Latvia salvage pride with Malta win
Neither side could qualify from Group F before kick-off, and with only pride to play for the home side started to dominate early and went on to pick up their third win of the campaign to move to 11 points, 10 above bottom side Malta. Visnjakovs opened the scoring in the 33rd minute before Rudnevs sealed the win in the 84th minute to leave Malta without a single win in the qualifying stages.
Latvia started to take control early when Visnjakovs' 18-yard strike missed the right post and Aleksandrs Cauna's shot from inside the area was blocked by Malta defender Steve Borg inside the opening 15 minutes.
Visnjakovs then forced a save from Andrew Hogg after half an hour before he broke the deadlock two minutes later with a shot from the centre of the penalty area. The midfielder found the back of the net when he got on the end of a Maris Verpakovskis cross to give the home side a well-deserved lead.
In the second half Latvia goalkeeper Andris Vanins was forced into making two good saves within 30 seconds of the restart. Gareth Sciberras drilled a right-footed shot from the centre of the area only for Vanins to make a clearance, before Clayton Failla forced the goalkeeper to parry his shot seconds later.
At the other end, Latvian striker Rudnevs' 25-yard shot flew past the left post in the 65th minute before he sealed the win six minutes before the final whistle with a shot from close range after Visnjakovs delivered a good free-kick into the area.