The Malta Under-16 team lost 0-1 in a friendly match against Lebanon. It proved to be a balanced match with both sides having their fair share of ball possession and neat built-ups. The match could have gone either way however.
On 15 minutes, Shelom Magri headed on the crossbar from a corner action, with Lebanon goalkeeper Hsein Kdouh having trouble to control the ball. Malta saw more of the ball but Rayan Moukarzel came close to score for Lebanon halfway the second half with an opportunity from close-in, which was practically their own chance in the first half. Up front for Malta, Hijazi Ubada and Emerson Piscopo kept the defence of the guests busy with darting runs,
On 48 minutes, Kdouh had to dive into the corner to save a Nathan Joyce header from a corner action. Ten minutes later, Moukarzel was sent through the middle with Magri halting his run just outside the box. Not much later, Charbel Assaf blasted his attempt high. But on 70 minutes, Lebanon broke the deadlock thanks to a close-range header by substitute Mohamad Hakim, beating Miguel Camilleri from a free-kick action.
Malta tried hard to force an equaliser but Lebanon did not give away their slender lead. Next Thursday, both teams will meet again at the same venue, this time with a kick off time of 19:00.
Photo: Copyright www.stephengatt.com
Malta Miguel Camilleri, Lydon Seychell (Adam Vella 74), Jayden Vella, Shelom Magri, Nathan Joyce, Sheldon Borg, Claude Mercieca (Jake Borg 78), Jerome Baldacchino, Ubada Hijazi (Denzel Muscat 60), Thomas Melillo, Emerson Piscopo (Ethan Muscat 60)
Lebanon Hsein Kdouh, Joseph Hazim, Ahmad Haidar, Mohamed Atris, Roudy El Hajj, Karim Jaafar, Hamza Tarhini (Elio Chaaya 78), Sami Merhej (Omar Khaled 83), Charbel Assaf (Elias Hamoush 68), John Nassar, Rayan Moukarzel (Hassan Safieddine 60)
Referee: Rueben Spiteri (Malta)