Aphrodite Cup: Women’s national team beats hosts Cyprus

Malta claimed their first victory at this year’s Aphrodite Cup after beating home side Cyprus 2-1 on Monday. Martina Borg and Ylenia Carabott got the goals for Mark Gatt’s girls after Cyprus had gained a temporary equaliser.

Malta will now meet Lithuania in the third-place play-off on Wednesday.

Determined to make up for their 1-0 defeat to Latvia in their opener, Malta were on the front foot from the start. After 20 minutes, Dorianne Theuma was unlucky not to score as her shot came off the crossbar. Two minutes later, the Maltese girls forged ahead when, in a goalmouth scramble, Martina Borg appeared to get the decisive touch. The Maltese team continued to dominate the game, Theuma going close to doubling their lead but her free-kick was kept out but the Cyprus goalkeeper.

Cyprus managed to level terms early in the second half through Marilena Georgiou. This goal failed to unsettle the Maltese who produced a strong reaction. Rachel Cuschieri almost restored Malta’s lead but her effort was off target.

It looked a matter of when not if Malta would score. The winner came eight minutes from the end when Hibernians forward Ylenia Carabott drilled her shot home to give Malta their first ever win against Cyprus.

Two minutes later, Malta were unlucky not to extend their lead as Theuma’s drive hit the crossbar.

MALTA: Rachel Borg, Gabriella Zahra (78′ Alishia Sultana), Ann-Marie Said, Stephania Farrugia, Dorianne Theuma, Ylenia Carabott, Rachel Cuschieri, Martina Borg (75′ Brenda Borg), Shona Zammit (56′ Kim Parnis), Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit.