Malta U-19 girls endure tough opening against England

Published: 01-10-2018 15:35
U19 - Qualifiers
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The Malta U-19 women’s team endured a tough start to their UEFA Under-19 Women’s qualifying campaign as they went down heavily to heavyweights England at the SRP Trate Nedelisce stadium in Croatia.  England, winners of this tournament in 2009, started aggressively as they looked for a breakthrough. They made their pressure count on 32 minutes courtesy of Aimee Palmer, who plays for Manchester United. Manchester City defender Esme Beth Morgan, the team captain who was part of the England U-20 side that placed third at last summer's World Cup, doubled their lead. The Young Lionesses extended their lead with two more goals on the brink of half-time through Jessica Naz, who is on the books of Tottenham Hotspur, and Palmer. They went in for the half-time 4-0 up. Second-half goals from Gabriella Lucie Ravenscroft, Naz and Palmer, who thus completed a hat-trick, Amy Rodgers, of Liverpool, and Jessica Park sealed an emphatic win for England who are favourites to win this group. For Malta, Jana Barbara, who plays for SGS Essen in Germany, made her debut for the Under-19 team. The Maltese girls will be eyeing an improved performance and result when they meet Slovakia in their second Group 1 match on Thursday at the Gradski Stadion NK Podravina Ludberg (kick-off: 11am). Their final group game is against Croatia on Sunday (kick-off: 11am). MALTAJodie Attard, Chloe Ann Ellul (Jessica Lee Dimech 88’), Valentina Rapa, Rohanne Zahra, Celeste Grech (Jana Barbara 57’), Kayleigh Chetcuti (Demi Magrin 75’), Leanne Cefai, Maria Farrugia, Samatha Zarb (Michela Bonello Ghio 46’), Sarah Urpani, Nicole Sciberras © (Maia Melaine Debono 89’)Coach: Frank Schembri ENGLANDEmily Ramsey, Shannon Cooke, Aimee Palmer (Amy Rodgers 62’), Esme Beth Morgan © (Jessica Park 82’), Lucy Fitzgerald, Sophie Domingo, Georgia Eaton-Collins, Poppy Pattinson, Olivia Smith (Niamh Cashin 71’), Sophia Pharaoh (Kate Wiseman 71’), Gabriella Lucie RavenscroftCoach: Rehanne Skinner Referee: Galiya Echeva (Bulgaria)