The Malta Under-21 side lost 2-5 to Georgia in a friendly match at the Centenary Stadium.
This match was due to serve as a good test for Malta, who lost the eight matches played so far in Group 6, ahead of the final two qualifiers against Hungary and Cyprus, especially after the back-to-back defeats to Sweden and Belgium with identical 0-4 scores.
Georgia took the lead on the 15th minute when Irakli Bughridze received an assist from the left by Zarandia and slotted the ball past the Malta custodian.
Malta equalised on the 27th minute when following a good move on the right flank, Michele Sansone served Kyrian Nwoko who hit home past Gugeshasvili.
Georgia regained the lead five minutes later thanks to a fine curved rising shot by captain Luka Zarandia which gave Jake Galea no chance.
Vato Arveladze made it 3-1 on the 50th minute, beating substitute goalie Matthew Grech with a diagonal shot from the right.
Three minutes alter, Vato Arveladze concluded a fine solo effort with a low shot from the edge of the area which beat Grech.
Malta reduced the gap on the 66th minute thanks to a Jake Grech penalty after Luka Nozadze handled the ball inside the area.
However deep into stoppage time, Georgia were awarded a penalty after Jake Grech floored Luka Zarandia. From the penalty spot, Zarandia converted in style to make it 5-2.
MALTA Jake Galea (46’ Matthew Grech), Jean Borg, Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef (56’ Kurt Shaw), Dunstan Vella (79′ Nikolai Muscat), Matthew Guillaumier (46’ Zach Scerri), Jake Grech, Kyrian Nwoko, Jurgen Degabriele (56’ Christian Mercieca), Myles Beerman (69’ Dylan Agius), Michele Sansone.
GEORGIA Luka Gugeshasvili (46’ Oto Goshadze), Luka Lochoshvili, Gagi Margvelashvili, Romani Chachua (77’ Alaki Shulaia), Giorgi Kharaishvili, Luka Zarandia, Guram Giorbelidze, Vata Arveladze (70’ Giorgi Beridze), Nika Ninua (85’ Levan Matcharashvili), Irakli Bughridze (55’ Giorgi Kolhreidze), Luka Nozoadze (70′ Giorgi Kantaria).
Referee: Georgis Kominis (GRE)