The Malta U16 girls opened their UEFA Development Tournament with 3-0 defeat against Lebanon.
For the Maltese girls, this was their first international commitment as an U16 national team in this annual tournament which offers a stepping stone for these players at this level.
In this tournament, Malta will meet Turkey and Ireland in the upcoming two games. Ireland eased past Turkey 4-0 in their tournament opener.
Birkirkara midfielder Ylenia Azzopardi captained the starting formation against Lebanon.
Sara Saliba came close to open the score for Malta in the 19th minute but her failed to capitalise from inside the penalty area.
Moments later, the Birkirkara player made her way into the box but once again could not beat the Lebanon goalkeeper.
Lebanon forged ahead against the run of play when Waed Raed’s cross shot went directly into the net past Malta’s goalkeeper.
Lea Hachem doubled the score for Lebanon when she slotted past Chanelle Borg from close-range.
On the brink of half-time, Lebanon came close to score a third through Serena Mansour but her effort was diverted into corner by Borg.
At the restart, Mansour extended Lebanon’s lead from inside the penalty area.
Substitute goalkeeper Erika Muscat blocked a Lama Abdine’s shot from the edge of the area. Ayana Rezkallah had a shot on goal with goalkeeper Muscat denying her from close-range.
Malta’s next game will be against Turkey this Saturday, at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off: 10am).
C.Borg (46 E. Muscat); A. Micallef, M. Spiteri (46 E. Micallef), K. Micallef, Y. Azzopardi (75 S. Francalanza), M. La Rosa (75 T. Kimamo), S. Saliba (58 L. May Azzopardi), L. Calleja (46 F. Bartolo), L. Frendo (46 T. Scicluna), I. Abela (75 F. Al Girbi), A. Vassallo.
Coach: Kathleen Saliba.
Shibli (63 M. Skaiki); L. Abdine (63 T. Kanaan), T. Akel (63 H. Najjad), C. Bitar, T. Daher, L. Hachem (63 L. Ali), C. Iskandar (75 Y. Hamdar), S. Mansour (75 Y. Chaptini), W. Raed (45 A. Rezkallah), G. Sleiman (75 S. Atwi), A. Zrieka (75 J. El Kai).
Coach: H. Demerijan.
Referee: Wayne Sammut.
Photo c/o Stephen Gatt/Malta FA.