The Malta Under-16 national team, led by coach Andrea Vella, registered two wins over San Marino in two friendly matches at the Stadio di Acquaviva in San Marino on Monday and Wednesday.
In the first match, Malta registered a comfortable 5-1 win although the score at the end of the first half was still goalless.
Seven minutes in the second half, Malta took the lead when off a cross by Claude Mercieca, Emerson Piscopo placed the ball at the back of the net. Seven minutes later, the hosts levelled matters thanks to Protti following a great move by Enea Della Balda. However two minutes later, Malta regained the lead when off a cross by Shelom Magri, Nathan Grech hit home from close range. On the 70th, Francesco della Balda brought Nathan Zerafa down inside the area and the latter converted from the penalty spot. Claude Mercieca, sent through by Ubada Hijazi, beat Della Balda, when all alone in front of the goalkeeper on the 78th. Liam Micallef scored Malta’s fifth two minutes from time with a long-distance effort.
SAN MARINO Casadei (46’ F. della Balda); Mularoni (53’ Zavoli), Faetanini (63’ Marani), Marinucci, Forcellini (75’ Bernardi); Bindi (53’ Colonna), E. Della Balda (75’ Giorgetti), Pasolini (63’ Ugolini), Valentini (53’ Contucci); Protti, Semperlotti (63’ Baldacci).
MALTA James Sissons; Shelom Magri, Nathan Joyce, Eslam El-Nasar (81’ Matthias Pullicino); Adam Vella (63’ Jayden Vella), Dejan Farrugia (63’ Liam Micallef), Jake Borg, Nathan Grech (75’ Karl Grima); Emerson Piscopo (63’ Ubada Hijazi), Claude Mercieca (81’ Elyas Grioli), Nathan Zerafa (75’ Jayden Borg)
Referee: Michele Beltrano
On Wednesday, Malta came from behind to win 2-1.
The hosts managed to take the lead after just three minutes thanks to Semperlotti who won the ball outside the area and with a powerful shot, he hit the crossbar with the ball ending at the back of the net. Malta pushed hard for the equaliser and levelled matters on the 27th when off a corner, Ubada Hijazi rose high to head home.
On the 59th minute, Malta was awarded a penalty after Ubada Hijazi was brought down inside the area by goalkeeper Tassinari and the Sliema Wanderers forward converted from the penalty spot. Fifteen minutes later, Marani handled the ball inside the area but Nathan Grech’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Tassinari.
SAN MARINO Casadei (46’ Tassinari); Bindi (69’ Colonna), Faetanini (62’ Marani), Marinucci, Mularoni (55’ Zavoli); E. Della Balda (80’ Baldacci), Forcellini, Pasolini (80’ Giorgetti); Protti, Semperlotti (80’ Bernardi), Valentini (55’ Contucci).
MALTA James Sissons; Shelom Magri (83’ Matthias Pullicino), Nathan Joyce, Eslam El-Nasar (65’ Adam Vella), Karl Grima; Jake Borg (65’ Dejan Farrugia), Jayden Vella (54’ Nathan Grech), Liam Micallef (65’ Jayden Borg); Ubada Hijazi (83’ Elyas Grioli), Claude Mercieca, Nathan Zerafa (54’ Emerson Piscopo).
Referee: Mattia Andruccioli