Another narrow defeat for Under-17 side

The Malta Under-17 side lost 1-0 to the Netherlands in another match from Group 8 of the UEFA Under-17 Championship qualifying round at the Stadion FK Srem in Jakovo, Serbia on Sunday.

A single goal by Shurendo Janga on the 22nd minute proved to be the decisive winner.

Timothy Aquilina in goal was in good form as where the duo of Jean Borg and Nick Ghio in front of him flanked by Pulis on the right and Beerman on the left. Guillaumier took command of the engine room in midfield.

The Maltese controlled the early Dutch pressure as they weaved a number of passes displaying their technical capabilities but Friggieri pounced on a rare defensive mistake but he squandered the chance by trying to go round the keeper. Friggieri took another shot at goal which missed the target with the Dutch forging ahead when a low cross from the right was tapped in by Janga. Before the break a quick taken free kick by Friggieri towards Beerman but his shot was blocked.

In the second half, the game followed the same pattern of the first with the Dutch pressing forward looking for the second goal and Aquilina had to block with his body a close range shot while he had to come again to the rescue turning splendidly to a corner a strong angled low shot. The Dutch hit also the cross-bar with our keeper slightly ill-positioned. In the final quarter, with the Dutch becoming a bit more cautious with the result still on 1-0, the boys in white inched forward with Beerman joining Friggieri up front but our final attempts were well controlled by the Netherlands who together with Serbia have made it through to the next round of the competition

Malta faces Finland on Wednesday at the same venue. Finland lost 2-0 to the Netherlands and 1-0 to Serbia in their first two matches.

MALTA Timothy Aquilina, Nicholas Pulis, Nick Ghio, Matthew Guillaumier, Jean Borg, Aidan Friggieri, David Xuereb, Zachary Brincat (30′ Russell Fenech), Kieran Xuereb, Myles Beerman, Benjamin Caruana (67′ Connor Zammit).

NETHERLANDS Justin Bijlow, Evans Fosu-Mensah, Jelle De Lange, Rodney Kongolo (63′ Steven Smulder), Rashaan Fernandes (41′ Robin Schouten), Carel Eiting, Javairo Dilrosun, Darren Sidoel (77′ Sherel Floranus), Shurendo Janga, Mats Knoester, Mink Peeters.

Referee: Manuel Schuettengruber (AUT)