12/06/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2018 04:37
Italy, who have advanced to the Elite Round of the current UEFA U-19 Championship, the finals of which will be staged in Armenia next year, will host the Mini-Tournament in November 2019.
Led by coach Winston Muscat, the Malta Under-19 team left a very positive impression in the last Euro U-19 qualifying mini-tournament in November, finishing third, only one point adrift of Belgium.
After a narrow 1-0 defeat to eventual group winners France, the Maltese youngsters drew 1-1 against Belgium and wrapped up with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Lithuania at the Centenary Stadium.
The qualifying round draw, held on Wednesday morning at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, involved 52 of the 54 entrants on the road to the finals in Northern Ireland in 2020.
Before the draw, Ellery Balcombe received the 2018 U19 EURO Fair Play prize, on behalf of last season's England team, from John Delaney, chairman of the UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee.
Ivan Vella, the Director of the National Teams, represented the Malta FA in the UEFA U-19 and U-17 Championship qualifying draws.
QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW
Group 1: Turkey, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Armenia
Group 2: Spain, Serbia, Romania, Lithuania
Group 3: Germany, Scotland, Belarus, Andorra
Group 4: Greece, Belgium, Iceland, Albania
Group 5: Russia, Poland, Wales, Kosovo
Group 6: Italy, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta
Group 7: Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino
Group 8: France, Denmark, Poland, Faroe Islands
Group 9: Ukraine, Sweden, Slovenia, Estonia
Group 10: Austria, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Gibraltar
Group 11: England, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Luxembourg
Group 12: Netherlands, Israel, Latvia, Moldova
Group 13: Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan
The top two sides in every group, along with the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair, will follow top seeds Portugal into the elite round in spring 2020.
The seven elite round group winners will join hosts Northern Ireland in that July's finals.