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Friday, April 04, 2008

Malta abuzz

Nine days may have passed since Malta defeated Liechtenstein 7-1 but the record victory remains the talk of the island for both players and supporters, writes Domenic Aquilina in UEFA.com.

One man attempting to play down the euphoria is national team coach Dušan Fitzel, as he continues his planning for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers when Malta will tackle UEFA EURO 2008™ challengers Portugal and Sweden in addition to the likes of Denmark and Hungary. Speaking to uefa.com, he said: "A lot of things can happen between now and September. It's always satisfying to see my team register such a convincing result but it will have no effect on the qualifier against Portugal. In a month's time this victory will be forgotten."

Not by Michael Mifsud, the Malta forward who scored five times against Liechtenstein. The 26-year-old was quickly brought back to reality, however, as his club side, Coventry City FC, are striving to avoid relegation to the third tier of English football. In domestic action, Mifsud's former club Sliema Wanderers FC suffered a third defeat in four matches last weekend when going down 2-0 to the leaders Valletta FC and now lie nine points off the summit.

In a further blow, Sliema president Robert Arrigo has announced that he will step down after more than a decade of service at the end of the season. "I can confirm that after a spell of more than 12 happy and successful years at the helm of this top club, I will not be presenting my name at the next AGM of Sliema Wanderers," Arrigo told uefa.com. While Sliema may be out of the title race, Marsaxlokk FC (26 points) and Birkirkara FC (24) remain just two and four points behind Valletta.

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