(0-3, 1-2, 3-3, 2-4)
Malta succumbed to its third defeat in the 2018 LEN European Waterpolo Championships after falling 12-6 to France, on Friday.
It was an improved performance by the Maltese side as they scored their highest number of goals in this tournament so far.
However, numerous errors especially in man-up situations proved costly for Karl Izzo's side as France prevailed from Malta's mistakes to claim the spoils.
After three defeats in Group B, Malta will now be involved in a series of ranking matches to determine their final placement, between the 13th and 16th spot.
Their first commitment will be against Slovakia, on Sunday at 3.00pm.
France opened a three-goal lead in the first session with the Maltese having to do without Dino Zammit who suffered a shoulder injury early in the game.
Malta looked much brighter in the second session and they also managed to score through Steven Camilleri, as they tried to make to the score more respectable.
In a thrilling third session, which finished 3-3, Malta continued to put more pressure on France. Jerome Gabaretta, Ben Plumpton and Aurelien Cousin listed their names on the scoresheet for Izzo's side.
France sealed their victory in the final session, which saw them extend their lead, to secure their first points in the Group. Matthew Zammit and Plumpton, with his second of the evening, found the net for Malta.
FRANCE: R. Garsau; R. Saudadier 1; M. Olivon 1; M. Bachelier; E. Khasz 1; T. Vernoux; U. Crousillat 4; D. Guillaume 1; R. Marion-Vernoux 1; C. Cannone; P. Vanpeperstraete 2; H. Lepoint 1.
MALTA: N. Grixti; J. Gabaretta 1; A. Galea; J. Abela; M. Spiteri Staines; M. Zammit 1; S. Camilleri 1; J. Camilleri; B. Plumpton 2; A. Cousin 1; N. Bugelli; D. Zammit; J. Tanti.
Referees: Nenad Peris (Croatia); Diana Dumas-Dutilh (Netherlands).
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