Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta takes victory home over Romania
Sep 8, 2016
Posted in:
General
National Team
U17 - Friendlies
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar

  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar
  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar

 

Following their 1-1 draw on Tuesday, Malta strived to take victory home in their second consecutive match against Romania, and they managed to do so with a 3-2 victory. Sarah Urpani opened the score and Gozitan Maria Farrugia grabbed a brace.


 

Malta opened the match strongly, with Maria Farrugia knocking on Romania’s door just after three minutes of play, but her effort was well parried by Romania’s goalkeeper, Szidonia Salamon. Few minutes later, Farrugia was again protagonist with an effort from outside the box, but her shot went wide over the bar. Midfielder Celeste Grech tried her luck with a well-struck shot, but Romania’s goalkeeper tipped the ball into corner. Romania started to inch up their way into the pitch, and their first effort on goal came from Ana Itoafa, but she missed the target. Malta’s goalkeeper, Jodie Attard produced a wonderful save, when she denied Ana Maria Vladulescu’s shot within metres from her. A big save which ignited the Maltese players, as they immediately replied with their first goal courtesy of Sarah Urpani. Farrugia slipped a through ball behind the Romanian backline, from Urpani capitalized with a low-drive. Moments later, Farrugia doubled the score, when all alone in front of Romania’s number one, she slotted ball behind her. Just before the half-time whistle, Michela Felice almost added a third with a powerful shot but she was denied by the Romanian goalkeeper.

 

After the change of ends, Romania were more aggressive, seeking their first goal which would reduce the gap. Oana Neorea was the first to take the initiative, when she tried her luck inside the box, but Attard was ready to deny their first goal. Romania did get one back in the early minutes of the second half, and put Malta under a real mental test as they had to cope with Romania’s pressing. Yet, Malta remained compact and spirited, and it was Farrugia again who listed her name on the score sheet for the third time in two matches, with a carbon copy of the second goal. Romania though, were not battered and they managed to pull one back few minutes later. In the final minutes of the match, Romania piled up pressure on Malta’s backline but they struggled to penetrate them as the Maltese fought until the final whistle to take victory home.

 

 

 

This double-header against Romania served as a preparation for Frank Schembri’s side ahead of next month’s trip to Greece for their 2017 UEFA Women’s Under 17 European Championship Qualification. Malta has been drawn in Group 2 and they will start their commitments against Greece on the 6th of October. On the 11th of October, they will cross swords with Sweden while in their final encounter, they will face Montenegro on the 11th of October.

 

Malta’s starting XI: Jodie Attard; Kimberley Borg, Chloe Ann Ellul, Leanne Cefai (C), Nicole Sciberras, Celeste Grech, Maria Farrugia, Amy Busuttil, Samantha Zarb, Sarah Urpani, Michela Felice.

 

Gianluca Lia.

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