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Second-half blitz propel Malta women to victory over the Faroe Islands

Haley Bugeja is anticipated by Faroes' goalkeeper Oluva Joensen. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

MALTA                          2

Sultana 54

Bugeja 58



J. Xuereb; A. Said, V. Rapa (81 J. Dimech), S. Farrugia, R. Cuschieri, A. Sultana (89 Y. Carella), M. Farrugia, S. Zammit, C. Zammit, B. Borg (81 V. Mifsud), H. Bugeja (89 J. Flask).


O. Joensen; R. Birita, S. Christiansen, H. Sevdal (66 R. Benbakoura), A. Johannsen (66 F. Klementsen), K. Eyovor, H. Joensen, T. Mohr (46 O. Malena), S. Lamhauge, R. Jacobsen (66 M. Rasmusdottir), D. Hummeland (77 J. Torolvsdottir).

Referee: Martina Mollinaro.

Yellow card: Borg.

A vibrant Malta side launched their VisitMalta Women’s Trophy commitments with a well-deserved victory over the Faroe Islands at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

Manuela Tesse’s side put on a commanding performance which could have easily produced more goals than the two scored by Alishia Sultana and Haley Bugeja.

Ranked above the Faroes, Malta lived up to their expectations as favourites heading into this game, creating several chances throughout the 90 minutes.

For this game, Tesse was missing some key players including captain Emma Lipman, who might be available for Sunday’s game against Belarus.

Deployed from the start was Birkirkara defender Valentina Rapa who was making her national team debut.

Malta threatened first through Mġarr United midfielder Brenda Borg who let fly a strike from the edge of the area that sailed over the bar.

Maria Farrugia tried to stun the Faroe Islands’ goalkeeper with a low drive at the near post just for the England-based player to see her effort go inches wide.

The Lewes FC player was one of the brightest players in the first half, coming close to put Malta ahead but after driving towards the area she could not beat Oluva Joensen.

Moments later, Haley Bugeja made her way into the box just to see her effort glance past the Faroes’ goal.

Just past the half-hour mark, the Nordic side did manage to muster a goalscoring opportunity when Mohr Tora struck a shot from the edge of the area, but Janice Xuereb was alert to avert the danger.

Tora was denied by Xuereb again after the Nordic striker hit a low drive but could not send it past the Birkirkara goalkeeper as the first half remained goalless.

After the change of ends, the Faroe Islands produced the first chance through Heidi Sevdal but could not beat Xuereb from close-range.

That missed chance came back to haunt the visitors as soon after Malta took the lead.

Bugeja teed up Alishia Sultana to fire past Joensen, grabbing her maiden goal for her country.

Four minutes later, Bugeja doubled Malta’s lead with a delightful lob over Joensen for her 19th goal with the national team.

As the second half wore on, the Faroes were looking to inch their way up the field, but Malta remained the better team and were unfortunate not to make their pressure count on more than one occasion.

In the closing stages of the match, coach Tesse introduced Jade Flask on the field who was making her return to the national team for the first time since 2022 having been sidelined with a long-term knee injury.

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