Sliema Hotsticks Hockey Club

Sicilia Dolceamara for the National Team

On Saturday the National Team travelled to Sicily to play two friendly matches in the space of a few hours as preparations for Lithuania continued. A squad of 17 players, alongside 4 members of the coaching staff and HAM President Chris Busuttil Leaver, headed up to take on CUS Catania at their home ground.

The first match yielded a 3-1 win with Joseph Cuschieri scoring from a short corner action and John Williams scoring two goals – the first coming from a second attempt at goal after Edward Hughes hit the post, and the second being an excellently deflected goal after Keith Scicluna’s pass into the dee.

The second match did not go as planned as Malta fell to a 1-3 loss to a stronger side. Despite having a few half-chances, the team found themselves 0-3 down after the second quarter; two goals coming from short corner actions. The players tried to get back into the game and rallied well – John Borg scoring from the penalty spot to reduce the deficit – however it was not enough and the final whistle signaled the first loss for Malta since Pieter Bregman took over the team.

The coach commented that, despite the loss, he was happy with the overall result of the one-day visit and will be hoping the team continue to improve with the European Championship just over one month away.


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