Malta Football Association
Montenegro also too strong for Under-17 boys
Oct 12, 2021
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(c) Stephen Gatt
(c) Stephen Gatt

  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt




Tony Bezzina Stadium, Paola



(HT 0-0)

Roganovic 54, Bubanja 61, Mrvaljevic 90+5

Malta also left the third match of the UEFA Under-17 Tournament empty handed, this time against Montenegro. Both teams started the match on the zero-point mark, both losing their opening two matches against Turkey and Denmark, definitely the two strongest teams in this qualification group. In the Maltese starting line-up, coach Ivan Woods preferred Kian Leonardi instead of Timothy Cachia, a more attacking option, his only change compared to the last Denmark game on Saturday. 

The opening thirty minutes were quite balanced with a few opportunities for both sides, but the last phase in the 1st half definitely belonged to the guests. In the 31st minute, Montenegro captain Luka Lecic had an opportunity from the edge of the box which was saved in style by Malta goalkeeper Dominic Vella and a few minutes later, the lanky Marko Tadic had a shot blocked by a Maltese defender from an ideal six-yards distance. Balisa Mrvaljevic’s close-range attempt on 39 minutes was turned into a corner by Vella. However, Malta had the last say in the 1st half. On 44 minutes, an Ensell Attard goal, a wonderful header, was ruled out for off-site and in the attack that followed, Ivin Farrugia was close to open the score after an individual action on the right side of the pitch. The loose ball close to the goal line was however turned away by the Montenegro defence.  


In the 54th minute, Montenegro took the lead. Milan Roganovic punished a defensive mistake by Malta, beating Vella with a wonderful strike from the edge of the box. Substitute Luka Babanja doubled on the hour with a thunderbolt from the left side inside the box, giving Vella no chance. The physically strong Montenegro side kept on creating plenty of goal scoring opportunities, with Mrvaljevic and Tadic missing a few sitters. Malta tried hard to get back into the match and on 76 minutes, a Kaiden Fenech 20-meters distance free-kick just missed target. Substitute Sean Gatt was sent through on 82 minutes, beating his direct marker but Montenegro goalkeeper Petar Bobicic saved his attempt. Balsa Mrvaljevic added the third goal deep into stoppage time from a free-kick just outside the box.


Earlier today, Turkey beat Denmark in a spectacular match to take top spot in this group. The final score on 90 minutes was 3-3. With both teams having the same number of points and the same goal-average, penalties needed to decide the group winner, with Turkey taking them better then the Danes. 




Malta: Dominic Vella, Kian Vella (Ivin Farrugia 18), Myron Micallef, Sven Xerri, Andrew Apap-Bologna (Josiah Mallia 60), Isaiah Chukunyere, Lucas Caruana, Ensell Attard, Kaiden Fenech (Sean Gatt 76), Zak Barbara (Russell Caruana 60), Kian Leonardi (Timothy Cachia 76).

Coach: Ivan Woods


Montenegro: Petar Bobicic, Janko Vukicevic, Romario Camaj, Dragan Miranovic, Tomislav Turovic (Luka Bubanja 46), Vasilije Adzic (Andrija Skrobanovic 46), Luka Lecic, Milan Roganovic (Nikola Radusinovic 91), Marko Perovic (Nenad Krivokapic 83), Marko Tadic, Balsa Mrvaljevic.

Coach: Radovan Kavaja


Referee: Ion Orlic (Moldova)

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