Connect with us


Heartbreak for Malta U-16 as Romania sneak win at the death at worlds



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

A soft penalty conceded one minute from time gave a Romania 12-11 victory over a transformed Malta side yesterday at the National Pool.

In a largely eventful last session, Malta conceded a penalty for a ball under when in possession as Ru Paladiciuc converted the five-metre throw and hand Romania their first win of the tournament.

Yet, this episode is hardly telling the full story.

Malta had a great comeback that reached its peak midway through the last session of the match when they overturned an 8-4 deficit to pull 10-9 in front.

The indications were far from bright for Jonathan Valletta’s boys when they stumbled to a four-goal deficit twice in the match, before the shift of ends and midway through the third session.

Yet, Malta’s grit and the encouragement by a sizeable crowd played a big part in their recovery which started late in the third session.

This was a recovery of gigantic proportions which had teamwork, determination and scoring protagonists in the shape of Shailon Cutajar Casha, author of five goals, and Sam Engerer, who struck three times. It’s real shame that such a gallant performance ended in a defeat for Malta.

Now Malta need to beat Greece today to qualify for the next round of the World Aquatics U-16 Championship.

Romania took an early lead but eventually Malta closed ranks and netted twice through Cutajar Casha and Engerer. Meanwhile, Paladiciuc scored twice on either side of the first quarter as Romania went 3-2 ahead.

Engerer, employed on position no. 4, was directing operations. But the Malta boys were off to a tottering start in the second session, conceding four consecutive goals as Romania changed ends 6-2 ahead.

Malta changed gear in the third session and Andre Aquilina halved the deficit with two quick goals. The hosts conceded a soft penalty as Cimpoeru halted Malta’s momentum before Roland Orsos restored their four-goal cushion.

Yet, Malta were not to be denied when Engerer pulled two goals back with 22 seconds to go. First, with a close-range effort, then profiting from a contra-foul which left the Romanians exposed at the back.

The transformation in the Maltese side was kept up in the last session.

Shailon Cutajar Casha led Malta’s charge and equalised on 8-8 with two quick-fire goals. Paladiciuc was a thorn in the Malta side with his outside play on the right flank. He made it 9-8, before Cutajar Casha with a cute lob and Engerer gave Malta the lead.

The lead alternated before that decisive turnaround which tilted the balance in Romania’s favour.

MALTA: Z. Dzanovic, M. Lanzon 1, T. Fenech , A. Aquilina 2, S. Cutajar Casha 5,  M. Cassar, S. Mifsud, S. Engerer 3 , J. Pawley Neame, J. Borg Tabone, A. Fava, P. Tabone , Z. Attard.

ROMANIA: V. Dumitrasco, D. Feke, R. Orsos 2, B. Nagy, A. Pop Cotuna, M. Orient 1, A. Popa Mihuta, R. Cimpoeru 1, R. Paladiciuc 6, M. Angelescu 1, A. Rotaru, D. Holhos, D. Boros 1.

Refs K. Dvoracek (Czech Republic), L. Santos (Portugal).

Other result: Greece vs Kazakhstan 12-7.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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


World Cup News


More in Waterpolo