The Malta Under-18 national team lost 1-2 to Northern Ireland in another friendly match at the MFA Training Grounds on Friday.
It was definitely an improved performance for Tose Mendes’ side following a 0-6 defeat to the Irish on Wednesday.
Mendes made a number of changes in his starting line-up, naming Luca Camilleri in goal, with Sven Xerri, Tristan Viviani, Daniel Letherby, Jamie Scerri and Shaisen Attard all included in the starting line-up.
The game started with a minute silence in memory of Mark Piscopo, the MFA kit manager who passed away earlier that day, and Billy Bingham MBE, the former Northern Ireland international footballer and manager.
The visitors took the lead on the 21st minute with a Jamie McDonnell close-range effort which was partially saved by Camilleri with the ball having appeared to have crossed the goal line.
Northern Ireland doubled the score on 59 minutes thanks to a Charlie Lindsay penalty but deep into stoppage time, Malta was also awarded a penalty; Jake Micallef’s effort was partially saved by the Irish goalkeeper and Nathan Cross placed the ball at the back of the net off the rebound.
Photo courtesy of www.stephengatt.com
MALTA Luca Camilleri, Sven Xerri, Ivin Farrugia (Deacon Abela 75), Jake Micallef, Alfie Bridgman (Matteo Gambin 81), Tristan Viviani, Daniel Letherby (Jake Grech 81), Lucas Caruana (Nathan Cross 66), Jake Vassallo (Brooklyn Borg 66), Shaisen Attard (Zak Barbara 81), Jamie Scerri (Andrew Borg 66).
N. IRELAND Stephen McMullan, Aaron Wrightman (Conor Falls 66), Jordan Reece (Daithi McCallion 46), Michael Forbes, Ruairi McConville (Darragh McCloskey 88), Darren Robinson (Sam Glenfield 82), Makenzie Kirk (Conor Scannell 46), Jamie McDonnell, Callum Marshall (Ryan Donnelly 82), Patrick Kelly (Matthew Carson 46), Charlie Lindsay.
Referee: Andrea Naudi (Malta)