The women’s national team leaves Malta on Friday, destination Turkey, where Malta will be playing another match from Group 5 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying round. This will be the second game in two weeks between Malta and Turkey after the latter registered a 2-0 win at the Centenary Stadium on March 27.
This game was by far the best for Malta in the group and with better finishing, Malta could have easily scored its first goals in the group. In the previous matches from this group, following two heavy defeats – to Spain at Ta’ Qali and European Championship finalists – England away from home, Malta suffered another 0-2 defeat to Austria at the Centenary Stadium.
For this game, Chantal Fenech will be back after missing the last game while Sherrianne Zammit and Melania Bajada make it to the final squad for the first time.
The players selected by Pierre Brincat and his assistant Mark Gatt are:
goalkeepers Sharon Costantino (Gozo), Nina Dimech (Birkirkara);
defenders Rebecca Chircop (Mosta), Rebecca D’Agostino (Mosta), Chantal Fenech (Birkirkara), Kim Parnis (Birkirkara), Corissa Vella (Hibs), Sherrianne Zammit (Hibs);
midfielders Melania Bajada (Gozo), Catherine Camilleri (Birkirkara), Rachael Cuschieri (Birkirkara), Natasha Pace (Mosta), Kathleen Saliba (Hibs), Dorianne Theuma (Mosta), Emma Xuereb (Gozo);
forwards Ylenia Carabott (Hibs), Gabriella Zahra (Melita).
The trip will be a long one. The squad leaves Friday at 07:05 on a flight through Rome, via Reggio. They arrive at 09:45 and leave for Istanbul at 11:40. Following their arrival at Istanbul at 15:05, they will have to catch another flight for Trabzon which leaves at 17:35 and arrives at 19:15.
Turkey vs Malta will be played on Sunday at the Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium in Trabzon, kick-off at 14:30. The game will be controlled by Irina Torovskaya from Belarus who will be assisted by assistant referees Alesia Ziatseva and Darya Izafatava. Turkish referee Belgin Kumru will be the fourth official.
The squad returns to Malta on Monday at 22:30.
Photos courtesy of Louis Micallef