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Malta U-17 girls finish 12th at European Championship after Serbia defeat

SERBIA             11

MALTA            6

(4-2, 4-0, 2-2, 1-2)

The Malta women’s U-17 national team ended their commitments at the European Championship finals in 12th place after they were beaten by Serbia 11-6 in their final play-off match in Manisa, Turkey on Friday.

Anna Goncharenko’s girls were aware of the difficult task ahead on Friday when facing a Serbian team who hold great tradition in the sport of waterpolo.

But still the Maltese girls fought hard with their opponents to bow out of the competition with their heads held high after their historical achievement in the championship.

In fact, this is the first time that Malta manages a top 12 championship in such a prestigious championship and given the young talent that exists in the squad the future is bright for this national team.

The Maltese girls had started brightly as they shared four goals with their opponents, Zaira Bartolo, notching a brace of goals, one of which from the penalty spot.

The Serbians grabbed two goals in the final 90 seconds of the quarter to take a 4-2 lead.

The second session was owned by the Serbians who scored four goals without reply through Jovana Radonjic (2), Nika Ratkovic and Nadja Milenkovic to surge into an 8-2 lead.

The Maltese tried to fight back with Zaira Bartolo pulling a goal back from a penalty.

But the Serbians all but sealed the match with goals from Nika Ratkovic and Jovana Radonjic.

The Maltese girls were determined not to go out without a fight and managed to prevail in the final session by the odd goal in three.

Nadya Azzopardi struck twice as Malta bowed out of the tournament with an 11-6 defeat.

Malta: Kelise Agius, Nadya Azzopardi 2, Elisa Amato, Chloe Amato, Ezmily Mifsud, Elise Gatt, Zea Cutajar Licari, Jorjii Sky Stellini Wiedersum, Kaylen Cutajar, Eyla Schembri 1, Zaira Bartolo 3, Joelys Sammut.

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