A fine display by the Malta women’s national team was not enough to avoid a second defeat in Group E of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, losing 3-0 to Russia at the Arena Khimki in Khimki, Russia on Thursday.
The hosts went out in search of an early goal but had to wait until the 45th minute to break the deadlock thanks to Nelli Korovkina who pounced on an assist by Fedorova before hitting past goalkeeper Patricia Ebejer.
Two minutes in the second half, Russia doubled the score courtesy of Kristina Mashkova who took a loose ball and beat the Malta goalkeeper from close range.
Two minutes from time, Anna Belomyttseva made it 3-0, heading home off a corner by Chernomyrdina.
On Tuesday, Malta will be facing Azerbaijan at the ASK Arena in Baku. Azerbaijan lost 2-0 to Russia away from home and after a 0-8 defeat to Denmark in Baku, lost 2-0 to Montenegro away from home on Thursday.
RUSSIA Elvira Todua, Anna Kozhnikova, Alsu Abdullina, Alena Andreeva (74′ Natalia Perepechina), Nadezhda Smirnova (81′ Lina Yakupova), Kristina Mashkova, Anna Belomyttseva, Yana Sheina (74′ Margarita Chernomyrdina), Marina Fedorova (60′ Ekaterina Pantyukhina), Nelli Korovkina (81′ Natalya Mashina), Viktoriia Kozlova.
MALTA Patricia Ebejer, Ann-Marie Said, Emma Lipman, Stephania Farrugia, Dorianne Theuma (61′ Brenda Borg), Rachel Cuschieri, Alishia Sultana (83′ Emma Xuereb), Maria Farrugia (61′ Jade Flask), Shona Zammit, Charlene Zammit, Nicole Sciberras.
Referee: Miriama Matulova (SVK)
Assistant referees: František Ferenc, Lenka Pavlackova (SVK)
Fourth official: Martin Dohal (SVK)