Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Vibrant display earns Malta girls win over Georgia
Mar 5, 2020
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UEFA Women's EURO 2021 Qualifiers
Malta celebrate Rachel Cuschieri's opening goal. PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Malta celebrate Rachel Cuschieri's opening goal. PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Malta celebrate Rachel Cuschieri's opening goal. PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • The Malta women's team before their match against Georgia. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2021 – 05/03/2020
CENTENARY STADIUM

 

MALTA 2
Cuschieri 18
Bugeja 46

 

GEORGIA 1
Tchkonia 77
 


The Malta women’s national team attained their first win in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifying campaign after defeating Georgia 2-1 at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.

 

Malta were the better team throughout the match and secured the points thanks to an early goal from Rachel Cuschieri and one from young Haley Bugeja at the start of the second half.

 

Led by coach Mark Gatt, the Maltese girls ought to have won by a bigger margin as they created several chances with Georgia briefly coming into the match with a late goal scored by Kathia Tchkonia. Nevertheless, Malta's resilience helped them to secure a precious victory, their seventh in total in UEFA and FIFA qualifying campaigns. Moreover, it was the third win in as many matches against Georgia for the Maltese girls.

 

Malta produced the first chance of the game through Emma Lipman who headed wide from a Dorianne Theuma corner inside the third minute. Moments later, Cuschieri came close to putting Malta one up but failed to direct Theuma’s cross at the far post as Gatt’s girls continued to press for an early goal.

 

It was not long before Malta took a deserved lead thanks to Cuschieri in the 18th minute. Bugeja powered her way past her marker before sending in a delightful cross into the box and PSV Vrouwen midfielder Cuschieri hit home for her 11th goal for Malta.

 

Gatt’s team remained on the front foot with Theuma going close on a couple of occasions. First, the Georgia goalkeeper denied her from a set-piece before the Maltese captain failed to head the ball into the net from inside the penalty area. In the 27th minute, Malta threatened again but Theuma’s volley sailed over the bar.

 

Ann-Marie Said then had an effort going wide after receiving from Bugeja on the edge of the area. The red-shirted players stayed on top with Lipman having another go with a header only to miss the target.

 

Sunderland AFC Ladies forward Maria Farrugia embarked on a solo effort as she darted into the box before letting fly a shot only to denied by the Georgia goalkeeper.

 

On the brink of half-time, Bugeja missed an inviting chance to double Malta’s lead as she missed the target from inside the penalty area as Malta led by one goal going into the break.

 

Malta could not have asked for a better start to the second half as they doubled their lead through Bugeja. The MÄ¡arr United forward profited from a mistake at the back and raced through before firing home. Bugeja has now found the net twice in five games for Malta.

 

Gatt’s girls remained the better team on the field of play. Farrugia could have sealed the win only for Georgia goalkeeper to block her close-range effort.

 

Georgia pulled one back when Tchkonia capitalised on a moment of hesitation in the Malta backline to reduce the deficit to just one goal.

 

Malta could have restored their two-goal advantage but Bugeja was denied by the woodwork. Malta kept their composure to preserve their lead, in the process securing a deserved win.

 

Malta, now with four points from six matches, host Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off: 18.30).
 

MALTA
Janice Xuereb, Ann-Marie Said, Emma Lipman, Stephania Farrugia, Dorianne Theuma, Rachel Cuschieri, Maria Farrugia (90 Martina Borg), Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit, Brenda Borg, Haley Bugeja (88 Emma Xuereb).
Coach: Mark Gatt. 

 

GEORGIA

Teona Sukhashvili, Nino Pasikashvili, Tatiana Matveeva, Lela Chichinadze, Khatia, Tchkonia, Tamari Tatuashvili, Tamar Kvelidze (66 Gvantsa Kadagishvili), Nino Sutidze, Teona Bakradze (57 Ana Cheminava), Teona Todadze, Elena Raukh.
Coach: Levan Bajelidze.

 

Referee: Araksya Saribekyan (Armenia). 

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