The Malta Under-15s played a friendly against Hungary, giving a good account of themselves throughout the 90 minutes.
The Maltese shared the exchanges with the Magyars and deserved more than the goalless draw. The team of coach Francesco Macri played with flair, using the flanks intelligently, giving away very little at the back.
Hungary started strong but Malta had the best chance on 18 minutes when Matteo Paolo Grech’s scorcher from the edge of the box missed target by an inch. On 29 minutes, Jayden Farrugia performed a great save off Janos Galambos’ shot, the first real threat for Hungary. Malta showed no fear towards the end of the first half, pushing their more quoted opponents into their own box on several occasions.
The hosts started fresh after the break, but on 45 minutes the best chance fell into the feet of Galambos, who took advantage from a rare Maltese defensive error, but Farrugia was at the right spot to block his attempt. Five minutes later, the hosts were unlucky when a wonderful rising shot by Daniel Pawley from 30-meters distance hit the crossbar with the Hungarian custodian beaten hands down. Close to the half-way mark in the second half, Farrugia blocked a tricky Mark Mesko attempt, avoiding a Hungarian lead.
Malta then entered a period in where they clearly pushed for a winner, with midfield dynamo Jack Camilleri dictating play with some intelligent passing. However, with five minutes regular time left on the clock, Milan Mitak missed a sitter for the guests, with again Farrugia interfering well, turning his attempt into a corner. A bit later it was Hungary’s turn to hit the post, with Mesko kicking his free-kick against the woodwork.
The two will meet again Thursday afternoon, kick off 16:00.
Photo: Copyright www.stephengatt.com
Malta Jayden Farrugia, Drew Miceli, Liam James (Keerin Formosa 65), Emerson Mejlak, Ismael Vella, Dale Vella, Scott Camilleri (Ethan Brincat-Winters 65), Daniel Pawley, Matteo Paolo Grech (Liam Buhagiar 65), Jack Camilleri, Jaylen Zarb (Benjamin Borg 73).
Hungary Mark Balogh, Kristof Gulyas (Milan Santa 53), Viktor Ranko, Botond Hecler, Marton Prettenhoffer, Viktor Petrok, Levente Bosze (Mark Mesko 53), Szolt Antonio Di Mundo, Janos Galambos (Szabolcs Katai 65), Milan Mitak, Erik Magyarics (Barna Kecskes 65)
Referee Raiden Psaila (Malta)