Slovenia beat Malta in World Cup qualifier

Valletta – The Slovenian national football team beat Malta 4:0 in the qualifying for the World Cup on Friday night to remain in theoretical contention for a World Cup berth ahead of Monday’s game against Russia.

The Atalanta forward Josip Iličić scored two goals and Andraž Šporar and Benjamin Sešek added one each for a convincing showing by the Slovenian team, which had come under heavy criticism after a botched performance against Croatia in September.

“They did what was desired and expected. The play was reliable. The victory will serve us well if we are smart,” coach Matjaž Kek said after the game. “The game against Russia will show where we’re at.”

Slovenia now rank third in Group H with ten points behind Croatia and Russia, which have 16 points each after notching wins against Cyprus and Slovakia yesterday.