Malta suffered a narrow 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland in the first game from Group 6 of the UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifying round mini-tournament at the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford.
Eoghan Stokes scored the all-important goal for the Irish on the 17th minute.
Malta plays Switzerland on Saturday in the second game. On Thursday, Switzerland defeated Gibraltar 8-0.
IRELAND Liam Bossin, Noe Baba, Bobby Moseley, Fiacre Kelleher, Kevin Toner, Connor Dimaio, Reece Grego-Cox, Henry Charsley, Ryan Manning (83′ Jamie McGrath), Eoghan Stokes, Joel Coustrain
MALTA Philip Schranz, James Brincat, Karl Micallef, Kurt Zammit (72′ Axl Xuereb), Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele (80′ Aidan Friggieri), Joseph Mbong, Nick Ghio, Jean Borg, Matthew Guillaumier (90′ Zachary Scerri), Conor Borg.
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)