Local Football > National Teams > MALTA CLAIM FIRST PLACE IN UEFA DEVELOPMENT TOURNAMENT

MALTA CLAIM FIRST PLACE IN UEFA DEVELOPMENT TOURNAMENT

The Malta Under-16 team overcame Liechtenstein 2-0 in their final match from the UEFA Youth Development Mini-Tournament to wrap up a very satisfying week under the guidance of coach Noel Turner.

The Maltese boys claimed first place after staying unbeaten throughout the tournament, beating Andorra on penalties in their opening match and Gibraltar 6-0 before their win over Liechtenstein.

"It was a very fruitful experience for our players," Turner, the Malta Under-16 coach, said.

"The team produced good performances and showed a very positive attitude throughout, which is essential for these youngsters to keep progressing in their careers.

"This tournament was the first international experience for our players and it will surely aid their development.

"Apart from the footballing aspect, they had to sit for their school exams during this tournament, either at the hotel or at their schools. Balancing the footballing and academic duties posed a challenge but I believe that the team's performances over the past six days show that the playeers coped well."

The first half of the Malta-Liechtenstein match was a balanced affair with neither side dominating.

The Maltese initially found it hard to penetrate the opposing defence.

Close to the half-hour mark, Liechtenstein had their best scoring opportunity. Ricardo Brancaleone’s shot from close in was stopped by Malta goalkeeper Mathias Debono.

Five minutes from half-time, Malta broke the deadlock with a fine shot from Jake Engerer after some good work on the right flank.

Energised by their breakthrough, Turner’s boys gained the upperhand and created more scoring opportunities but were unable to add to their advantage before half-time.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Jake Bone missed an inviting opportunity to put Malta two up, firing wide with only goalkeeper Gabriel Foser to beat.

But it was not long before Malta increased their lead.

A prolonged Malta move had the Liechtenstein rearguard on the backfoot as a goalmouth scramble ensued. The ball was deflected towards captain Karl Mohnani who drove the ball home at the far post.

Malta stayed on top, giving their opponents very little chance to build any attacks. The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the Malta players and fans as they secured top spot in this development tournament.

In Wednesday's opening match, Gibraltar beat Andorra 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

LIECHTENSTEIN
Gabriel Foser, Marius Hasler (Luca Biedermann 51’), David Tschupp, Elias Jager, Philipp Gassner, Ricardo Brancaleone, Liam Kranz, Andrin Netzer, Andrin Risch (Jonas Beck 50’), Tim Schreiber, Yannick Allaart (Elias Batliner 38’).

MALTA
Matthias Debono (Miguel Spiteri 58’), Sheldon Mizzi, Nikolai Farrugia Cross (Gianluca Sciberras 58’), Glen Mifsud (Ismael Borg 69’), Kurt Galea (Daniel Musu 41’), Isaac Galea (Gianluca Borg 69’), Karl Mohnani, Emerson Camilleri (Jordan Kelly 41’), Kurt Desira (Mattia Veselji 41’), Jake Bone, Jake Engerer, (Kurt Buhagiar 85’).

Referee: Joseph Scerri (Malta).
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