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Portugal eye women’s Euro qualification as they name squad for Malta game

Portuguese side participated in last summer’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.

Portugal women’s team coach Francisco Neto announced his 25-player list for the opening games of their Euro 2025 qualifications against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Malta.

They host the Bosnians on April 5, in Leira, before taking on Manuela Tesse’s Malta on April 9 at the Centenary Stadium.

The Portuguese players gathered on Monday for their first training session as they will be eyeing to make it to another major tournament.

Neto steered Portugal to the group stages of the previous two Euro editions and to last year’s World Cup.

In the World Cup, Portugal scored four points after beating Vietnam 2-0 and holding four-time champions the United States.

“The main objective is to qualify for the European Championship,” Neto told a news conference.

“The second objective is to stay in first place and return to a competition where we have the competence to be, which is League A (of the Nations League). We will do everything we can to make this happen.”

Ranked 21st in the world, Portugal’s squad includes eight players from domestic champions Benfica.

These include star Jessica Silva who has over 100 caps and has also played in the United States, and young sensation Kika Nazareth who in 2022 became the first women player to be represented by Jorge Mendes, Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent.

Benfica, current leaders of the Portuguese top-flight, are at the back of a narrow defeat to Olympique Lyon in the Women’s Champions League with Andreia Faria, also called up, scoring their goal at the Estadio Da Luz.

Other key players included in the squad are Ana Borges of Sporting whose resume includes Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, and Benfica’s Lucia Alves who is linked with a move to England’s Women’s Super League next season.

The list includes midfielder Nelly Rodrigues who plies her trade at France’s Nantes where she plays with Canadian forward Christabel Oduro, formerly of Birkirkara.

SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS: Inês Pereira (Servette, Switzerland), Patrícia Morais (Braga) and Sierra Cota-Yarde (Arkansas Razorbacks, USA).

DEFENDERS: Ana Borges (Sporting), Ana Seiça (Benfica), Carole Costa (Benfica), Catarina Amado (Benfica), Diana Gomes (Seville, Spain), Joana Marchão (Servette, Switzerland), Lúcia Alves (Benfica), Nelly Rodrigues (Nantes, France).

MIDFIELDERS: Ana Rute (Braga), Andreia Jacinto (Real Sociedad, Spain), Andreia Faria (Benfica), Andreia Norton (Benfica), Dolores Silva (Braga), Joana Martins (Sporting), Kika Nazareth (Benfica), Tatiana Pinto (Brighton & Hove Albion, England).

FORWARDS: Ana Capeta (Sporting), Carolina Mendes (Braga), Diana Silva (Sporting), Jéssica Silva (Benfica), Nádia Gomes (Chicago Red Stars, USA), Telma Encarnação (CS Marítimo).

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