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MALTA SEE OFF FINLAND

Malta brushed aside Finland 5-1 in the Eurohockey Nations Championship

Both teams sized each other up in the first ten minutes with play flowing from end to end.

Finland drew first blood in the 10th minute taking advantage of a mistaken clearance netting with a crisp volley from the edge
of the D.

Three minutes later John Williams went close when he hooked a cross from the right just past the post.

Malta drew level in the 15th minute when Justin Bonello pushed home from close range after a melee inside the D.

After not availing themselves of a penalty corner award, Malta increased their game tempo and from another penalty corner action Jonathan Borg snapped up a rebound to shoot Malta into a 2 -1 lead.

Another penalty corner award in the 32nd minute saw Malta go further ahead when Juan Sarcia hit an exquisite shots into the corner, the halftime whistle blowing soon after with Malta 3-1 ahead.

The second half was dominated by Malta with first Justin Bonello and then Steve Portelli just missing the target, the latter from two difficult positions.

After another batch of near misses Malta finally scored their fourth goal when Shaun Grima netted.

Steve Tanti added to Malta's tally two minutes before the final whistle blew to give Malta a well deserved 5-1 victory.

Malta will now meet Cyprus on Wednesday in the final qualification match, with every chance of making it to the semi-finals.

Lithuania have already qualified by virtue of their 3-0 victory over Cyprus in the other qualification match in Pool B.

By: Christopher Busuttil Leaver
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