Resilient Maltese girls lose narrowly to ItalyPublished: 23-10-2017 12:25
Women's U17 Qualifiers
ITALY U-17 2MALTA U-17 1 The Malta U-17 girls team began their commitments in the 2018 UEFA European Championship qualifiers with a narrow 2-1 defeat to group favourites Italy in Slovenia. Led by coach Frank Schembri, the Maltese girls produced a resilient performance, shocking Italy with a 22-minute opener but the latter hit back strongly to take the points. Malta took the lead midway into the first half through midfielder Celeste Grech who fired home after receiving from Samantha Zarb. The Italians made a strong reaction to overturn the deficit with a brace from Serena Landa. She restored parity on 32 minutes and then put Italy ahead on the stroke of half-time. Goalkeeper Sarah Zarb, and her replacement Lauren Sciberras, produced some pivotal saves to keep Malta in the game as Italy pressed for more goals in the second half. Malta face Finland in their second Group 11 match on Thursday, starting at 11.30am. MALTA FORMATIONSarah Zarb (57 Lauren Sciberras), Chloe Ann Ellul, Valentina Rapa, Nicole Sciberras, Celeste Grech, Maia Debono, Maria Farrugia, Amy Busuttil, Samantha Zarb (68 Angelique Schembri), Jessica Dimech, Demi Magrin.