Malta Football Association
No joy for Malta Under-17s as they lose 1-0 to N. Ireland
Nov 1, 2017
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Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

MALTA                          0


The Malta Under-17 team ended their commitments in the UEFA U-17 Championship Qualifying Tournament with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Northern Ireland in their final Group 1 match at the Centenary Stadium.

Belgium secured top spot in the group after overcoming Switzerland 2-0 in the other final-day match at the National Stadium. Both Belgium and Switzerland have progressed to the elite round.


Malta Under-17 coach Silvio Vella retained the same XI who started the matches against Belgium (1-3) and Switzerland (0-1).


Both teams began cautiously with the result that scoring opportunities were rare.


On 20 minutes, Northern Ireland thought they had opened the scoring but Ben Wilson’s attempt was disallowed for offside.


The first half was largely a quiet affair but, soon after the restart, Northern Ireland scored the decisive goal.


Liam McKay’s short clearance from Connor Farrelly’s teasing cross rolled to Wilson who hit past Malta goalkeeper Amara Sylla from close in.


The best chance for Malta so far arrived in the 58th minute. From a right-wing free-kick, Alex Satariano’s header was stopped by Northern Ireland goalkeeper Scott Pengelly.


Three minutes later, Farrelly’s shot from just inside the box was saved by Sylla who, seven minutes from time, saved another effort from Wilson.


There was another late chance for Malta as a shot by Satariano, one of the best players for Vella’s team, was deflected away for a corner.


The St Andrews striker had another dangeroius attempt deflected wide in stoppage time.


A. Sylla, L. McKay, C. Zammit Lonardelli, A. Vella, M. Portelli, C. Gauci, B. Sciberras, (J. Sixsmith 50), C. Bouvet, (R. Tonna 56), S. Dimech, A. Satariano, P. Mbong, (J. Ghio 70).


S. Pengelly, M. Glynn, D. Corrigan, S. McClelland, J. Scott, B. Bermingham, B. Wylie, C. McKee, (C. Conn 69), C. Farrelly, B. Wilson, C. Ferris.


Referee: Omar Pashayev (Azerbaijan).


BELGIUM          2



Belgium won their top-of-the-table clash with Switzerland 2-0 to complete their commitments with a perfect record of three wins from three matches.


The Belgians took the lead just before half-time when a corner from the left by Yari Verschaeren was met by the unmarked Laurens Symons who scored with a glancing header.


Just 20 seconds into the second half, Belgium doubled their lead to all but secure their win. A fast move was concluded by Halim Timassi who fired a powerful right-footed shot in the bottom corner from the edge of the box.


N. Steffen, I. Sauter, B. Omeragic, D. Kastrati, U. Vasic, J. Vonmoos, F. Mambimbi, Wornhard, S. Sohm (O. Bunjaku 41 – N. Boayke 53), F. Frei, L. Tolaj (D. Mistrafovic 41).


M. Delanghe, S. Vandermeulen, L. Dendoncker, M. Thiel, N. Raskin, Y. Verschaeren, A. Cuypers (M. Suray 80), K. Sardella, L. Ramazani (Y. Vertessen 59), H. Timassi (A. Colassin 74), L. Symons.


Referee: Juri Frischer (Estonia).


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