A goal one minute from time denied the Malta Under-21 side a win over Montenegro in a friendly match at the Hibernians Stadium on Friday with the two teams sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
In the first official match under the guidance of coach Ray ‘Zazu’ Farrugia and his assistant Ronald Vella, the Maltese played a good game, holding the initiative right from the start and controlling their opponents for long stretches. However they could have pushed more for a second goal rather than settling for a narrow lead.
It was an early goal which gave Malta the lead as on the 8th minute Rowen Muscat, served by a Triston Caruana header, beat goalkeeper Pavle Velimirovic.
Montenegro were reduced to ten men on 33 minutes when Marko Vesovic was sent off for a foul on Luca Martinelli.
The locals seemed heading for victory but substitute Radivoje Golubovic levelled matters for Montenegro one minute from time when he slotted the ball past Malta goalkeeper Steve Sultana from inside the area.
The next games for Malta are two UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Finland and Lithuania away from home in June.
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MALTA Steve Sultana, Luca Martinelli (83′ Ishmael Grech), Zach Muscat, Owen Bugeja, Rowen Muscat, Leighton Grech (90′ Lee James Agius), Terence Vella (86′ Sheldon Grech), Triston Caruana, Miguel Ciantar (56′ Kane Farrugia), Matthew Gauci (72′ Dylan Grima), Clyde Borg.
MONTENEGRO Pavle Velimirovic (57′ Nemanja Scekic), Milos Radulovic (46′ Radivoje Golubovic), Aleksandar Sofranac (83′ Milos Bakrac), Zarko Tomasevic, Mirko Radisic (46′ Hasan Pepic), Andrija Kaluderovic, Dejan Bogdanovic (57′ Suad Gruda), Marko Vesovic, Asmir Kajevic(46′ Adis Dokovic), Ermin Seratlic (83′ Nemnanja Mijuskovic), Stefan Nikolic.
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier