Bulgaria Beats Malta 1:0, Keeps Chances of Qualifying for Euro 2016 Alive

Sports | June 13, 2015, Saturday // 10:29|  views

Bulgarian Georgi Milanov (R) fights for the ball with Roderick Briffa of Malta during their UEFA Euro Cup 2016 qualification soccer match between Bulgaria and Malta in Sofia, Bulgaria on 16 November 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Bulgarian men's national football team defeated Malta 1:0 in a match from qualifying Group H on Friday and kept its chances of qualifying for UEFA Euro 2016 alive.

The only goal was scored by striker Ivelin Popov in the 56th minute after Ilian Micanski had missed a penalty for the Bulgarians in the added time of the first half.

The Bulgarians had an opportunity for a more convincing victory, but Stanislav Manolev hit the crossbar in the added time of the second half.

The visitors from Bulgaria did not show their best performance, but most importantly they won the vital three points and shortened the distance to Norway, which achieved a goalless draw against Azerbaijan in Oslo.

At present, Bulgaria occupies the fourth place with eight points and is only two points behind the Norwegians, who are in third position.

The two teams will face each other in a decisive encounter in Bulgaria on September 3 that will to a large extent determine which of the two countries is to occupy the third place in the final standing.

In the first encounter between the two teams in October, Norway defeated Bulgaria 2-1 in Oslo.

In the other game in Group H, the favourites Croatia and Italy finished 1-1 in Split and retained their top positions.

The top two teams from each group qualify directly to the final stage of the European championship in France next year, while the third teams will face each other in play-offs.

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Tags: Bulgaria, football, Group H, qualifier, Euro 2016, UEFA, Malta, Norway, Ivelin Popov


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