Germany & Switzerland share spoils in opening match at the Gozo Stadium
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All eyes of the Maltese and European football followers are on the grand stage tiny Malta has prepared for the 12-day event of the UEFA European Under 17 Finals, which will capture the imagination of millions watching the 15 matches on TV screens courtesy of Eurosport.
Chairman of the Maltese Organising Committee and Malta Football Association CEO, Bjorn Vassallo, extended his committee’s welcome to the visitors to Malta, “a small country which offers much more than friendship and hospitality in the best tradition of the Mediterranean region.”Germany and Switzerland ended their first match in Group B of the UEFA European Under 17 Finals with a 1-1 draw, at the Gozo Stadium.
Germany took the lead in the 58th minute through B. Henrichs with substitute B. Babic scoring the leveller in the 72nd minute following a mistimed clearance by the German defenders.
The Germans had a golden opportunity to secure the three points in the dying moments of the match when they were awarded a penalty, which resultant kick was however saved by the Swiss keeper.
Spectators at the match commented, “it was a great match. The organisation was excellent and the atmosphere very, very, tense and exciting.” Children of all ages from Gozo Schools attended the match.
England beat Malta 3-0 in the second match from Group A of the UEFA European Under 17 Championship Finals.
The match was played in front of a sizable crowd at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali, and the continuous backing by the thousands of children coming from local football nurseries, helped the local lads to hold their heads high in front of the mighty English team.
Nevertheless England dominated the match, scoring two goals in the first half through Roberts and Armstrong. Patrick Roberts (undoubtedly the most talented English player), added a third in the 48th minute.
Photographs from the Gozo Stadium by Alain Salvary.