Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Buoyant Malta girls target positive showing against Bosnia
Mar 9, 2020
Posted in:
General
UEFA Women's EURO 2021 Qualifiers
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

  • PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Another international assignment awaits the Malta women’s national team as they face Bosnia & Herzegovina in their seventh UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifier at the Centenary Stadium tomorrow (Tuesday) at 18.30.


Enthusiasm is high in the Malta squad following Thursday’s 2-1 win over Georgia which helped Mark Gatt’s team move fourth with four points in Group B. It was also Malta’s first ever top-level win in a qualifying campaign.

 

Gatt is eyeing another solid showing from his team to maintain the upward trend. Malta’s positive showings against the likes of Israel, Switzerland and Georgia reflect the growth and progress of these girls throughout this qualifying campaign.

 

“The Georgia result was uplifting, helping us to maintain our positive performances which started with the 1-1 draw against Israel in November,” Gatt said. “We are gaining more credibility thanks to our work, in the process attracting more interest as a result of our commitment to this project.

 

“These girls are setting the bar high for the upcoming generation and that means that we are on the right track to achieve our objectives.”

 

Gatt explained that one of the objectives prior to this qualifying campaign was to improve the fitness level of the squad to ensure that the team is competitive in every match.

 

“When it comes to the fitness aspect, I am very pleased because the team has improved a lot recently and this is also thanks to the work of our physical trainer, Karl Attard," Gatt explained.

 

Asked what kind of challenge he expects from the 61st-ranked Bosnia, Gatt said they are tougher opponents compared to Georgia but he is still upbeat about his team’s chances.

 

“Bosnia are the highest-ranked nation behind Denmark and Italy in our group,” the Malta coach said.

 

“We lost 2-0 away but I believe that the team has improved gradually. We have a lot of respect for Bosnia but I prefer to focus on our own playing style and gameplan because I believe we can get a good result.”

 

Nicole Sciberras, who plays for the youth team of Juventus, and Pink Bari’s Shona Zammit are back in the fray. The home match against Bosnia promises to be a special occasion for captain Dorianne Theuma as she is in line to make her 100th appearance for Malta.

 

CUSCHIERI’S EXPERIENCE

 

Another experienced player in the Malta team, Rachel Cuschieri, is on a high after netting Malta's opening goal in the 2-1 victory over Georgia – her 11th for the national team.

 

Cuschieri, currently on the books of PSV Vrouwen in the Netherlands, explained that this victory meant a lot to her and her team-mates, especially since it was a historic one.

 

“I am very pleased that we managed to claim the three points and make history," Cuschieri said.

 

“On a personal note, it was a relief for me to score after almost two years out due to injury.”

 

Cuschieri is one of many foreign-based players in the Malta squad. The former Birkirkara skipper, who has also played in Cyprus and Belgium, stressed that the greater the number of players playing abroad, the better the team will become.

 

“Football is my profession and whenever I am with the national team, I always try to share my experience with my team-mates,” she said.

 

“I feel that the mentality of this team is growing also thanks to the players based overseas and that is highlighted in our results.”

 

MALTA SQUAD 

 

GOALKEEPERS
Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Jodie Attard (Raiders Għargħur).

 

DEFENDERS
Stephania Farrugia, Ann-Marie Said, Alishia Sultana (all Birkirkara); Emma Lipman (Florentia San Gimignano – Italy); Charlene Zammit (Swieqi United); Nicole Sciberras (Juventus – Italy)
 

MIDFIELDERS
Gabriella Zahra, Veronique Mifsud (both Birkirkara); Rachel Cuschieri (PSV Vrouwen – Netherlands); Jade Flask, Dorianne Theuma, Emma Xuereb (all Swieqi United); Claudette Xuereb (Mġarr United); Shona Zammit (Pink Bari – Italy).
 

FORWARDS
Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Maria Farrugia (Sunderland AFC Ladies – England); Haley Bugeja (Mġarr United); Martina Borg (Sassari Torres – Italy). 

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