Malta’s good start undone by Germany
(3-5, 3-4, 1-5, 2-4)
N.Grixti, N, Bugelli, A. Galea, J. Muscat 1, M. Zammit 3, B. Plumpton, J. Camilleri 4, J. Abela, A. Cousin 1, I. Riolo, D. Zammit, J. Tanti.
K. Gotz, B. Reibel 3, N. Schipper 1, L. Kuppers 2, T. Preuss 1, M. Jungling 1, D. Strelezkij 2, F. Schutze 5, F. Korbel 2, M. Restovic 1, J. Rotermund, F. Thom.
Referees: Gabol Vogel (Hungary), Ernest Inesta Peralta (Spain).
When Malta faced Germany in the second leg of the FINA LEN World Euro Cup on Tuesday, the gap in class was again evident, yet the 9-18 score line, reflected a battling display from a small country which again has lived up to its billing of a good standing in the ranking list.
The Maltese players’ aim must have been to at least perform better than when they were routed 23-9 in the first round.
Karl Izzo’s men performed admirably and were still in with a chance of a positive result till midway in the third session. Germany, then made their physical condition and class tell.
Jordan Camilleri – Malta’s top scorer with four goals and Matthew Zammit back in the squad lifted their team-mates’ ego as they team battled bravely.
Jake Muscat again belied his age with a great goal.
Germany raced into a commanding three goal lead in the opening session. A lost chance when Germany were a man short proved costly as Fynn Schultz scored to put the team coach by Hagen Stamm 3-0 in front midway.
Towards the end of the first session, the home side started to get into the picture and they managed to pull three goals back and reduce the gap to 3-5 through Jordan Camilleri, Jake Muscat and Matthew Zammit.
In the opening moments of the second session, a break released Jordan Camilleri who made it 4-5 before Ben Reibel completed his hat-trick with a brace to somewhat the visitors three goals clear.
Malta battled on with Zammit’s second for a 6-9 scoreline at the end of the second session.
Izzo’s men had a head start after change of ends, courtesy of a Zammit backhand.
However, the mental alertness and physical resistance of the Malta were now slightly on the wane.
Nikolas Schipper, Marin Restovic, Maurice Jungling and Tobias Preuss all inserting their names in the scorers’ list to extend Germany’s advantage.
Zammit was unlucky when his back-hand finished just wide before Schultze reached his poker at the end of the third session.
Germany scored three other goals at the beginning of the last quarter with Malta responding through Camilleri.
But there was no stopping Germany’s ace Schultz who topped the scorers’ list with five goals as Aurelien Cousin made it a final 9-18 scoreline for the visitors.