First game, first goal and first three points for Malta WNT in the UEFA Women's Nations LeaguePublished: 22-09-2023 18:03
UEFA Women's Nations League (Jūrmalas Pilsētas Stadium Sloka- LATVIA )
Malta WNT gain three points in first game of League C Group 1 in an away encounter against Latvia
Three minutes into the game Malta were awarded a freekick after Flakse committed a foul on Bugeja with the referee showing her a yellow card early into the game. However, Cuschieri’s try ended wide. A few minutes later a Zammit shot from outside the box was deflected off target.
Latvia’s first goal scoring opportunity came in the 10th minute when Miksone managed to pass the ball in Malta’s box but Zaičikova’s first timer was brilliantly saved by Malta’s keeper Xuereb.
Whilst controlling most of the possession in the first quarter of the first half the Maltese players failed to penetrate Latvia’s defence. On the 21st minute, Latvia defender unsuccessfully tried to clear a Said freekick, with Bugeja receiving the ball but her shot created no difficulty for goalkeeper Vaivode. A minute later Bugeja passed to an unmarked Guisti who was late on the ball with the ball ending into the keeper’s hands.
On the 35th minute a great build up run by Bugeja who’s shot from outside the box was cleared into a corner. Latvia had two shots on target on the 37th minute, when Zaičikova shot wide and a minute later, Xuereb saved a Miksone’s powerful shot from the right. Latvia continued to put pressure on the Maltese defensive half. A freekick taken by Ročāne found Zaičikova in the box who headed the ball with Xuereb saving in two attempts. The last chance before half time fell once again in Zaičikova’s feet, but her strong shot ended just wide only giving the illusion of goal.
The second half started with Latvia on the offensive and three minutes into this half Zaičikova effort once again ended high.
A good goal scoring opportunity for Malta in the 52d minute, when Bugeja’s low pass found Sciberras, but her shot was cleared into a corner. A minute later Bugeja’s cross found an unmarked Guisti with her effort ending wide. Latvia responded with another run by Zaičikova, but her shot was once again off target. Latvia’s best chance at opening the score came in the 57th minute when Sečova’s powerful shot from inside the box hit the bar and was subsequently cleared by the Malta defence. In the 58th minute Head Coach Tesse decided on a double substitution when Borg and Ayres replaced Zammit and Giusti respectively.
Malta had a goal scoring opportunity, when Cuschieri found Bugeja who’s effort from inside the box ended off target.
In the 75th minute Latvia’s corner attempt was partially cleared by the Maltese defenders, with Ševcoca receiving the ball but her shot was tipped over the bar by Malta’s goalkeeper Xuereb.
On the 82nd minute a cross shot by Said was deflected into a corner by Latvian Keeper. From subsequent corner the Latvia defenders failed to clear with Cuschieri winning the ball and passing to Bugeja, who punished the onrushing Latvian keeper with a low shot who ended at the back of the net.
Final Score Latvia 0 Malta !
Vaivode; A. Flakse; P. Linina; V. Zaičikova; A. Poluhoviča (Lipsane 89th); A. Ročāne; D. Suivitra (S. Voitāne 64th); O. Ševcova; A. Gornela; K. Miksone; S Garanča.
Xuereb; A.M. Said; E. Lipman; R. Cuschieri; M. Farrugia(S. Farrugia 85th ); R. Guisti (L.Ayres 58th ); S. Zammit ( B.Borg 58th); C. Zammit; E. Xuereb; N. Sciberras; H.Bugeja
Jana Van Laere (BEL)