Women’s national team faces Estonia in two friendly matches

Women’s national team coach Mark Gatt has named a squad of 18 players ahead of the first of two friendly matches against Estonia on Monday at the Centenary Stadium.

The game, Malta’s first official outing for 2018, kicks off at 15:00. The two teams meet for the second time on Thursday at 18:30 with both matches being played at the Centenary Stadium.

Gatt’s squad is mainly composed of locally-based players with the exception of Maria Farrugia who is registered with the Sunderland AFC Academy.

In their last two official outings, both friendly matches, the Malta women’s team achieved a double of 4-0 wins over the United Arab Emirates at the Centenary Stadium in November. Those two victories helped Malta rise eight places in the FIFA women’s rankings to 85th. Estonia are ranked 77th.

Last month, the Malta women’s team played two exhibition matches against Dutch club side SC’T GOOI FC, winning the first one and drawing the second.

Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA

Gatt’s team will be looking to enhance the positive atmosphere surrounding women’s football following the success of the Malta U-16 girls’ team in the UEFA Youth U-16 Development Mini-Tournament last week.

The Maltese girls completed their commitments with a perfect record after wins over Andorra, Gibraltar and Liechtenstein.

The U-16 team was led by Malta midfielder Dorianne Theuma who is currently sidelined with injury. Goalkeepers Jodie Attard and Maria Xuereb, and forward Ylenia Carabott are also missing from the senior squad for the Estonia friendlies due to injuries.

Goalkeepers: Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Patricia Ebejer (Mġarr United).
Defenders: Annmarie Said, Stephania Farrugia (both Birkirkara); Andy Zammit Mizzi (Raiders); Charlene Zammit, Jade Flask, Rebecca Bajada (all Hibernians).
Midfielders: Gabriella Zahra, Alishia Sultana (both Birkirkara); Mandy Debono, Shona Zammit, Emma Xuereb (all Hibernians); Claudette Xuereb, Brenda Borg (both Mġarr United).
Strikers: Maria Farrugia (Sunderland); Raina Giusti (Birkirkara); Roxanne Micallef (Mġarr United).