Alexander Satariano joins Under-21 squad for Slovakia qualifier

Alexander Satariano joined the Malta Under-21 squad for the trip to Slovakia after being included as a substitute in the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on Friday.

The squad left Lithuania early on Sunday following the narrow 2-1 defeat in Alytus. The contingent arrived in Slovakia in the afternoon to prepare for the next qualifier in programme on Tuesday at 16:30 in Nitra.

Coach Gilbert Agius conveyed his moderate fulfilment for the better performance by the boys against Lithuania last night and compared with the 90 minutes a month ago in a heavy defeat in Khimki against Russia.

The result on Friday against Lithuania could have been harsh for the team who fought well and showed resilience particularly in the second period of the match, also debutants Larens Vella and Victor Degiorgio showed glimpses of what they are capable of and performed pretty well in the few minutes of playing time they delivered as late substitutes.

During the match Alejandro Garcia suffered a slight injury and his physical condition shall be assessed upon decision on Match Day squad of 20 players for match against Slovakia, currently the U21 squad is made up of 23 players including three keepers.

A delightful Jamie Sixsmith finish from just outside the box into the bottom far corner gave Malta a deserved consolation goal in added time, few minutes after a clear penalty for the boys which decision was overlooked by the Romanian referee.

The team will have an evening recovery session before resuming preparations for the game against Slovakia as from Sunday. On Friday, Slovakia were leading against Spain away from home but ended up losing 3-2.