Welcome to our coverage as Malta look to take another set of three points in their Euro 2020 Qualifying campaign as they chase 2010 World Cup winners Spain.
There have been a number of changes for both sides however, Henry Bonello and Kyrian Nwoko keep their places in Ray Farrugia’s starting XI.
Sergio Ramos captains Spain following his impressive performance against Norway last Saturday when La Furia Roja won 2-1.
Six of Spain’s starting eleven have five caps or less: Kepa, Hermoso, Gaya, Rodri, Canales and Sergi Roberto.
Malta XI: Bonello (GK), Mbong, Muscat, Caruana, Borg, Zerafa, Mintoff, Fenech (C), Guillaumier, Corbolan and Nwoko.
Spain XI: Kepa (GK), Sergi Roberto, Ramos (C), Hermoso, Gaya, Canales, Rodri, Saúl, Asensio, Morata and Bernat.
SECOND HALF REPORT: With no changes made to either side at half time, there was a similar start to the second 45 with Spain controlling possession.
Steve Borg was heavily involved in the action early on, giving away a foul just outside the area after colliding with midfielder Saúl.
Ramos stepped up to take the free-kick for Spain however, the Maltese wall did their job blocking the shot and quickly clearing the ball to safety.
Spain continued to pile on the pressure having a number of shots, but Bonello made a collection of routine saves to prevent the visitors from extending their lead.
The first change of the game came in the 56th minute with Juan Bernat being replaced by Athletic Bilbao star Iker Muniain.
The hour mark saw the Malta goalkeeper pull off a superb save preventing Asensio from finding the back of the net with a low dive.
Saúl failed to convert the rebound, again firing the ball high over the crossbar.
Malta made their first change with Ryan Muscat coming on for Joseph Mbong in the 64th minute. Spain also switched things up with Saúl being replaced by former Man City winger Jesús Navas.
Navas was quickly involved in the action after Asensio played the 33-year-old down the line to win a corner. Hermoso hit the ground from the corner, appealing for a penalty, however, the referee waved play on.
In the 69th minute, Malta’s top scorer Michael Mifsud replaced John Mintoff who picked up a hamstring injury.
Juan Carlos Corballan picked up a yellow card for a foul on Sergio Canales just two minutes later.
Morata added a second goal for Spain in the 72nd minute after heading home Jesús Navas’ well-delivered cross. The Spanish striker was able to produce the power needed to beat Bonello in the Malta goal.
Malta looked like they were through on goal for the first time when Mifsud broke through the Spanish defence as Kyrian Nwoko played a great pass. However, the linesman had different ideas with his flag up for offside.
Spain made their final change of the night 12 minutes before full time with Valencia striker Rodrigo coming on for goal scorer Morata.
Six minutes later, Malta made their last change with debutant Karl Micallef coming on for Jonathan Caruana.
Two minutes later, Spain attacker Canales almost capped his first ever start in a Spain jersey with a goal. The 28-year-old produced a good flick into Sergi Roberto before receiving it back to fire a shot wide.
With four minutes added to the final 90, Spain comfortably saw out the game to secure their second win of the Euro 2020 Qualifying campaign.
90+4′ FULL TIME: MALTA 0-2 SPAIN (Morata X2)
90′ There will be four additional minutes.
86′ Canales almost makes his first ever start in a Spain shirt one to remember as he fires a shot on goal. However, the strike goes wide to Malta’s relief.
84′ Final change for Malta, Caruana is replaced by Karl Micallef who comes on to make his first appearance for the national team.
78′ Spain make their final change of the night with Rodrigo replacing Morata.
76′ Great save from Bonello who keeps out Ramos’ powerful shot.
74′ Offside, Michael Mifsud is called offside as he breaks through the Spanish defence following Nwoko’s well played pass.
72′ GOAL! Morata scores a second goal after getting on the end of Jesús Navas’ well delivered cross. The striker produces a great header which goes straight through Bonello’s hands. Spain lead 2-0.
