MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 22:04:50| >> :600:1480044:1480044:
Nov 16, 2014 at 7.45pm UK
FT(HT: 1-0)
Failla (49' pen.)

Result: Battling Malta deny Bulgaria

Malta recover from a goal down to hold Bulgaria to a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016 qualifier in Sofia tonight.

Malta recovered from a goal down and battled to a 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria in Euro 2016 qualifying tonight.

Some six minutes had elapsed before the hosts edged ahead, with Livorno striker Andrey Galabinov stabbing past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg after latching on to Mihail Alexandrov's header.

Despite threatening a rout by scoring so early, Bulgaria struggled to build on that advantage, but it was not for the lack of trying as Galabinov struck the crossbar on 26 minutes.

Malta looked dangerous on the counter-attack at times, but only had the one shot on target to show for their first-half labours.

Having opened the scoring early in the first half, Malta gave their hosts a taste of their own medicine by equalising just three minutes into the second half.

Ivelin Popov brought Paul Fenech down in the area, before Failla converted the resulting penalty to level matters and end his nation's 319-minute goal drought in the process.

The Bulgarians could, and perhaps should, have re-established the lead shortly before the hour mark when Alexandrov was denied by Hogg in their best chance of the half.

Popov - who had earlier struck the crossbar - saw his night get far worse. Having conceded an earlier penalty, he then spurned the chance to atone for that incident by missing from the spot on 76 minutes to compound a miserable night for the veteran striker.

Bulgaria remain fourth in Group H, six points behind co-leaders Italy and Croatia.

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Croatia's Defender Darijo Srna fights for the ball with Bulgaria's Midfielder Georgi Milanov during the Euro 2016 group H qualifying football match between Bulgaria and Croatia at the Vassil Levski stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria on October 10, 2014
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