The Malta Under-19 side lost 4-0 to Russia in the first match from Group 13 of the UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifying round at the Rubin Stadium in Kazan.
A goal by Maksim Martusevich after just four minutes paved the way for Russia with Denis Davydov doubling the score on the 18th. Just before half-time, Davydov added another goal. Dmitri Efremov sealed the issue with a third goal twelve minutes from time.
Malta will be in action once again on Saturday, facing Ukraine who defeated Estonia 3-1 in another match on Thursday.
MALTA Philip Schranz, Dion Fava, Karl Micallef, Jurgen Degabriele (89′ Clyde Cumbo), Timothy Tabone Desira, Neil Chetcuti, Kyle Cesare, Jurgen Debono (60′ Ryan Spiteri), Kurt Zammit (63′ Kurt Zammit), Godwin Mcakay, Llywelyn Cremona.