Kosovo, Valon Berisha Plays 74′ in 3-1 Victory Over Malta

Valon Berisha

In the UEFA Nations League D, Group 3, Kosovo took on Malta in the Pristina City Stadium. A 3-1 victory for the Kosovans, this took them to the top of the group with 7 points from 3 matches (2W-1D-0L), 5 goals scored and only 1 conceded. Azerbaijan and Faroe Islands are the other two nations to complete the four-nation group.

In this match, Lazio had one player in action: new arrival (from RB Salzburg) Valon BerishaA player Laziali have been unable to see much of so far this season due to injury, Berisha fully recovered ahead of the Europa League Matchday 2 clash with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany where he made his debut for the club in an unfortunate 4-1 loss; following this, he debuted in the Serie A TIM as he played the final minutes of the match against Fiorentina in Matchday 8 last weekend in a 1-0 victory.

Kosovo Squad
Kosovo Squad

With the international break arriving after these two matches, it was without a doubt that the player would be called upon by his nation: an experienced player and vice-captain for the side, he has made 11 appearances so far for the nation, scoring 1 goal – however, this is only since 2016, when he switched allegiances from Norway, after Kosovo became a FIFA member; before this date, he had made over 70 appearances (youth and senior team) for Noway.

Valon Berisha with scorer Muriqi
Valon Berisha with scorer Muriqi

Getting back on track to the match against Malta, he started as a center attacking midfielder in manager Bernard Challandes’ 4-2-3-1 formation, playing 74′ and picking up an assist before being subbed off for 23-year old Besar Halimi. Overall, the match was dominated by the Dardanians as they outshot the Ħomor by 25 (14 on target) to 4 (2 on target) and had 67% ball possession. They took the lead in the 30′ with the first of two goals from left-back Benjamin Kololli, the 26-year old currently playing for Zürich in Switzerland. This was the goal Valon (#14) assisted as he received the ball from the defender (#17) before showing terrific vision to play him through to goal. The second goal came from center back Andrei Agius of Malta as he evened the score in the 51′ off a corner whipped in from the right corner flag. The third goal of the match, and second for Kosovo, came from 24-year old Çaykur Rizesporstriker striker Vedat Muriqi in the 68′. After missing a sitter in the 6-yard box, he smashed a left footed shot into the bottom left corner. The final goal of the match, and third for Kosovo, came from Kololli once again in the 81′ he smashed a shot through the Maltese goalkeeper.

A good performance from the nation, it is important to note that 37-year old captain, Michael Mifsud of Malta, received a red card after receiving his second yellow in the 70′. Also, 19-year old Genk right-winger Edon Zhegrova (#22) of Kosovo hit two posts in this match – one in each half.

The joy of victory also resulted in a message from Berisha being sent on his Instagram account where he wrote: “We continue to win for our fans with a fantastic atmosphere around. Together we are stronger”. Valon was one of the highest rated players in this match: he had 3 shots (1 on target), 45 total passes (37 accurate; 4 key passes), and was the set-piece specialist taking 5 corners.

Kosovo fans cheering, Source- Free Tips & Predictions
Kosovo fans cheering, Source- Free Tips & Predictions