Football magic moment: Malta U-21 team thrashes Northern Ireland 4-1

Malta's U-21 victory comes days after the senior team beat Cyprus 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier match


Ayrton Attard scoring Malta's fourth goal (Photo: Malta Football Association/Stephen Gatt)
Ayrton Attard scoring Malta's fourth goal (Photo: Malta Football Association/Stephen Gatt)

Malta's Under-21 team secured an impressive 4-1 win against Northern Ireland in the qualifying round for the UEFA Championship on Friday.

The team was playing at the Ta' Qali Centenary stadium under the helm of new coach Gilbert Agius.

This win comes days after the senior team dominated Cyprus with a 3-0 win in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, in what is a memorable patch for Maltese football.

First to score was Jake Engerer in the 24th minute, with a right-footed shot that headed straight to the centre of the goal.

A second goal was secured by Mattia Veselji 12 minutes later after receiving from Bradley Sciberras. Yet no sooner than four minutes later did Veselji bag another goal when he scored from the penalty spot.

Northern Ireland pulled one back when substitute Patrick Lane hit a powerful shot past the Maltese goalkeeper.

But it was Ayrton Attard who sealed proceedings and scored Malta's fourth goal at the 84th minute, with a powerful shot from the edge of the box and right into the top corner of the net.

The game ended with Malta enjoying 75% possession.

This victory comes after two straight defeats for the U-21 team in friendly matches against Qatar and Bosnia and Herzegovina last June.

Malta's U-21 team is currently playing in Group C in the qualifying round of the UEFA U-21 Championship 2023. This was Malta's first match, and the team will eventually play against Spain, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Russia.

The next match will take place on Tuesday 7 September, when Malta will play away against Russia.