(2-4, 0-2, 1-2, 5-0; 5-3)
The Malta U-17 waterpolo national team clinched their first win at the European Championships that are currently being held at the National Pool when they had the better of Turkey 13-11 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended in an eight-all draw.
It was a deserved victory for Anthony Farrugia’s boys who completed an astonishing fightback in the final session where they scored five goals without reply to take the match into a penalty shoot-out where they prevailed.
The win has now assured the Maltese youngsters to avoid bottom place in the continental championships and will now face Ukraine in the play-off for 13th place on Saturday.
It looked as though the Turks had complete control of the proceedings when they edged the opening session 4-2 before adding two more goals in the second quarter to change ends in a commanding 6-2 lead.
The match looked out of the Maltese reach at the end of the third session where the Turks had managed to further increase the gap to 8-3.
But the Maltese players refused to throw in the towel and produced a stirring fightback in the final session scoring five times without reply through Alec Fenech, Jayden Cutajar, Daniel Rizzo, Jake Cachia, and a last-gasp Sam Gialanze to force a penalty shoot-out.
Here, the Maltese players were impeccable with Matthew Mifsud, Alec Fenech, Jayden Cutajar, Daniel Rizzo, and Sam Gialanze converting all their penalty attempts.
On the other hand, Turkey saw Burak Sari missing his penalty to suffer an agonising defeat.