Malta Football Association
Malta U21 lose warm up match against Swiss 1-3
Mar 23, 2018
Posted in:
U21 - Friendlies


Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali,
Friendly international match

MALTA U/21…1
(HT 0-1)

The Malta U/21 played a warm up match today against a powerful Swiss U/20 side. The hosts however, gave a good account of themselves throughout the match. The Swiss had more ball possession and the 1-3 scoreline was a deserved one. New in the starting line-up of Silvio Vella was defender Kurt Shaw of Sliema Wanderers, deputizing for Jean Borg who played for the national team yesterday evening.

The match was played in difficult circumstances with a hard and cold wind and the occasional shower. In the 11th minute a good run of Joseph Mbong on the right was followed by a cross into the box but Jurgen Degabriele could not finish off this attack. One minute later Switzerland took the lead. An attack on the right wing was coolly rounded off by Kwadwo Duah inside the box.

On 19 minutes, Juan Corbolan had his shot from inside the box saved by Swiss goalkeeper Philipp Kohn. Two minutes later, Degabriele was inches short of meeting a Jake Grech free-kick from just outse the box. This was a good period for the hosts as barely one minute later, Kyrian Nwoko’s scorcher from 20 meters hit the crossbar.

In the 28th minute, goalkeeper Jake Galea needed to be replaced by Andreas Vella of Mosta, a new goalkeeper in the U21 squad. Vella did well to intercept a challenge by Neftali Manzambi in the 39th minute in a clear scoring opportunity for Switzerland. Nwoko, one of Malta’s best players today, was again dangerous two minutes from half-time. His powerful shot from just outside the box was saved however by Kohn.

The hosts were playing against the wind in the second half. The first opportunity came from the visitors in the 54th minute via substitute Martin Liechti who’s shot from close in sailed high. Not much later however, the visitors doubled the score via a thunderbolt from just outside the box of Vasilije Janjicic on the hour, leaving Vella helpless. At that moment, Vella introduced another two promising youngsters with Andrea and Conor Borg, who play for Peterborough and AS Roma respectively. In the 67th minute Nwoko pulled one back for Malta after finishing off a good attack in the centre of the pitch, a much-deserved goal for the hosts.

In the 74th minute another new face entered the pitch for Malta. It was Dylon Agius’ turn, who plays for Pieta’ Hotspurs. With ten minutes on the clock a Janjicic scorcher just missed target. One minute later it was 1-3 for the visitors with Dunstan Vella unluckily deflecting a shot from Neftali Manzambi.  With two minutes to go, Neil Tabone of Zejtun Corinthians entered the fray, another new player in the squad of Vella.

It was a useful warm-up match for the squad, who now travel to Turkey to play another match in the UEFA U/21 Championships, next Tuesday 27 March.

Malta: Jake Galea (Andrea Vella 28), Kurt Zammit (Neil Tabone 88), Dunstan Vella, Karl Micallef, Kurt Shaw, Juan Corbolan (Conor Borg 60) , Joseph Mbong (Dylon Agius 74), Michele Sansone, Jake Grech (Nicky Muscat 80), Kyrian Nwoko, Jurgen Degabriele (Andrea Borg 60)
Switzerland: Philipp Kohn, Charles Pickel (Allan Arigoni 46), Cedric Zesiger (Timo Righetti 46), Linus Obexer, Jan Bamert, Remo Arnold (Robin Huser 46), Michael Aebischer (Martin Liechti 46), Ruben Vargas, Vasilije Janjicic, Kwadwo Duah (Petar Pusic 46), Neftali Manzabi

Referee: Clayton Pisani (Malta)

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