(5-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-5)
The Malta U-15 produced a stirring fightback in the final session but was still not enough to avoid defeat against powerhouse Spain at the European Championship finals in Portugal.
Despite suffering back-to-back defeats to Italy and Romania in the opening two fixtures, Anthony Farrugia’s boys were still full of fight on Tuesday against one of the world’s strongest nations in the waterpolo scene.
As expected, the Spaniards held the edge for much of the match, storming to a commanding 11-3 lead by the end of the third session.
But the Maltese boys felt they still had something to prove and managed to outplay their opponents in the final session, winning it 5-3, to finish with a respectable 14-8 scoreline
Zak Cutajar Licari was once more one of Malta’s brightest lights during Tuesday’s match when he netted four goals. Cain Cutajar grabbed a brace while the other goals came from Jayden Cassar and Julian Chircop.
SPAIN: A. Diaz Garcia, B. Gomila Faiges, C. Nunez Perez 1, T. Perrone Garrido 1, A. Feliu Huix 2, D. Ferrando Peiro, S. Granados Moreno 2, J. Fernandez Cuesta 1, S. Garcia Sales 3, D. Diaz Marroquin 3, F. Garcia Cases, M. Rodriguez Estepa 1, D. Acuna Pradas.
MALTA: D. Galea Mule, L. Dimech, J. Chircop 1, G. Bonavia, J. Cassar 1, D. Bugeja, Z. Cutajar Licari 4, J. Cutajar, E. Schembri, C. Cutajar 2, L. Montebello Brownrigg, E. Mallia, M. Brimmer.
Referees: Lazar Andjelic (Serbia), Haldu Toygarli (Turkey).