Malta Football Association
NEWS:
First Euro point for Malta girls as they eye positive 2020
Jan 2, 2020
Posted in:
General
BOV Women's League
UEFA Women's EURO 2021 Qualifiers
Maria Farrugia (right) surges forward in the EURO qualifier against Israel. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
Maria Farrugia (right) surges forward in the EURO qualifier against Israel. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Maria Farrugia (right) surges forward in the EURO qualifier against Israel. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Birkirkara celebrate their BOV Women's Super Cup at the National Stadium.

The Malta women’s national team obtained their first ever point in the Women’s EURO 2021 qualifying Group B which also comprises heavyweights Italy and Denmark, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel and Georgia.


A bright showing from Mark Gatt’s team against 66th-ranked Israel on home soil in November was rewarded with a point following a 1-1 draw. Had the Maltese taken the open chances they created, they could have easily left the pitch of the Centenary Stadium with the three points.

 

Sunderland AFC Ladies player Maria Farrugia, one of a host of foreign-based players in the Maltese squad, netted Malta’s goal – her second for the national team. So far, Gatt’s team have also played Italy twice, Denmark away from home and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo in this preliminary round.

 

Despite failing to pick up a point against one of these strong sides, the Maltese girls gained invaluable experience which should stand them in good stead for the second part of this qualifying trek in 2020. Malta resume their qualfying commitments with an important double-header against Georgia and Bosnia in Malta come March.

 

Meanwhile, 2019 was also a positive year for the national youth teams as they took part in the annual UEFA Youth Development Tournament and the European U-17 qualifiers. The Development Tournament, for U-16 teams, was staged at th Centenary Stadium with the home side facing Gibraltar, Andorra and Albania.

 

Under the guidance of coaching duo Dorianne Theuma and Charlene Zammit, the Maltese girls won all three matches with comfortable scorelines – Gibraltar (5-1), Andorra (7-0) and Albania (4-0) emulating last year’s three-win record.

 

Meanwhile, Theuma and Zammit were also in charge of the U-17 girls’ team that made the trip to Belarus for the U-17 Euro qualifiers where they faced heavyweights France, the much-improved Iceland and the hosts.

 

After a tough start against the French, the Maltese gave a good account of themselves in a narrow 1-0 defeat to the Nordic nation before clinching a point in the 1-1 draw against Belarus.

 

The 2020 calendar will see both tournaments taking centre-stage once again, with Malta hosting both of them. Newly-appointed coach Dionne Tonna and her assistant Clint Tabone will be in charge of the U-16 team when they host Azerbaijan, Gibraltar and Scotland in February in the Development Tournament before taking on the strong Germany and Belgium teams together with Azerbaijan in the U-17 qualifiers, in September.


DOMINANT STRIPES

 

2019 was a great year for Birkirkara who concluded their 2018/2019 campaign with another league-cup double under the guidance of Melania Bajada.

 

After another Women’s Champions League trip in the summer, the Stripes have resumed their winning trend in the domestic league as they are top of the Women’s League. On December 13, they captured their fifth Super Cup success after a 5-0 win over Mġarr United at the National Stadium.

 

Nonetheless, Mġarr United remain one of the top teams in Malta as they reached the domestic cup final last season and are once again among the front-runners in the title challenge.

 

The 2019/2020 championship, though, could easily become a three-horse race should Swieqi United maintain their early-season form as this year’s campaign promises to be an intriguing one.  

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