Hopes alive as brave Malta turn it round

Hopes alive as brave Malta turn it round

Malta 8
Ukraine 7
(2-3, 2-1, 2-2, 2-1)

A game which had a palpitating finale resulting in those present having their hearts in their mouths ended with Malta edging Ukraine 8-7.

The result keeps the Maltese hopes of securing one of the two top places and an eventual passage into the European U-19 Championship finals alive.

It was the hard-working Miguel Zammit who put the icing on the cake when he netted the winner 99 seconds from time.

However, the last seconds reserved drama, as both teams squandered three on two situations. Malta were the first culprits in this respect followed by Ukraine after a turnover.

The visitors’ failure to capitalise on their last-gasp chance, was mitigated by a superlative point-blank save by lanky goalkeeper Jake Tanti.

The relief on the faces of the Maltese clan on the bench and the supporters was understandable.

Malta had a messy start as they missed a penalty and two extra-man sets. Before the local team knew it Ukraine took a 3-0 lead inside the opening two minutes.

However, the Maltese players fought back to nose in front on 4-3 in the second session before the visitors equalised just before half-time.

It was cat and mouse then as Ukraine took the lead three times with Anthony Farrugia’s team annulling that lead every time.

The marshalling of captain Nicholas Bugelli, who scored once, was superb. Two-goal Ben Plumpton was a constant livewire but the accolades should go to all the players not the least the other scorers, Kyle Navarro, Isaiah Riolo, Jeremy Abela and Matteo Cacici.

Malta: Z. Sciberras, N. Bugelli 1, K. Navarro 1, J. Sciberras, I. Riolo 1, B. Plumpton 2, J. Galea, M. Mifsud, J. Abela 1, M. Zammit 1, M. Cacici 1, M. Azzopardi, J. Tanti.

Ukraine: K. Nikolskyi, V. Muzhychuk 1, D. Gusakov 1, V. Filchakov 2, O. Dzhura, S. Dubelir, M. Apostol 1, V. Dulin 1, M. Leshchenko 1, A. Salikhov, M. Cherpak, N. Bida, V. Haliasovskyi .

Referees: S. Melnicov, A. D’ Hossche.


Bulgaria 5
Germany 22
(3-4, 0-8, 0-4, 2-6)

Ukraine 6
Slovenia 4
(1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 1-0)

Slovenia 14
Bulgaria 6
(5-2, 4-0, 1-3, 4-1)

U-19 Programme

Today: 6pm Germany vs Ukraine; 7.15pm Slovenia vs Malta.
Tomorrow: 9am Germany vs Slovenia; 10.15am Bulgaria vs Malta.

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