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More match experience for Malta's U16 team

Published: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 15:39
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17th June 2022, Ta’ Qali Training Grounds
(HT 0-3)
The Maltese under 15 and 16 teams are closing their 2021/22 season with a series of Friendlies at the training grounds at Ta’ Qali. While the Under 15s will play Gibraltar today (kick off 18h), the Under-16s, under guidance of coach Andrea Vella, started their commitments yesterday evening with a Friendly match against Austria. The visitors proved too strong with a final 1-5 score line.
The hosts started well, keeping the strong Austrians initially at bay. Malta goalkeeper Niklas Vella blocked an effort of Niko Wurmbrand in style early in the match, while right wing back Peter Ohaka came close to open the score for Malta moments later, but his grounder just missed target.
It was Yasin Mankan who broke the deadlock for the visitors on 19 minutes, rounding off a fast Austria attack. Ten minutes later, the towering centre-forward Philip Verhounig doubled for the visitors and two minutes later, the Austrians displayed their strength once more by adding the third goal, again thanks to Verhounig. 
After the break, Verhounig hit the woodwork with an accurate header on 52 minutes. In Malta’s very first serious attack in the second half, Jake Azzopardi pulled one back, volleying home a wonderful Shaun Carabott cross from the left, a great goal. However, in the hour, Verhounig restored parity with Austria’s fourth goal, followed by a fifth by Johan Zivkovic, who kicked the ball behind Vella from the edge of the box on 64 minutes. Vella performed a number of good saves throughout the match, keeping the score line acceptable. While the Maltese showed some good combination football occasionally, they definitely had to admit the difference in strength between the two nations.
Both teams will meet again Monday evening, a match which will be played at the same venue and kick off-time (18h).
Niklas Vella, Peter Ohaka (Kewell Fardell 57), Shaun Carabott (Sasa Glumac 69, Jack Micallef 80), Kayden Farrugia, Nic Briffa, Kean Scicluna, Benjamin Cassar (Lenny Mattocks 57), Jake Azzopardi (Nexille Grech 80), Liam Delicata (Bradley Farrugia 69), Felippe Bugeja (Mike Hudson 57), Keyon Ewurum.
Coach; Andrea Vella
Elias Lorenz, Jannik Schuster, Marijna Oesterreicher, Jakob Brunnhofer, Oliver Lukic, Leon Lalic, Jovan Zivkovic, Alexander Murauer (Jakob Brandtner 69), Jovan Zivkovic, Yasin Mankan, Nikolaus Wurmbrand, Philip Verhounig.
Coach: Manfred Zsak
Referee; Reuben Spiteri (Malta)
Photo credits: Stephen Gatt