Veteran skipper Christo Bonev led Bulgaria to a 2-0 win over Malta in the European Football Championship, group eight, qualifying match in Valletta, Malta, on Sunday (21 December).
GV PAN SECOND HALF OF GAME, Mid-field play (Malta in red, or dark shirts)
GV Bulgaria attacking, and playing around Maltese goal
GV Malta attack, miss goal
GV Bulgaria takes corner and scores
VARIOUS SHOTS OF PLAY
Initials CL/2248 CL/2300
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Background: Veteran skipper Christo Bonev led Bulgaria to a 2-0 win over Malta in the European Football Championship, group eight, qualifying match in Valletta, Malta, on Sunday (21 December).
Bonev, who has played with Bulgaria 79 times broke a nil-all deadlock 21 minutes from the end of the game, when he pounced on a weak clearance by Maltese goalkeeper Debono to shoot the decisive goal.
Fourteen minutes later, Bulgaria's Rangelov headed a corner into the goal to clinch the game.
The victory had only prestige value, as West Germany seems certain to win the group. Level with Bulgaria on points at the top of the group, the Germans still have one match -- against Malta -- to play.
In the game at Valletta on Sunday, the home side had been expected to attack. But only the agility of Debono and the positioning of Ritchie Darmanin, who twice cleared off the line in the first half, kept Malta in the game for so long.
The Maltese lost centre back Gouder in the second half, and the Bulgarians were able to take advantage of the weakened defence.
SYNOPSIS: With prestige being virtually the only reward for the victor, Bulgaria played an enthusiastic Maltese team in the European Football Cup,group eight, qualifying match in Valletta on Sunday. West Germany seems certain to win the group.
Malta kept in the game mainly through the agility of goalkeeper Debono, and the positioning of Ritchie Darmanin, who twice cleared off the line in the first half. But half way through the second term, the home team lost centre-back Gouder. Their defence, which had held out so long, suffered. Twenty-one minutes before time, veteran Bulgarian captain, Christo Bonev, who has made seventy-nine appearances for his country, pounced on a weak clearance from Debono to shoot a decisive goal and break the nil-all deadlock.
Malta fought back, but the Bulgarians forced their forwards to error.
With only seven minutes to go, and the Maltese defence understrength, Bulgaria's Rangelov headed a corner shot into the goal to seal victory two-nil for his side.