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Malta U-19 go down fighting against Dutch

MALTA 7

NETHERLANDS  12

(2-2, 2-5,1-3, 2-2)

MALTA

A. Bugeja, M. Mifsud, D. Tully, D. Rizzo, J. Cachia, J. Saliba, J. Cutajar, M. Castillo 3, K. Borg , J. Bonavia, A. Fenech 3 , G. Farrugia 1 , G. Vassallo.

NETHERLANDS

S. Berkenbosch, T. Zittersteijn, J. Wijgers 2, T. Karel, M. Snel 3, J. Sjardijn 1, L. Ten Broek 3, M. van der Weijden, S. Hageman 2, T. Schouwerwou 1, D. Harreman, T. Ketelaars, K. Scheepens.

Refs: R. Prelovsky (Slovakia), A. Mustata (Romania)

Malta’s last act in the qualifiers for the U-19 European Championships in Montenegro next September turned out to be an honourable performance never mind a defeat at the hands of higher-ranked the Netherlands, yesterday.

The 12-7 scoreline reflects a battling display by Anthony Farrugia’s lads, who lived up to their tag of a good-standing squad in the ranking list.

Malta may have been excused to regard this match as an anti-climax following their fruitful victory over Britain the day before which led to the qualification for Montenegro.

Yet, Farrugia’s boys battled on bravely but could only keep up with the Dutch until midway through the second session.

In the opening session, Malta spearheaded by Mark Castillo, a flourishing talent, kept their heads up and they managed to draw level 2-2 with the Netherlands.

Castillo added three more goals to the seven netted in the previous days to finish Malta’s top scorer with 10 goals.

However, the irrepressible Lars Ten Broek, the tournament’s top scorer was a constant menace to the hosts. Yesterday he scored a hat-trick.

Netherlands’ five goals in the second session, sandwiched that of Gianni Farrugia who managed to put his name on the scoresheet for Malta, before Castillo completed his hat-trick.

In the third session, Alec Fenech opened his scoring account but the Dutch side extended their lead to five goals before the start of the last quarter.

In the last session, Fenech continued to add to his tally with two well-taken penalties to finish the tournament with nine goals.

Nevertheless, the issue had long been settled, with the Maltese sensing that their main task of earning a berth in the European Championship had been accomplished the day before.

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