Watch: Malta U-17 waterpolo team show character in Slovakia to reach semis
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Watch: Malta U-17 waterpolo team show character in Slovakia to reach semis

Place second in the group after wins over Romania and Ukraine

The Malta U-17 waterpolo national team placed second in their group at the Novaky International tournament in Slovakia after winning two of their three section matches.

Karl Izzo’s team are using this tournament as part of their preparations for the upcoming European Championship qualifying tournament which will be held in Malta later on this month.

On Saturday morning, the Malta U-17 team bagged their second win in their group when they edged past Ukraine 8-7.

After strolling to a 4-0 lead on the half-way mark, the Maltese had to contend with Ukraine's fightback as the former Russian Republic won the third session 6-1 to lead the match 6-4.

But the Maltese refused to panic and sealed their comeback win by winning the final session 3-1.

Jake Muscat was the team's leading scorer with five goals with Benji Cachia and Seb Busuttil also on the team's scoresheet.

The result means that Malta will now play against Germany or Georgia in the semi-final this evening.

On Friday, the Malta team opened their commitments with a 15-6 defeat to Hungary.

Jake Muscat netted four goals with the other nettings coming from Benji Cachia and Seb Busuttil.

The Maltese youngsters improved considerably in their second match of the day after they overcome a strong Romanian side 12-11 with a last-gasp winner.

Muscat was again Malta’s leading goal-getter with nine goals with Julian Farrugia, Mark Carani and Benji Cachia also on the mark.

Malta coach Karl Izzo was visibly elated with his team’s showing.

“I am very happy with the great team spirit the boys showed to turn the result around against Romania,” the Malta coach said.

“All the boys performed excellently, especially Jake Muscat and captain Benji Cachia. The preparations for the European Junior Waterpolo Championships Qualification Tournament are going very well and we have time to improve tactically thanks to the effort by the ASA to send us to participate in this prestigious tournament."

The Malta U-17 waterpolo national team.The Malta U-17 waterpolo national team.

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