The Malta U-21 national team battled to earn a hard fought 2-1 win over Turkmenistan in first international friendly at their Antalya training camp, in Turkey.
Malta started well and had the best chances in the first half, as Silvio Vella's team was tactically disciplined against this stubborn side ready to pounce on every single mistake.
In the second half, Malta kept its composure and was only punished temporarily with the opponents leveller from a penalty before Aidan Friggieri’s dazzling goal just before the hour mark settled the score.
After nine minutes, Sliema Wanderers defender Kurt Shaw fired a powerful shot that went just over the Turkmenistan goal.
Malta opened the score on 27 minutes when Aidan Friggieri sent a corner from the left, ball fell pretty on Zachary Brincat’s right foot who drifted the ball in the bottom corner.
Turkmenistan replied on 34 minutes when Borjakov Ali tried his luck from 35metres out but Andreas Vella in Malta goal was aware and saved comfortably.
Malta went close again following a good move on the left from Beerman who sent a hard low cross, the ball hitting Friggieri who was in an open goal position before the ball went wide.
Four minutes into the second half Turkmenistan levelled the score when the Turkish referee ordered a penalty after a Maltese played handled the ball in the penalty area.
From the penalty spot, Myrat Rahman slotted the ball home in the bottom corner.
Malta went back in front with the winning goal on 56 minutes when Aidan Friggieri converted a curling effort into goal.
Andreas Vella, Michele Sansone (Zachary Grech 46), Connor Zammit, Kurt Shaw, Nicky Pulis, Jean Borg, Aidan Friggieri (Jan Tanti 65), Marcus Grima, Zachary Brincat (Paul Mbong 85), Jan Busuttil (Neil Frendo 72), Myles Beerman.
Ahallyyev Rustem, Sakayev Erik, Annayev Odemyrat, Rovshenmyradov Resul, Priyev Ruslan, Borjakov Ali, Annayev Azat, Rozyyev Nury, Myradov Begenchmyrat, Myratberdiyev Rahman, Hydyrov Shamammet
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