Connect with us


Clinical Turkey punish Malta at LEN U-17 European Championships

The Malta under-17 waterpolo national team.

TURKEY             12

MALTA              7

(1-1, 5-2, 3-4, 3-0)

The Malta U-17 national team were made to pay for a poor second-session performance as they slumped to a 12-7 defeat to hosts Turkey at the European Championship finals.

Milan Cirovic’s boys headed into the match heartened by their sprightly display in the 10-7 defeat to Italy on Friday.

But the Maltese youngsters seemed to lack the energy to overcome a strong Turkish side who were at their clinical best to punish every defensive hesitation from the Maltese youngsters to secure a comfortable victory.

In fact, the Turks build their win with a strong second-session performance which saw them score three goals without reply to put the match firmly in their hands, and from then on there was no way back for Cirovic’s boys.

Now Malta will end their commitments in the tournament when they face another European giant, France, in a play-off for 11th place on Sunday.

The match saw both teams play stringent press in the first session with the result that both sets of defences were making it very hard for their opponents to have a clean shot at goal.

It was Turkey who drew first blood when Orhan Alpman converted a man-up set.

Turkey could have added to their lead but Malta goalkeeper Zack Dzanovic effected some excellent saves.

The Maltese finally found the breakthrough when Jayden Cutajar hit a thumping drive that gave no chance to the Turkish goalkeeper.

Malta started the second session brightly with Jayden Cassar scoring with a long-range strike to put his team 2-1 ahead.

Turkey fought back and they managed to turn the match in their favour with two penalty conversions from Efe Naipoglu.

Ogui Karabulut profited from another man-up set to give his team a cushion two-goal lead, 4-2.

The Maltese players looked to be on the ropes and Ali Nuray extended his team further to make it 5-2.

Elijah  Schembri stopped the rot when netting Malta’s third goal from an extra-man set but the Turks struck again at the death through the excellent Naipoglu to change ends 6-3 ahead.

The Maltese players tried to force their way back into the match in the third session as goals from Schembri, Julian Valltta, Jayden Cutajar and Sam Engerer bridged the gap to two goals – 9-7.

But Turkey had no plans to throw away their advantage and in the final session, they sealed the match with quick-fire goals from Hamza Erdag Ali, Mithat Ayaksiz, and Arda Eran to seal their victory.

TURKEY: A. Isbeceren, E. Karabulut 1, E. Atam, S. Bozkus, B. Haskumru, S. Caliskan, E. Naipoglu 5, A. Nuray 1, M. Ayaksiz 1, A. Erdag 1, O. Alpman 2, A. Yener 1, B. Erginol.

MALTA: Z. Dzanovic, S. Engerer 1, J. Valletta 1, G. Bonavia, J. Cassar 1, D. Bugeja, Z. Cutajar Licari, J. Cutajar 2, E. Schembri 2, J. Chircop, L. Dimech, E. Mallia, M. Grech.

Referees: M. Balanescu (Romania), L. Berishvili (Georgia).

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Waterpolo