The Malta Under-15 team obtained a prestigious result this morning against the counterparts of Scotland, beating their more quoted opponents by the odd goal in five. It was a much-deserved win for our boys, who shared the exchanges throughout the match, creating a number of good goal scoring opportunities, some after excellent set-ups, throughout the game.
After beating Gibraltar 2-0 last Friday, Malta were crowned winners of this edition of the UEFA Development Tournament with maximum points, scoring five goals in the process and only conceding two. All players chosen for this tournament came out of the Inhobb il-Futbol Foundation hubs, strategically set up by the Association, the first signs that this approach on local youth development is paying off.
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Scotland took the lead on 18 minutes with a goal by Fletcher Boyd after the Maltese defence failed to clear the danger with the visitors making maximum advantage of the situation.
On 49 minutes, Taylor Hogarth hit the crossbar from the edge of the box, which could have meant Scotland’s second but on 55 minutes, Malta equalised when Liam Buhagiar released Scott Camilleri on the edge of the box, beating Graham with a low shot, an excellent move between the two substitutes.
The joy for the hosts did not last long as just before the hour it was substitute Conmar Christie who put Scotland 2-1 up, unmarked in the box, heading past Farrugia from a corner action. But in the attack that followed, Malta equalised again through Buhagiar, finishing off a defensive error by the visitors from close-range into an empty net. The Malta boys scored the decisive goal on 66 minutes when centre-back Dale Vella headed past Graham from a perfect Daniel Pawley corner.
During the remaining time left, Scotland tried hard to score the equaliser but the Maltese defence stood firm. A wonderful result for the Under-15s, with coach Francesco Macri in charge, who won this UEFA Under-15 Development Tournament with maximum points from two matches, followed by Scotland, who beat Gibraltar 2-0 last Sunday, with Gibraltar finishing last.
MALTA Jayden Farrugia, Drew Miceli (Ethan Brincat-Winters 52), Liam James (Keerin Formosa 60), Emerson Meilak (Izaak Mizzi-Bonello 41), Dale Vella, Andreas Vella, Bjorn Caruana (Scott Camilleri 41), Daniel Pawley, Matteo Paolo Grech (Liam Buhagiar 52), Jack Camilleri (Kayden Zerafa 60), Jaylen Zarb (Jean Formosa 52).
SCOTLAND Alastair Graham, Jack Caldwell (Jack Barr 64), Hayden Borland (Euan Glasgow 74), Lewis Carrol, Samuel Sedwell, Jacob Donnelly (Josh Holt 74), Fletcher Boyd (Aidan MacCallion 41), Alexander Smith (Jamie Hislop 64), Taylor Hogarth, Nicholas Castelli (Finlay Brown 52), Ezekiel Molife (Cormac Christie 52).
Referee: Patrick Falzon