A solid display by the Maltese Under 19 National Team under the helm of Coach Toze Mendes as they prepare for the UEFA Under 19 EURO which will be held in Malta between the 3-16th of July 2023.
This is the first international commitment of the year for the Under 19 National Team, and Coach Toze Mendes included a number of familiar faces and paved the way for the insertion of the younger batch of players that have just joined the Under 19 National Team.
Photo courtesy of www.stephengatt.com
This was a spirited performance by the hosts who showed perseverance throughout the 90 minutes. The visitors held a slight edge throughout the game however the Maltese lads held the fort for a goalless draw. The Montenegrins went near a couple of times but they were never really dangerous.
On the 11th minute, Alexander Spiteri served Jake Grech whose backflip went slightly off target. Nine minutes later Malta’s goalkeeper Luca Camilleri was tested however the Montenegrins found a very attentive stalwart. On the 30th minute mark, hardworking Balsa Mrvaljevic’s powerful header went high.
A freekick taken on the 40th minute by Matija Delic looked dangerous however the Montenegrins did not take advantage and hit the ball wide. Nikola Medojevic proved to be a headache for the Maltese defence alas he was held well by the bold Myron Micallef and Jake Micallef.
Malta showed their true colours in the second half and were more dangerous. On the 54th minute they were given a freekick which was taken by Zak Barbara, who served Swieqi’s Scerri but he was anticipated by the Montenegrins goalkeeper Krijestarac. A minute later Delic from the corner flag saw his attempt saved without difficulty by Camilleri.
On the 67th minute Malta tested Krijestarac twice in the space of a minute, first by substitute Andy Borg and then through a freekick taken by substitute Brooklyn Borg. Both players had only been in the pitch for 2 minutes. Montenegro were perilous on the 79th minute but were denied by Camilleri.
On the 80th minute Malta produced an almost deadly set piece however were unfortunate not to score. Brooklyn Borg’s direct freekick was saved into a corner by Krijestarac.
Montenegro were more adventurous in the first half however the hosts managed to have their moments in the second half and produced a very disciplined performance. Malta will meet Montenegro once again next Tuesday 21st February at the Malta FA Training Grounds (kick-off 18.00)
Malta Luca Camilleri, Myron Micallef (Nathan Cope 72’), Mattias Ellul, Bjorn Buhagiar, Jake Micallef, Deacon Abela, Alexander Spiteri, Jake Grech (Andy Borg 65’), Sean Gatt, Jamie Scerri (Brooklyn Borg 65’), Zak Barbara (Shaisen Attard 65’)
Montenegro Benjamin Krijestarac, Janko Vukicevic, Luka Bubanja, Luka Lecic, Romario Camaj, Dragan Miranovic, Nenad Krivokapic, Matija Delic, Andrija Radonijic, Nikola Medojevic, Balsa Mrvaljevic (Marko Jukic 72’).
Referee: Daniel Portelli