The Malta Under-19 team overcame the Austria Under-17 side 1-0 in a friendly played at the Malta FA Training Grounds on Friday.
A balanced and keenly-contested encounter went Malta’s way thanks to Shaun Dimech’s close-range effort in the final stages of the game.
The match against the Austrian team, who have advanced to the Elite Round of the 2019 UEFA U-17 Championship, was a good test for the Malta U-19 side ahead of their participation in the annual Roma Caput Mundi Tournament, starting this Monday.
Photo: Copyright www.stephengatt.com
Malta U-19 coach Winston Muscat, who is assisted by Charlie Scerri, has finalised his 20-strong squad ahead of the contingent’s departure to Rome on Sunday.
His squad comprises players who were involved in the last UEFA U-19 Championship qualifying competition as well as a host of younger elements who were part of the Malta Under-17 squad.
At the Roma Caput Mundi Tournament, the Malta U-19s will play against the England Schools Team (Monday), Lazio Regional Selection (Tuesday) and Kosovo U-19 (Thursday) in Group B.
These matches are part of the build-up for the qualifying round of the 2019/2020 UEFA Under-19 Championship later this year. Italy, the tournament hosts, Slovakia and Cyprus are the other teams in Group 6.
The Malta U-19 team gave a very good account of themselves in the last UEFA Under-19 qualifying round tournament, played last November at the Centenary Stadium.
Playing in Group 6, the Maltese team gained four points after holding Belgium to a 1-1 draw and beating Lithuana 2-1 in their final match. In their opening game, Malta suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to group winners France.
Muscat and the Malta U-19 team are among the finalists in the coach and team of the year categories at the 2019 SportMalta Awards L-Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali.
MALTA U-19 SQUAD
Amara Sylla (Birkirkara); Ryan Vella (Hibernians).
Sheldon Mizzi (Pietà Hotspurs); Liam McKay (Pietà Hotspurs); Andreas Vella (Hibernians); Ismael Borg (Lija Athletic); Glenn Attard (Birkirkara); Isaac Galea (Floriana); Matthew Portelli (Hibernians).
Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Christian Gauci (San Ġwann); Bradley Sciberras (Floriana); Jake Ghio (Pietà Hotspurs); Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (Birkirkara); Jamie Sixsmith (St Andrews).
Russell Vella (Ħamrun Spartans); Alex Satariano (St Andrews); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Sebastian Grech (Birkirkara); Jake Engerer (Cesena, Italy).