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Malta lose to Slovakia in tight encounter

Malta will face Turkey in the 15th place ranking match on Tuesday. Photo: Christine Borg

Malta will face Turkey in the 15th place ranking match on Tuesday. Photo: Christine Borg

MALTA       6

SLOVAKIA 11

(2-3, 1-4, 3-2, 0-2)

Malta suffered its fourth straight loss at the 2018 LEN European Waterpolo Championships after losing 11-6 to Slovakia in their ranking match, on Sunday.

This defeat means that Team Malta will conclude their European Championships commitments next Tuesday, when they face Turkey in the 15th place ranking match (kick-off: 10.30am). 

Karl Izzo's team will be striving to retain that spot which they earned two years ago after defeating the Turkish national team 4-3 on penalties, after ending the encounter in a 10-10 stalemate.

The Maltese team started the match brightly and despite losing the first session
3-2, with goals coming from Ben Plumpton and Steve Camilleri, they were not showing any signs of inferiority.

However, the Slovak side took the game to Malta as they won the second session 4-1, to move 7-3 at half-time. 

Izzo's clan managed to stage a reaction and with goals from Matthew Zammit twice and Aurelien Cousin, Malta claimed the third session 3-2 to move within three goals from their opponents.

Nonetheless, Slovakia scored twice without reply in the final session to extend their lead to five goals and claim the encounter 11-6. 

MALTA: N. Grixti; J. Gabaretta; A. Galea; J. Abela 1; M. Spiteri Staines; M. Zammit 2; S. Camilleri 1; J. Camilleri; N. Plumpton 1; A. Cousin 1; N. Bugelli; J. Tanti.

SLOVAKIA: T. Hoferica; L. Vidumansky; J. Zatovic 2; M. Uradnik; L. Durik 3; P. Tkac; Maros Tkac 1; Marek Tkac; T. Bielik 1; M. Caraj; M. Kolarik 3; S. Balaz 1.

Referees: Benjamin Mercier (France); Luis Santos (Portugal).

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