(5-2, 1-2, 0-2, 3-1)
The Malta waterpolo U-16 national team missed out on winning a bronze medal in the Gold Group at the World Championships after suffering a 9-7 defeat to Brazil in Volos on Saturday.
Anthony Farrugia’s team were up against the Brazilians in the play-offs for third and fourth place in the group but were outlasted by the Brazilians’ strong display in the final session that swayed the match in their favour.
In the end, the Maltese youngsters had to settle for fourth place in the Gold Group but it is still a remarkable result for Farrugia’s charges as they ended their commitments in an impressive 12th place in the tournament from 25 countries from around the world.
The Brazilians were up and running in the first session as they managed to score five goals with the Maltese managing two pull two goals back through Dean Bugeja and the recovered Jayden Cutajar.
Malta tried to fight back in the second session and goals from Luigi Dimech and Cutajar helped the team to bridge the page to 6-4 when ends were changed.
The Maltese managed to turn the momentum in their favour in the third session as goals from
Elisah Schembri and Zak Cutajar Licari levelled the match with just one quarter to play.
It was all to play for now, but here the Brazilians came to the fore as late goals from Pedro Ribeiro and Luca Siqueira secured them the win with Malta’s response coming only through a Zak Cutajar Licari goal.
MALTA: Dale Galea Mule, L. Dimech 1, S. Engerer, G. Bonavia, J. Cassar, D. Bugeja 1, Z. Cutajar Licari 2, J. Cutajar 2, E. Schembri 1, C. Cutajar, L. Montebello Brownrigg, E. Mallia, I. Schembri.