Despite going two goals ahead, the Malta Under-21 side were held in a 2-2 draw by Cyprus in a friendly match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Tuesday following a good comeback by the visitors.
This was the first outing for the Under-21 side since Malta obtained a record number of eleven points in the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers but since then, the vast majority of players are no longer eligible and in fact, only five players from that squad, namely James Brincat, Jurgen Degabriele, Jake Grech, Joseph Mbong and Kurt Zammit, are still available.
Malta took the lead on the 36th minute when off a cross by Kurt Zammit, Joseph Mbong headed home past goalkeeper Tasouris.
Eleven minutes in the second half, Malta doubled the score with a goal by Kyrian Nwoko who headed the ball home from close range.
Fytos Kyriakou pulled one back for Cyprus on the 75th minute when he beat Schranz from close range when served by Ilia from the left.
Ionnis Pittas levelled matters five minutes from time when he received the ball on the edge of the area, rounded a defender and hit low past the Malta goalkeeper.
Substitute Jurgen Suda was unlucky to hit the crossbar two minutes later with an angled shot when served on the left by Karl Micallef.
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MALTA Philip Schranz, Daniel Buckle (46′ Sean Cipriott), Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, Juan Corbolan, Jospeh Mbong, Jake Grech, Kyrian Nwoko, Jurgen Degabriele (85′ Dexter Xuereb), James Brincat (72′ Jurgen Suda).
CYPRUS George Tasouris, Antreas Karo, Christos Wheeler, Rafael Anastasiou, Kyriakos Panagi (58′ Antonis Koumis), Fanos Katelaris (46′ Fytos Kyriakou), Andreas Fragkou (89′ Thanasis Liasidis), Ioannis Pittas, Thodoros Iosifidis (59′ Marios Ilia), Ioannis Kousoulos (58′ Andreas Fragkeskou), Marios Nikolaou.
Referee: Anders Poulsen
Good performance, excellent improvement and control in midfield by jake Grech, should be promoted at once to malta senior team.
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