The women’s national team secured a place in the qualifying round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup after winning the Group A Preliminary Round mini-tournament after beating Latvia 2-0.
This was a historic achievement for the team led by Pierre Brincat as it was the first time that the women’s national team won a mini-tournament.
Malta created several goal-scoring opportunities during the first half but it was only in added time that the locals managed to break the deadlock thanks to a direct freekick by Dorianne Theuma.
Six minutes in the second half, Latvia were unlucky to hit the crossbar with a Ieva Bidermane freekick.
Malta secured victory seven minutes from time when Rachel Cuschieri concluded a good move on the left with a diagonal shot which beat the Latvian goalkeeper.
In the first match on Tuesday, Albania defeated Luxembourg 2-1. Suada Jashari put Albania ahead but Sophie Maurer levelled matters just before half-time. Furtuna Velaj notched the winner on e 69th minute.
Malta and Albania both finish their commitments on seven points but Malta has a better goal-difference.
Malta and Albania together with the Faroe Islands and Montenegro from Group B join the 38 top-ranked nations in the qualifying round draw. Seven groups of six teams will be drawn on 16 April, to be played on a home-and-away basis from 20/21 September 2013 to 17 September 2014.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
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LATVIA Enija Anna Vaivode, Olga Matisa, Sintija Greiere (57′ Kristine Girzda), Eliza Spruntule, Karina Aluse, Anna Proposina (85′ Laura Belavska), Dzuljeta Tamsone, Anastasija Rocane, Olga Ivanova (85′ Dita Upesjure), Ieva Bidermane, Guna Abolina.
MALTA Sharon Costantino, Gabriella Zahra, Rebecca D’Agostino, Dorianne Theuma, Ylenia Carabott (88′ Natasha Pace), Rachel Cuschieri, Nicole Buttigieg (82′ Amber Grech), Antoinette Sammut, Stephania Farrugia, Charlene Zammit, Emma Xuereb (58′ Brenda Borg).
Referee: Yulia Medvedeva
Assistant Referees: Liliya Karimova (KAZ), Andra Hiticas (ROM)
Fourth Official: Florea Barbadac-Ionescu (ROM)
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA