It’s D-Day for the Malta women’s national team who can create football history if they can secure a point against Latvia at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off: 4pm).
Manuela Tesse’s girls have been in dominant form throughout the League C campaign and are currently leading the standing on 13 points, after winning their opening four matches before being held by Moldova in Chisinau last week.
Latvia are second, three points behind and the Baltic side can secure promotion with victory at the Centenary Stadium.
The Times of Malta SportsDesk have compiled the Malta women’s path in League C, which saw star striker Haley Bugeja standing out with eight goals from the five matches played.
Latvia vs Malta 0-1 (Bugeja 83)
The Malta women’s national team were off to a positive start in their UEFA Nations League campaign when they edged Latvia 1-0 in Jurmala.
Haley Bugeja turned out to be Malta’s match-winner as the Inter forward prodded home the all-important goal seven minutes from time to hand the team victory in Group C.
However, it was far from a comfortable victory for Manuela Tesse’s girls who for long spells of the match looked second best against a Latvian team that created the better chances and were also denied by the woodwork midway through the second half.
But the Maltese players kept fighting and their resilience was rewarded with the winner that sets them well for next week’s home match against Moldova.
Malta vs Moldova 2-0 (Bugeja 47, 58)
Malta managed to secure its second straight win in the newly-launched UEFA Women’s Nations League after dispatching Moldova in front of the home crowd at the Centenary Stadium.
Haley Bugeja grabbed both goals as Malta now lead its League C group with maximum points after two outings.
The clinical forward has now scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for the national team – becoming the third all-time scorer together with Rachel Cuschieri of the women’s national team.
Bugeja put Malta ahead on the restart when she received a well-weighted through ball by Brenda Borg and slotted past Bojenco.
The Inter striker doubled Malta’s lead when she profited from a Bojenco mistake and sent the ball into an empty net.
Malta vs Andorra 5-0 (Bugeja 17, 46; S. Farrugia 23; M. Farrugia 74; Cuschieri 76 pen.)
A clinical display by Malta handed them a third consecutive win in the UEFA Women’s Nations League, beating Andorra at the Centenary Stadium.
It was the perfect response by the hosts for Latvia’s 5-0 victory over Moldova earlier in the day as the Baltics trail the Maltese by three points in this group.
Forward Haley Bugeja took centre stage once again with a brace, becoming Malta women’s all-time third top scorer while moving to fifth in both men’s and women’s lists.
Stefania Farrugia, Maria Farrugia and Rachel Cuschieri scored the other goals for Manuela Tesse’s team.
Andorra vs Malta 0-3 (Bugeja 36, 39, 43 pen.)
A quickfire hat-trick by Haley Bugeja propelled Malta towards their fourth consecutive victory in their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign.
The Maltese lived up to the expectations and dismantled Andorra, having hit the same opponent for five in the corresponding first-round fixture at the Centenary Stadium.
Bugeja, currently plying her trade at Serie A side Inter, had another inspiring evening as she netted her second Malta hat-trick at competitive level to cement her top-scorer spot in this competition with eight goals.
Following this Andorra rout, Malta have now opened a crucial five-point gap at the top of their group after Latvia were surprisingly held to a 3-3 draw by bottom-placed Moldova earlier on Tuesday.
Moldova vs Malta 0-0
Malta dropped their first points in the UEFA Women’s Nations League when they were held to a goalless draw by Moldova in Chisinau.
Manuela Tesse’s girls entered the match needed a win to seal promotion from League C after Latvia had brushed aside Andorra 4-0 in an early kick-off.
However, the final statement, has now left the team with a three-point lead over their Baltic opponents ahead of the two countries’ direct encounter on Tuesday, with the Maltese needing just a point to seal promotion.
As expected the Maltese girls dominated the match but struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout.
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