Malta Football Association
Malta U-21s suffer narrow defeat to Belgium
Mar 27, 2017
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers
Photo: Ray Attard
Photo: Ray Attard

The Malta U-21 team began their 2019 European U-21 qualifying campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat to Belgium in Louvain.

Silvio Vella's team knew they had to raise their game significantly if they were to make up for their below-par showing in the friendly defeat to Luxembourg.


Showing good tactical organisation and resilience from the outset, the Maltese boys managed to keep the hosts at bay for most of the first half only to concede just before the break.


Ryan Kabir had the better of Malta goalkeeper Jake Galea, who replaced the injured Philip Schranz, after receiving from Isaac Mbenza.


Belgium extended their lead early in the second half when Dion Cools slotted home after being released by Bryan Heynen.


Malta pulled one back with 21 minutes remaining when Juan Corbalan set up captain Jake Grech who made no mistake.


Vella made two substitutions, Zachary Scerri coming on for Jean Borg at the start of the second half and later on, Myles Beerman replaced Jurgen Degabriele. In stoppage time, Aidan Friggieri came on for Kyrian Nwoko.


The Malta U-21 team’s next qualifier is away to Cyprus on September 1.


The other teams in Group Six are Turkey, Sweden, Hungary and Cyprus.


Jake Galea, Jean Borg (46 Zachary Scerri), Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, Matthew Guillaumier, Joseph Mbong, Jake Grech (captain), Kyrian Nwoko (90 Aidan Friggieri), Jurgen Degabriele (63 Myles Beerman), Juan Corbalan.


Referee: Rob Harvey (Ireland).

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