The Malta Under-17 side led by coach Branko Nisevic suffered another narrow defeat in the UEFA Under-17 Championship Group 9 mini-tournament, losing 1-2 to Portugal.
Gonçalo Guedes put Portugal ahead on 17 minutes but Antoine Attard levelled matters on 31 minutes. However seven minutes later, Rui Moreira restored the lead for the Portuguese. The latter player missed a penalty on 54 minutes.
Malta will be in action once again on Thursday at the Centenary Stadium at 13:30, facing Iceland. Iceland lost 4-2 to Portugal and 2-0 to Norway.
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MALTA: Philip Schranz, Beppe Jaccarini, Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef, Ryan Cutajar, Jurgen Degabriele, Glenn Tabone (75′ Axl Xuereb), Clive Psaila, Andrew Cassar (60′ Neil Pace Cocks), Juan Corbalan, Antoine Attard (51′ Ian Montanaro).
In another match on Thursday at the National Stadium, Portugal and Norway cross swords in a direct clash for the top spot. The top two from each progress alongside the two third-placed teams with the best record against the top pair in their group.