The Malta Independent 29 September 2022, Thursday
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Under 21: Malta fades out in second half

Chris Cassar Saturday, 5 September 2020, 06:50 Last update: about 3 years ago

Malta    0

N. Ireland            2

Malta: T. Aquilina, N. Pulis, K. Shaw, J. Zerafa (D. Xuereb 61’), A. Friggieri (J. Busuttil 61’), M. Beerman, Z. Grech, A. Satariano, N. Portelli (A. Spiteri 82’), G. Camilleri (C. Zammit Lonardelli 70’), A. Attard.

N. Ireland: C. Hazard, C. Marron, D. Amos, R. Larkin (K. Balmer 90’), E. Toal, E. Galbraith,

N. Kerr, A. McCalmont (C. Gallacher 80’), D. Parkhouse (P. O’Neill 90’), C. Boyd-Munce (J. Dunwoody 63’), A. McCann (K. McClean 80’)

Referee: Michal Ocenas

Scorers: R. Larkin 57’, D. Parkhouse 66’

Yellow cards: C. Boyd-Munce, K. Shaw,

 

Malta’s Under-21 team suffered a defeat against Northern Ireland yesterday, fading out after suffering the first goal early in the second half. The Maltese held their ground well in the first fourty five minutes, even though the locals had a lucky escape just before the break when Northern Ireland missed a penalty.

On the resumption the Irish proved to be the stronger outfit, both physically and technically to score two goals and gain their first victory in this group.

The first half was rather shoddy, mainly played in midfield with the only scoring chances coming in the last fifteen minutes. In the opening thirty minutes the Maltese held their ground well with Beerman in the thick of the action.

The defensive set up led by Kurt Shaw and Pulis was never under pressure with the only danger coming from the right flank of the Irish attack with Kerr floating in some dangerous crosses.

The first real danger of the first half came on 30 minutes when Beerman fired a great shot from the edge of the area with the Irish goalkeeper Hazard stretching himself to save into a corner. Five minutes later the same Beerman pounced on a Larkin defensive error but then failed to dribble past the onrushing goalkeeper Hazard.

Just before the end of the first half in a rare Irish attack, Beerman tripped Larkin, who was in all effects going out of the area, but from the resultant penalty taken by David Parkhouse, Timothy Aquilina made a great save to keep our goal intact.

Five minutes into the second half a good chance for the visitors with Mccann heading slightly over the bar when well positioned. On 57 minutes Northern Ireland broke the deadlock when Amos again crossed from the left towards Toal who rose above all to head the ball which finished against the base of the upright and Ross Larkin was on the right spot to slam the ball home.

Coach Silvio Vella made a double substitution with david Xuereb and Jan Busuttil coming in for Jamie Zerafa and Aiden Friggieri. However the Irish settled the issue on 66 minutes when Timothy Aquilina saved brilliantly Mccann’s shot, but could do nothing on the rebound by David Parkhouse.

It was game over from that point onwards with the Irish in full control and with the Maltese youngsters practically inexistant in attack apart from an Andrei Spiteri effort in stoppage time.

Photo Domenic Aquilina 

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