The Malta Under-16 girls team wrapped up their participation in the UEFA Youth Girls Development Tournament in style after beating Albania 4-0 at the Centenary Stadium on Saturday.
Under the guidance of coach Dorianne Theuma, Malta finished top of the four-team tournament with maximum points after winning all their matches – Gibraltar (5-1), Andorra (7-0) and Albania (4-0). The Maltese girls have thus emulated their three-win record in last year’s tournament.
The 4-0 scoreline is a fair reflection of the match as the Maltese were the better team throughout.
The hosts created their first clear-cut chance in the 13th minute when Haley Bugeja delivered a cross from the right but Kailey Willis was unable to direct the ball into the net. However five minutes later, Malta took the lead. Alexandra Gatt headed home a cross from Veronique Mifsud.
On minute 24, Malta doubled their advantage through Mifsud who was at the end of a rebound to lob the ball over the Albanian goalkeeper.
Haley Bugeja all but sealed Malta’s win in first-half stoppage time, concluding a surging run with a clinical finish, as Theuma’s girls went in for the half-time break 3-0 up.
Malta continued to dominate the proceedings after the change of ends and their fourth goal arrived just past the hour. Bugeja dispossessed an Albanian player just outside the box and advanced before hitting a diagonal shot that soared into the net for her second goal of the game.
Thereafter, the Maltese team easily preserved their lead to conclude the tournament with a perfect record.
The final match of the tournament between Gibraltar and Andorra ended in a 1-1 draw with Andorra winning on penalties.
MALTA Giulia D’Antuono, Haley Bugeja, Veronique Mifsud (56 Elena Sissons), Hannah Khatib, Emma Ciantar (56 Mariah Cardona), Kailey Willis (65 Laura Hannah Muscat), Maya Lucia, Martina Fenech, Alexandra Gatt, Georgiana Mifsud (41 Rhea Borg), Laura Chetcuti Dimech (65 Martina Cortis).
ALBANIA. Antigoni Hyska (65 Vjosana Fera), Katerina Simoni, Klea Hamonikaj, Mikaela Metalla, Ornela Lleshi, Matilda Gjergji, Denada Avullija, Matilda Tanushi (58 Marinela Mema), Aglia Iliadhi, Amarda Xhebrahimi (65 Fabiola Caka), Delma Muca.
Referee: Dorian Caruana
Malta 9 points; Gibraltar 4, Albania 3; Andorra 2