The Malta Under-19 team suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Albania in their opening Group B game at the Roma Caput Mundi Tournament on Monday.
Led by coach Wayne Attard, Malta led 1-0 at half-time after Jan Busuttil had broken the deadlock inside the opening 12 minutes at the Roberto Abbafati Stadium in Lariano.
In the initial stages of the second half, the Maltese youngsters wasted a string of inviting chances to add to their lead. They paid a high price for this as Albania netted two goals, both from set-pieces, in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Malta will be looking to bounce back from today’s defeat when they meet the Italian Lega Nazionale Dilettanti selection in their second match on Tuesday at the Andrea Caslini Stadium in Collefero.
Their final group game is against England Schools on Thursday at the Gianni Fraiegari Stadium in Piglio. The group matches kick off at 15:00.
In today’s other Group B match, Italy’s LND selection defeated England Schools 2-0.
MALTA U-19 FORMATION
Duncan Formosa (St Andrews); Jeremy Busuttil (Ħamrun Spartans); Gary Camilleri (Balzan); Dejan Debono (St Andrews); Mark Desira (Sliema Wanderers); Omar Elouni (Sliema Wanderers); Mark Fenech (Naxxar Lions); Neil Frendo (Mosta); Jan Busuttil (Pietà Hotspurs); Jurgen Grech (Mosta); Kyle Mifsud (Birkirkara).
Rashed Al Tumi (ASD Katane Soccer); Romario Camilleri (Frosinone); Zachary Grech (Pembroke); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers); Andrei Spiteri (ASD Katane Soccer); Malcolm Vella Vidal (St Andrews); Mattia Zarb (Floriana).