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Mosta clinch historic win over Spartak Trnava on European debut

MOSTA                       3         

Ememe 23, Failla 27 pen, Nsumoh 35

SPARTAK TRNAVA     2         

Twardzik 45 pen, Mikovic 79

MOSTA: C. Mafoumbi, C. Ememe (84 W. Donkin), C. Failla, J. Nsumoh (84 D. Bonnici), G. Sciberras (59 M. Mifsud), T. Farrugia, I. Doric (56’ R. Romao), L. Riascos, R. Morisco, Z. Brincat (57 D. Debono), J. Ekani.

SPARTAK TRNAVA: D. Takac, I. Anthony, J. Gric (46 A. Ivan), F. Twardzik, K. Kostrna (82 M. Curma), B. Isa Yusuf, M. Bukata (46 R. Prochazka), M. Mikovic, J. Vlasko, Saymon (89’ P. Kolesar), K. Savvidis.

Referee: K. Hagenes (Norway).

Yellow cards: Twardzik, Ekani, Romao, Yusuf, Mafoumbi

Mosta’s debut in European club competitions turned out better than expected as they defeated Spartak Trnava of Slovakia 3-2 in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round.

The Blues made the most of the chances they created throughout the first half to build a three-goal cushion. However, the more experienced Slovak side managed to score just before half-time before hitting a second crucial goal late in the game.

Mosta coach Joe Grech named new recruits Ivan Doric, Luis Riascos and Johnson Nsumoh in the starting line-up. Doric and Riascos were joined in midfield by the young Gianluca Sciberras while Nsumoh and Christ Evo Ememe supported Zachary Brincat up front.

Spartak Trnava went out in search of an early goal, going close with a Jakub Gric freekick from the left on eight minutes which was parried by Christoffer Mafoumbi.

Congolese goalkeeper Mafoumbi came to the rescue with a fine save on Saymon De Barros Cabral on 20 minutes.

However, three minutes later, Mosta managed to take the lead.

Ememe pounced on a long-distance cross from left, rounded Martin Mikovic as he pulled to the right and beat goalkeeper Takac with a diagonal shot which saw the ball hit the foot of the upright before ending into the back of the net.

Four minutes later, the Blues doubled the score when they were awarded a penalty. Nsumoh was brought down inside the area by Filip Twardzik and from the spot, Clayton Failla made no mistake.

Mosta scored the third goal on 35 minutes. Doric delivered a cross from the left, Ememe failed to connect from close range but Nsumoh, who played for Spartak Trnava last season, slammed the ball home.

These three goals stunned the visitors but just before half-time, they managed to reduce the gap. Tyrone Farrugia floored Jan Vlasko inside the area and Twardzik converted from the spot.

On the restart, Spartak made two substitutions in a bid to get back into the match.

The Slovaks were soon dangerous and the Mosta goalkeeper was prominent in blocking a good run by Vlasko on the right on 46 minutes. A minute later, a cross-shot by substitute Alex Ivan was neutralised by Mafoumbi.

Spartak were now clearly in control, enjoying the lion’s share ball possession with Mosta adopting a more cautious approach, defending almost to perfection.

However, in one of the isolated opportunities when the Spartak Trnava forwards managed to enter the area, on 79 minutes, captain Mikovic had an angled shot from the left which gave goalkeeper Mafoumbi no chance.

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