch with captain Ivelin Popov missing a penalty in the 76th minute and hitting a post.

Andrej Galabinov opened the scoring from close range after six minutes when Mihail Alexandrov flicked the ball to him following Popov’s cross from the right.

Galabinov, who scored his second goal in six internationals, almost doubled Bulgaria’s lead when he rattled the crossbar midway through the first half while the visitors failed to register a shot on target in the first 35 minutes.

However, Malta, missing their captain and top scorer Michael Mifsud, levelled the scores when Failla made no mistake from the spot after being brought down in the area by Veselin Minev four minutes after the interval.

“We’re very happy,” Malta’s Italian coach Pietro Ghedin told reporters. “Bulgaria played very well but they made one mistake, leading to a penalty and we scored.”

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Mark Meadows)

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