The Malta Under-21 side lost 2-1 to Belgium in the first match from Group 6 of the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying round at the Stadion Den Dreef in Louvain on Monday.
The hosts took the lead two minutes from the end of the first half thanks to Ryan Kabir and nine minutes after the break, Dion Cools doubled the score. However on the 69th minute, Jake Grech pulled one back for Malta.
Malta will be in action in September with two qualifiers away from home against Cyprus and Hungary.
BELGIUM Nordin Jackers, Dion Cools, Mathias Bossaerts, Samy Mmaee, Senna Miangue, Brian Heynen (86′ Aaron Leya Iseka), Siebe Schrijvers, Isaac Mbenza, Jordi Vanlerberghe, Ryan Kabir (82′ Samuel Bastien), Julien Ngoy (68′ Manuel Benson Hedilazio).
MALTA Jake Galea, Jean Borg (46′ Zachary Scerri), Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, Matthew Guillaumier, Joseph Mbong, Jake Grech, Kyrian Nwoko (90′ Aidan Friggieri), Jurgen Degabriele (63′ Myles Beerman), Juan Corbalan.
Referee: Rob Harvey (IRE)