5.30.2008

Austria did not have problems and was triumphant 5-1 but… which team is Malta?

Austria tried to recover the confidence for EURO 2008 vs. Malta, just in the last match before the most important tournament of the year.

Rene Aufhauser, Roland Linz (twice), Ivica Vastic and Martin Harnik scored for the squad coached by Josef Hickersberger, while Coventry City’s Michael Mifsud made Malta's only goal.

In order to know the dimension of this Austrian triumph, let’s know Malta: the first 45 games played by the Malta National Team from 1900, they won only 5 (Libya twice, Greece and Tunisia (twice). Its maximum star, in the 1970´s, was Joe Xuereb, nicknamed Diego Maradona at that time.

Today, according to FIFA, this team is ranked 135th behind selections like Kenya, Mauritania, Fiji and Kyrgyzstan. Almost players are totally amateurs and have a work activity every day. Only Justin Haber (Haidari), Nigerian Udochukwu Nwoko (Leixoes), Michael Mifsud and Andre Schembri (Eintracht Braunschweig) are professionals.

Austria hadn’t won ever since October 17th, against Cote D’Ivore.

Lineups:
Austria:
Manninger, Garics, Stranzl (Prodl 84), Pogatetz (Hiden 84), Gercaliu (Katzer 76), Ivanschitz, Aufhauser (Saumel 76), Leitgeb, Korkmaz (Harnik 46), Linz, Hoffer (Vastic 58).

Malta: Hogg (Haber 46), Caruana (Frendo 46), Said, Dimech, S.Bajada, Briffa, Pace (Mallia 86), M. Mifsud (Barbara 64), Agius, Nwoko (Fenech 46), Schembri (Azzopardi 72).

The Austrian squad for the EURO 2008 is:
Goalkeepers: Alexander Manninger (AC Siena), Juergen Macho (AEK Athens), Ramazan Ozcan (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)

Defenders: Gyorgy Garics (Napoli), Ronald Gercaliu (Austria Vienna), Martin Hiden (Kaernten), Markus Katzer (Rapid Vienna), Juergen Patocka (Rapid Vienna), Emmanuel Pogatetz (Middlesbrough), Sebastian Proedl (Sturm Graz), Martin Stranzl (Spartak Moscow)

Midfielders: Rene Aufhauser (Salzburg), Christian Fuchs (Mattersburg), Andreas Ivanschitz (Panathinaikos), Umit Korkmaz (Rapid Vienna), Christoph Leitgeb (Salzburg), Juergen Saeumel (Sturm Graz), Joachim Standfest (Austria Vienna), Ivica Vastic (Linz)

Forwards: Erwin Hoffer (Rapid Vienna), Roman Kienast (Ham-Kam), Roland Linz (Braga), Martin Harnik (Werder Bremen)

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