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Malta succumb to second defeat against Montenegro

Malta  6
Montenegro  19
(2-3, 1-8, 3-4, 0-4)

A dismal second-session performance again proved fatal for Malta as they went down 19-6 to the strong Montenegro team in their second Group D game at the European U-19 Championships, being played in the Dutch city of Alphen aan den Rijn.

Having opened their commitments with a heavy 22-5 defeat to Hungary on Sunday, the Maltese boys faced another massive task yesterday.

They started the early-morning encounter on a good note as Nicholas Bugelli and Ben Plumpton were on target in a close first session which ended with Montenegro leading 3-2.

The second quarter was a different story altogether as the Montenegrin players upped the tempo, producing an eight-goal blitz to all but seal their win.

Miguel Zammit got Malta’s only goal.

With the game as good as over, the third session was more balanced with Plumpton, Joseph Galea and Jeremy Abela finding the net for Malta but Montenegro prevailed 4-3.

Montenegro scored four times without reply in the final session to increase their winning margin.

Anthony Farrugia, the Malta U-19 coach, said: “Today’s performance was better than yesterday (Sunday), even though the team had to wake up at 5.30am and we lost Michele Mifsud who was not available due to a virus.

“We attacked more effectively and obtained more exclusions and penalties.

“Against such strong opposition, every mistake is punished with a goal. Once again we suffered during the second session when some key players were rested.”

Malta conclude their group commitments today (10.15am) with another daunting game against Greece  who beat Montenegro 12-10 in their opener.

Other result (Group D): Greece vs Hungary 8-10.

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