INTRODUCTION: World Cup soccer, and Olympic champions East Germany had a one-nil away win over little Malta in a David and Goliath contest on Saturday (2 April).
INTRODUCTION: World Cup soccer, and Olympic champions East Germany had a one-nil away win over little Malta in a David and Goliath contest on Saturday (2 April). The powerful East Germans were hoping for a bigger margin of victory in this European Group Three qualifying match against the Maltese part-timers, but they have a chance to increase their points with a return match, at home, later this year.
SYNOPSIS: Malta in the dark shirts, kicked off in front of a home crowd of 12,000. The match was the first ever between Malta and East Germany, and the Maltese team trained for months for the important game.
The Maltese attack broke down after this throw-in. The East German defenders gained possession and cleared upfield, setting their forwards on the attack.
The East Germans had a crack at goal, but Maltese goalkeeper Robert Gatt, who made some impressive saves early in the game, puncher clear.
East Germany soon regained possession, though, and continued the offensive. But they failed to show much superiority over the home side. They were obviously a bit unhappy about the hardness of the pitch which caused more bounce than they were used to.
The second half began with the score still nil-all. But the winning goal wasn't all that long in coming. Malta lost possession, and the East Germans again went on the attack. The moment of truth for Malta came soon after this penalty awarded by Swiss referee Bruno della Bruna.
The free kick was taken by striker Joachim Streich, the East German number nine. His shot struck the goalpost and bounced off Gatt before rolling into the net, and sealed Malta's fate.