Malta conceded its first defeat in the UEFA Boys Youth Under-16 Development Mini-Tournament after going down 2-0 to Andorra at the Centenary Stadium.
A 1-0 victory over Armenia in their opening game had raised optimism of another positive outcome for Silvio Vella’s boys in their second outing but they struggled to show their best football.
After falling behind late in the first half, the Maltese youngsters tried to make a reaction but their hopes of saving the game were dashed as they suffered a late goal.
Adrian Dacunha opened the scoring for Andorra late in the first half and Jose Almeida, who came on as a substitute, secured their second win in as many games when hitting the second goal nine minutes from time.
Malta’s best chance to narrow the deficit came in the dying minutes but Shaun Dimech’s free-kick was saved by the Andorra goalkeeper.
Andorra are now favourites to win this tournament as they have a maximum six points from two games while Malta and Armenia, who beat Gibraltar 1-0 in today’s opening game, have three points.
Malta will be looking to end their commitments on a high when they meet Gibraltar in their final game on Sunday at the Centenary Stadium at 10.45 am.
The other match, between Andorra and Armenia, will be played at the Luxol Stadium at 10.15am.
This game was originally scheduled to commence at the same time as the Malta-Gibraltar match but kick-off was brought forward to 10.15am following a request submitted by the Armenian FA.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg
Starting line-up: Amara Sylla, Jake Ghio, Shaun Cassar, Liam McKay, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Shaun Dimech, Ryan Tonna, Jamie Sixsmith, Alexander Satariano, Clyde Bouvet, Christian Gauci.
Substitutes: Andrè Spiteri, Sebastian Grech, Ethan Letheridge, Russel Vella, Bradley Sciberras, Matthew Portelli, Sheldon Pisani, Paul Mbong, Andreas Vella.