Malta Football Association
Malta U21 side lose to Turkey with unlucky own goal
Nov 10, 2017
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers

10.11.2017, Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali


MALTA U/21…0
(HT 0-0)

The Maltese national U21 team went down fighting against a talented Turkish side who won by a solitary goal at the Centenary Stadium, the first home match for the Maltese in Qualifying Group six of the European Championship. It was an unlucky own goal by Karl Micallef, who deflected a Turkish shot from just outside the box, which made the difference.

In comparison with the last match of the U21s in Sweden (0-3), coach Silvio Vella changed his team on three positions. Goalkeeper Jake Galea of Hamrun Spartans played instead of Birkirkara’s Philip Schranz who was on the substitutes bench. Myles Beerman (disciplinary reasons) and Matthew Guillaumier (injured) were replaced by Juan Carlos Corbalan and Dexter Xuereb of Gzira United and Mosta respectively. All eleven Maltese players are under contract with Premier Division clubs and play regularly.

After a quiet opening ten minutes, Turkey pressed with Deniz Hummet having a good opportunity to open the score on 17 minutes. However, his shot from inside the 5-meter box sailed wide. On 31 minutes, Jake Grech received a good through pass from Kyrian Nwoko but Turkish goalkeeper Muhammed Sengezer intercepted in time. Two minutes later, Mehmet Calik hit the post after a good Turkish attack on the left. Lanky centre forward Kubilay Kanatsizkus had two great opportunities on 41 and 42 minutes but Galea saved both shots. In the same minute central defender Erturgul Ersoy missed from closeby after a goalmouth scrimmage.

In the third minute of the second half, Hummet had a great opportunity but again goalkeeper Galea saved in style for the Maltese. The Turkish goal was scored in the 50th minute. Joseph Mbong lost the ball in his own half on the right, with Bozok progressing towards goal. His shot was deflected by defender Karl Micallef. Two minutes later a Bozok shot was saved in style by Galea. The same Bozok, who plays for Nimes in France, wasted another golden opportunity in the 57 minute when his effort from closeby sailed over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Turkey then consolidated their advantage throughout the remaining time of the second half with Malta relying on the counter attack. Galea was kept busy but defended goal without much difficulty. With six minutes to go a dangerous cross from Degabriele was intercepted with difficulty by the Turkish goalkeeper before Nwoko could shoot. With four minutes added time given, the Maltese pressed hard for an equalizer but the Turks did not give away possession.

Malta: Jake Galea; Kurt Zammit, Jean Borg, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, (Zachary Scerri 80), Dexter Xuereb, (Jacob Walker 60), Juan Carlos Corbalan, (Zachary Brincat 86),  Joseph Mbong, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Kyrian Nwoko
Turkey: Muhammed Sengezer, Mehmet Celik, Ali Aydin, Ertugrul Ersoy, (Rustu Hanli 70), Merih Demiral, Doganay Kilic, Orkan Cinar, (Melih Okutan 87), Hasan Ozkan, Kubilay Kanatsizkus, Deniz Hummet, (Caner Koca 79), Umut Bozok

Referee: Alexandru Tean (Moldova)

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