Malta wrapped up their commitments in the 2020 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against hosts Belarus at the Spartak Stadium in Mogilev on Saturday.
Led by coach Dorianne Theuma, the Maltese girls produced a commendable performance, taking the lead on the 74th minute but Belarus levelled matters nine minutes from the end.
France topped Group 3 with a maximum nine points after beating Iceland 3-0 in their final match. Iceland finished second on six points while Malta and Belarus obtained one point.
The first half was a balanced affair with both Malta and Belarus creating a few scoring chances. Anastasiya Pobegaylo was the most dangerous player for the hosts, going wide with two efforts early on, while Malta goalkeeper Giulia D’Antuono blocked shots from Natalya Asmykovich, Olga Kapysha and Yelizaveta Giba.
At the other end, Veronique Mifsud tested Anna Zaletova on 13 minutes with the Belarus goalkeeper also saving from Kailey Willis on 28 minutes.
Early in the second half, Mifsud had a great chance to put Malta ahead when she came one-on-one with Zaletova but the Belarus goalkeeper stopped her effort. Willis then hit wide following a corner, taken by Mariah Cardona. Lucia also missed the target for the Maltese team before D’Antuono rescued her side with a timely save from Kapysha with 19 minutes left.
On 74 minutes, Malta broke the deadlock with Mifsud heading past Zaletova from Martina Fenech’s cross.
Belarus levelled seven minutes later through Pobegaylo after being released by Asmykovich.
There was little of note in the remaining minutes of the match with the final whistle confirming the 1-1 result.
MALTA Giulia D’Antuono, Haley Bugeja (90′ Martina Cortis), Elena Sissons, Veronique Mifsud, Kailey Willis, Maya Lucia, Martina Fenech, Alexandra Gatt, Rhea Borg, Mariah Cardona, Laura Chetcuti Dimech.
BELARUS Anna Zaletova, Veranika Tolkun, Yelizaveta Giba, Viktoryia Barlyugova, Olga Kapysha, Anna Mukha, Anastasiya Pobegaylo, Anna Skrigonava (55′ Anna Sas), Aleksandra Bondarenko, Milana Surovtseva, Natalya Asmykovich.
Referee: Marina Aufschnaiter (AUT)