Malta Football Association
Nwoko brace not enough for resilient Malta U-21s
Mar 27, 2018
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers

MALTA U-21   2

The Malta Under-21 team staged a bold recovery but their efforts were not enough to salvage a point as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to Turkey in a UEFA U-21 Championship Group 6 qualifier at the Oba Stadium in Alanya on Tuesday.

Silvio Vella’s team endured a difficult start in their final away qualifier before four home matches, conceding three early goals but they fought back with Kyrian Nwoko scoring two goals either side of half-time to revive the game.


Turkey hit the ground running. On 12 minutes, they forged ahead when Oğulcan Çağlayan’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected by a defender, with the ball rolling past the helpless Andreas Vella who was making his first start for Malta U-21.


On 17 minutes, Turkey doubled their lead.


Dorukhan Toköz hit a fierce drive from outside the box with the ball sailing into the top corner.


Malta’s difficulties increased three minutes later when Turkey made it 3-0. Deniz Hummet profited from a rebound to put the ball into an empty net.


The game looked as good as over but the Maltese youngsters kept going.


Our boys reduced the deficit on 28 minutes. In a swift counter-attack, Jake Grech fed the unmarked Nwoko who beat Turkish keeper Altay Bayindir from close range.


Turkey restored their three-goal lead five minutes from half-time. Captain Orkan Cinar scored with a low strike from a tight angle.


Before the end of the half, a good move by Malta ended with Kurt Zammit shooting high.


Malta pulled one back four minutes into the second half.


Jurgen Degabriele made a good run before finding Nwoko who capitalised on a Turkey mistake to fire home.


For the rest of the game, the Turks kept pressing high and creating chances but the Maltese kept their composure but were unable to score a third goal which would have brought them back into contention in an entertaining match, played in front of approximately 1,000 spectators at the Oba Stadium.


Turkey now have eight points from seven matches while Malta are still looking for their first point.


Altay Bayındır, Rustu Hanli, Gökhan Kardeş, Merit Demiral, Dorukhan Toköz, Orkan Cinar (Batuhan Altintas 80), Deniz Hümmet, Melih Okutan (Yusuf Sari 46), Ogulcan Caglayan (Atakan Cankaya 57), Ahmed Ildiz, Savas Polat.


Andreas Vella, Michele Sansone, Kurt Zammit, Kurt Shaw, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, Jake Grech, Juan Corbolan (Nikolai Muscat 89), Jurgen Degabriele (Dylan Agius 92), Joseph Mbong (Zack Scerri 65), Kyrian Nwoko.


Referee: Omar Pashayev (Azerbaijan).


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