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Malta waterpolo place sixth after defeat to superior Iran team

IRAN  15

MALTA            9

(2-2, 4-3, 3-0, 6-4)

The Malta waterpolo national team were beaten by Iran in the positional play-offs at the World Cup Division Two tournament to end their commitments in sixth place in Berlin.

The team led by Niki Lanzon was coming into the match on the back of a convincing 15-8 win over South Africa on Saturday and hoped they could complete their commitments with another victory.

The Maltese team held their own for much of the match, but a poor showing in the third quarter jeopardised their hopes of victory as the Iranians went on to stroll to a convincing victory.

The first session was evenly-balanced as the two teams shared four goals with Liam Galea and Nikolai Zammit on the mark for Malta.

In the second session, it looked as though Malta would seize control as Galea and Zammit were again on the mark to put their team 4-2 ahead before Alec Fenech added a fifth goal.

But the Iranians managed to fight back, netting three goals without reply to go at the interval 6-5 ahead.

In the third quarter, the Iranians took control of the match as they managed to score three goals without reply against a Malta team who looked to have lost their scoring prowess.

Trailing by four goals, it was always going to be tough for the Maltese to turn the match in their favour, and in fact, the Iranians managed to administer well their advantage, finding the net six times, against Malta’s four.

Malta’s scorers in this final session were Nikolai Zammit, Liam Galea (2) and Jeremy Abela.

MALTA: J. Tanti, M. Mifsud, L. Galea 4, N. Bugelli, S. Gialanze, B. Cachia, B. Plumpton, J. Camilleri, J. Abela 1, N. Zammit 3, A. Fenech 1, D. Zammit, M. Castillo.

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