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Malta U-19s ease past Slovakia to open European qualifier campaign in emphatic style

Jayden Cutajar shoots at goal against Slovakia. Photo: Timmy Cutugno

MALTA            15

SLOVAKIA       7

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

The Malta U-19 national team were off to a winning start at the European Championship qualifiers when they eased past Slovakia in their opening match in Poland on Friday.

It was a very impressive performance from the Maltese youngsters who controlled the match right from the outset with youngster Max Zammit emerging as a prolific goalscorer for the national team as he managed to find the net no less than five times.

The win was a huge boost for the Maltese youngsters to secure the only qualifying spot available in this group and sets them nicely for Saturday’s second match where they face hosts Poland.

The Maltese side were off to a storming start as they surged into a 4-1 lead at the end of the opening session.

After Alec Fenech missed an early penalty, Max Zammit put the team ahead before Jayden Cutaja converted a man-up set.

Goals from Luigi Mallia and Jayden Cutajar made it 4-1 with Ivan Kopolovets netting Slovakia’s only goal.

The Maltese youngsters remained on top as despite Slovakia’s fightback they managed to shade the second session five goals to four to head into the interval 9-5 ahead.

Jayden Cassar netted a brace with the other goals coming from Zammit, Julian Valletta and Fenech.

The third session saw the Maltese regain control of the match and managed to score three times without reply through Zammit, who completed his hat-trick, as well as a Jayden Cutajar penalty and Jake Cachia to extend their advantage to 12-6 with one session to go.

Enjoying a six-goal margin, the final session turned out to be an academic one as the Maltese easily administered their lead.

Here, Max Zammit took centre stage when he scored a brace before Zach Cutajar Licari grabbed the team’s 15th goal to seal an emphatic victory.

MALTA: Z. Dzanovic, L. Mallia 1, J. Valletta 1, J. Cassar 2, J. Cachia 1, D. Bugeja, M. Zammit 5, J. Cutajar 3, E. Schembri, K. Borg, A. Fenech 1, Z. Cutajar Licari 1, S. Livori.

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