Malta's first official outing of the new season produced a negative outcome as Dusan Fitzel's team lost 3-0 to Albania at the Qemal Stafa Stadium, in Tirana.
There was very little exciting play from both sides, particularly in the first half, but the hosts made the most of the chances that fell their way to register a morale-boosting win ahead of next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Albania scored their goals through Hamdi Salihit (22nd), Besart Berisha (46th) and Klodian Duros (60th).
Malta will play Turkey on September 8 at the National Stadium. The squad has just completed a week-long training camp in Slovakia.
Malta: Mario Muscat, Roderick Briffa, Ian Azzopardi, Brian Said, Josef Mifsud, Jamie Pace, Gilbert Agius, Etienne Barbara, George Mallia, Andre Schembri, Terence Scerri.
Subs used: Justin Haber, Andrew Cohen, Steven Wellman, Cleaven Frendo, Aaron Xuereb.
U-19 tournament: Malta lost their second match in the U-19 international tournament currently being played in the Czech Republic.
Yesterday, they were beaten 4-0 by the host team.