Two second-half goals dashed the Malta Under-19 team’s hopes of obtaining their first points at the Roma Caput Mundi Tournament as Italy’s Lega Nazionale Dilettanti selection won the Group B encounter 2-0 at the Andrea Caslini Stadium in Collefero.
Coming from a 2-1 defeat to Albania in their opening fixture, the Maltese youngsters were keen to make amends.
Their optimism will have grown as the first half ended goalless but Luigi Biccari broke Malta’s resistance with a close-range header after 53 minutes.
The 17-year-old Biccari, who is on the books of ASD MapelloBonate, sealed the win for Italy’s LND selection with another headed goal from a set-piece situation on 68 minutes.
The Italian youngsters have maximum points from their first two games after beating England Schools 2-0 in their opener on Monday.
Albania also made it two wins in a row after overcoming England Schools 2-0 in today’s other Group B game.
Wayne Attard’s boys wrap up their commitments at this annual youth tournament on Thursday afternoon when they face England Schools at the Gianni Fraiegari Stadium in Piglio (kick off 3pm).
The other match is a direct clash for top spot between Italy’s LND selection and Albania.
MALTA U-19 FORMATION
Rashed Al Tumi (ASD Katane Soccer); Gary Camilleri (Balzan); Romario Camilleri (Frosinone); Dejan Debono (St Andrews); Omar Elouni (Sliema Wanderers); Neil Frendo (Mosta); Jan Busuttil (Pietà Hotspurs); Jurgen Grech (Mosta); Zachary Grech (Pembroke); Kyle Mifsud (Birkirkara); Andrei Spiteri (ASD Katane Soccer).
Duncan Formosa (St Andrews); Jeremy Busuttil (Ħamrun Spartans); Mark Desira (Sliema Wanderers); Mark Fenech (Naxxar Lions); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers); Malcolm Vella (St Andrews); Mattia Zarb (Floriana).