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Watch: Late Farrugia strike hands Malta win over Estonia

Bugeja 73 (M); Merisalu 88 (E); Farrugia 90 (M).


K. Kork; S. Raamet, K. Himanen, S. Aarna (M. Saulep 36), J. Volkov (G. Daut 89), L. Tammik (K. Saulus 72), K. Rosen, M. Lillemae (L. Merisalu 72), V. Kubassova (E. Treiberg 72), K. Bannikova (G. Saar 72), R. Repkin.


J. Xuereb; A. Said, E. Lipman (S. Farrugia 9), R. Cuschieri, K. Willis (R. Giusti 46), M. Farrugia, S. Zammit, C. Zammit, B. Borg (65 D. Theuma), E. Xuereb (90 G. Zahra), H. Bugeja (90 R. Bajada).

Referee Lina Lehtovaara.

Yellow cards Volkov.

A late strike by Maria Farrugia handed Malta a well-deserved victory over Estonia in an international friendly hosted by the Baltic nation, on Friday.

The Durham Women player found the top corner with a brilliant curling effort to see off the Estonians and help Malta chalk up their third consecutive win under new coach Manuela Tesse.

After squandering a number of open-play situations, Malta had managed to make their pressure count through Haley Bugeja who beat the Estonian goalkeeper with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.

Haley Bugeja’s goal for Malta.

The Orlando Pride player has now hit the 10-goal mark for the senior side in just 19 appearances.

Tesse’s side could have easily extended their lead but Malta failed to capitalise on their chances and they came back to haunt them.

Liisa Merisalu struck a volley from tight angle which beat Janice Xuereb and levelled terms, just two minutes before full-time.

Moments later, Malta thought to have snatched a winner but Raina Giusti’s low-drive was disallowed for an offside position.

Nonetheless, 87th-ranked Malta managed to secure the victory over Estonia – ranked 95th – to keep their positive run under the Italian coach thanks to Farrugia’s fifth goal with the national team, on her 32nd cap.

Maria Farrugia’s goal for Malta.

For this game, coach Tesse chose captain Emma Lipman next to Charlene Zammit as the central defensive pair but the Como Women player had to leave the pitch after just nine minutes after sustaining an injury.

Sampdoria Women player Rachel Cuschieri was handed her first start under Tesse, composing the midfield trio behind forwards Farrugia, Kailey Willis and Bugeja.

Malta are yet to announce whether they will be in action during the July international window before making their Nations League debut in September.

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