Losing 7-0 To Spain, Malta Gets Serious And Pulls One Back From The Center Circle

As the great Maximus Decimus Meridius once said, never know when you're conquered. Even when all about you is burning and crumbling to ruin, remain calm and listen to that little voice inside that says, "Hold on! You might still go viral!" 

That's what happened to Malta's U-21 team in Tuesday's UEFA U-21 Euro 2023 qualifier against Spain's collection of twinkle-toed phenoms from La Masia and La Fábrica.

The scoreline at halftime was a respectable 2-0, but it grew to 7-0 by the 78th minute with braces for Braga's Abel Ruiz and the Real Sociedad duo of Robert Navarro and Julen Lobete. Atlético's Manu Sánchez added another.

It's probably worth mentioning that Spain entered the match having already qualified for the finals with seven wins from seven games and 30 goals scored. Malta, on the other hand, was bottom of the group with just six points. 

But you could say that Malta ultimately finished above disqualified Russia (0 points) in Group C, and the team's final act from qualifying was pulling one back in grand style against Spain in the 84th minute.

This has to be the greatest, most meaningless consolation goal ever scored.

Malta's Andrea Zammit said "dammit, I'm not going out like this."

He pulled out the gladiator mask celebration because I told you, he's Maximus Decimus Meridius. 

Mask on

"I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

Next summer's U-21 Euros are co-hosted by Romania and Georgia. The tournament also serves as European qualification for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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