71′ Corballan picks up a yellow card for a foul on Canales by grabbing his shot.
69′ Michael Mifsud replaces John Mintoff who has picked up a hamstring injury.
64′ Saúl is replaced by former Man city winger Jesús Navas. Malta also make a change with Ryan Muscat coming on for Joseph Mbong.
60′ The hour mark sees Bonello pull off a superb save. He initially dealt with the threat that came from Asensio’s shot before Saúl’s rebound was fired over the crossbar.
58′ Easy save from Bonello as Asensio’s shot lacks power. Sergi Roberto knocked the ball down to the Real Madrid star however, he could not produce a clean shot. The score remains 1-0 to Spain.
57′ Morata heads the ball wide following Sergi Roberto’s cross into the Malta box.
56′ Bernat is replaced by Muniain.
54′ Sergio Ramos directs the free-kick straight into the Malta wall, it is quickly cleared to safety by the home side.
53′ Free-kick to Spain just outside the area following a foul on Saúl from Steve Borg who receives a yellow card.
52′ Borg again involved with the action as he produces some cool defending by chesting the ball back to Bonello from Asensio’s cross.
50′ Gaya is down injured for Spain following a foul from Steve Borg.
47′ Both teams start the second half with no changes.
46′ We are back underway, Spain go into the second half leading 1-0.
HALF TIME REPORT: Spain went straight on the attack from kick-off with the majority of possession going their way throughout the whole second half.
The Maltese back five was assisted by the country’s two wide players, John Mintoff and Juan Corbolan who dropped back to offer support, making it difficult for the visiting side to break through.
Saúl had the first real chance for Spain finding himself with space just after 15 minutes, however, the 24-year-old’s left-footed shot went just wide of Henry Bonello’s goal.
The midfielder found himself with another chance two minutes later after getting on the end of Sergio Roberto’s pass just inside the Maltese area, but in a similar fashion to his previous strike, Saúl’s shot was fired off target.
The deadlock was broken just after the half-an-hour mark thanks to Atlético Madrid striker Álvaro Morata.
The 26-year-old controlled the ball with his knee inside the Maltese area following Mario Hermoso’s lobbed passed over the defence. Morata then calmly slotting the ball under Bonello at the near post to give the away side the lead.
In the 37th minute, young forward Kyrian Nwoko gave away a free-kick just outside the Maltese box after fouling the Spanish captain, Sergio Ramos.
Marco Asensio failed to produce a real threat from the free-kick firing his shot over.
The last eight minutes of the first half produced no real chances for either side with the whistle being blown on the 45th minute mark following a Spain corner.
45′ The referee blows for half time with no added time.
44′ The corner for Spain is poor as it has too much power and goes over everyone in the box.
43′ Asensio wins a corner for Spain.
39′ Asensio produces a poor free-kick, no real threat to Malta.
37′ Sergio Ramos is fouled by Kyrian Nwoko just outside the area, a free-kick is awarded. The young Maltese forward gets his revenge following a previous tackle by the Spanish captain.
30′ GOAL! Just moments after the previous shot, Morata runs onto a great lobbed through ball from Hermoso breaking through the defence to beat Bonello low at his front post.
30′ Morata forces Bonello to make a save following a header which lacked power from the Atlético Madrid striker.
29′ Sergio Ramos plays a great ball to Bernat who loses possession just outside the Maltese box.
26′ Through ball comes
22′ Malta are doing extremely well to make it difficult for Spain to get a break through.
20′ Spain have had the majority of
17′ Saúl has another chance on goal after getting on the end of Sergio Roberto’s pass inside the box, however the shot is fired over.
15′ Saúl’s left footed shot just goes wide of Bonello’s goal. The score remains 0-0 after the quarter-of-an-hour mark.
3′ Free-kick to Spain following a foul from Steve Borg, Sergio Ramos gets his head on the ball but directs it high over the Malta goal.
2′ An early chance by Spain is handled well by Bonello.
1′ We are underway here at the Ta’Qali stadium.