Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Difficult tournament for Malta Under-17 team – Updated
Oct 17, 2019
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U17 - UEFA European Under 17 Qualifiers

The Malta Under-17 team endured a difficult start to their UEFA U-17 Championship Qualifying Tournament (Group 13), losing 6-0 against the strong Austria side in Norway on Thursday.


The other teams in Malta’s group are Norway and Bulgaria.

 

On a cold afternoon in Briskebyen, Hamar, Austria established a commanding lead with first-half goals from Yusuf Demir, from a free-kick, Lukas Wallner, Benjamin Kanuric and Elias Havel.

 

At the start of the second half, Malta Under-17 coach Noel Turner made two changes. The Maltese youngsters improved after the break but Austria scored twice in the closing minutes.

 

Seven minutes from time, Muhammet Araz’s effort was blocked by Malta goalkeeper Miguel Spiteri but from the rebound, Din Barlov slotted the ball home. In stoppage time, substitute Lorenzo Coco scored Austria’s sixth and final goal.

 

The Malta U17s’ next game is on Sunday against hosts Norway (17.30) and conclude their commitments against Bulgaria Wednesday.

 

MALTA FORMATION
Miguel Spiteri, Zean Leonardi, Nikolai Micallef, Isaac Cutajar, Russell Micallef Decesare, Nathan Agius (Luca Zammit 90), Antheos Spiteri (Isaiah Micallef 62), Andrea Zammit, Brite Anayochi Ihuomah (Zachary Miguel Chetcuti 80), Azriel Borg (Jake Grech 46), Nathan Sultana (Brooklyn Borg 46).

 

Referee: Luis Teixeira (Andorra).

 

SECOND MATCH

 

The second match in this UEFA U-17 Championship Qualifying Tournament was another very dfficult test for Malta as they faced hosts Norway at the Raufoss Arena on Sunday.

 

Bryan Fiabema and Tobias Fjeld Gulliksen netted a hat-trick for the superior Norway team who emerged 8-0 winners.

 

In the other match, Austria also made it two wins from two games after beating Bulgaria 4-1.

 

Norway and Austria are leading the group with six points.

 

Malta meet Bulgaria in their final Group 13 match on Wednesday.

 

MALTA FORMATION
Miguel Spiteri, Zean Leonardi, Nikolai Micallef (46 Owen Sammut), Isaac Cutajar, Russell Micallef Decesare, Nathan Agius, Jake Grech, Andrea Zammit (84 Matteo Gambin), Brite Anayochi Ihoumah (46 Luca Zammit), Brooklyn Borg (72 Isaiah Micallef), Nathan Sultana (46 Sebastian Cassar Torreggiani).

 

Referee: Luis Teixeira (Andorra).

 

THIRD MATCH

 

The Malta Under-17 team produced a better performance in their final match at the UEFA Under-17 Championship qualifying tournament but their efforts were not enough as Bulgaria prevailed, winning 4-0.

 

After disappointing results in their Group 13 matches against Austria and hosts Norway, the Maltese youngsters gave a better account of themselves on Wednesday, creating a number of scoring opportunities. However, Bulgaria secured the points with three second-half goals, the last two coming in the dying minutes of the match as Malta tried to stage a comeback.

 

Bulgaria took the lead seven minutes from half-time thanks to a goal from Biser Bonev.

 

Andrea Zammit was denied by Bulgaria goalkeeper Ivan Andonov while Nathan Agius also had a dangerous shot blocked in the opening half.

 

Malta U-17 goalkeeper Miguel Spiteri was also prominent with some timely saves, especially on Bonev, while at the other end, Zammit was again denied by Andonov.

 

However, it was Bulgaria who sealed their win with a goal from Martin Ogyanov Smolenski 21 minutes from time. With Malta pushing for a goal to get back into contention, Bulgaria took advantage to net two more goals through Smolenski and substitute Plamen Tsonchev.

 

Austria won the group after beating Norway 1-0 for their third win in as many matches.

 

MALTA FORMATION
Miguel Spiteri, Zean Leonardi, Nikolai Micallef, Isaac Cutajar, Russell Micallef Decesare, Nathan Agius, Antheos Spiteri (78 Matteo Gambin), Jake Grech (78 Zachary Chetcuti), Andrea Zammit, Sebastian Cassar Torreggiani (77 Nathan Sultana), Azriel Borg (89 Isaiah Micallef).

 

Referee: Helgi Mikael Jonasson (Iceland).

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