Malta registered its first win in Group E of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, defeating Azerbaijan 2-1 at the ASK Arena in Baku on Tuesday.
A win which enables Malta to move four three points clear of Bosnia and Herzegovina and four ahead of bottom-placed Azerbaijan. Lying in fourth place, Malta lies two points behind Montenegro which Mark Gatt’s side will be hosting in the next match on November 26 before another clash away from home against Bosnia and Herzegovina four days later.
Following a goalless first half, Malta took the lead on the 57th when referee ordered a penalty after Brenda Borg was brought down inside the area by Sharifova; from the penalty spot, Dorianne Theuma converted.
Four minutes from time, substitute Emma Xuereb, who had replaced Dorianne Theuma ten minutes earlier, doubled the score.
On the 90th, the hosts pulled one back through Vusala Seyfatdinova.
AZERBAIJAN Aitaj Sharifova, Zhala Mahsimova, Nigar Mirzaliyeva, Ayshan Ahmadova, Bilge Su Koyun (59′ Diana Mammadova), Male Mollayeva, Kristina Bakarandze, Vusala Seyfatdinova, Nazlican Parlak, Alina Dorofeeva (87′ Vusala Hajiyeva), Aysun Aliyeva (75′ Peritan Bozdag).
MALTA Patricia Ebejer, Ann-Marie Said, Emma Lipman, Stephania Farrugia, Dorianne Theuma (75′ Emma Xuereb), Rachel Cuschieri, Maria Farrugia, Shona Zammit, Charlene Zammit, Brenda Borg (87′ Jade Flask), Nicole Sciberras (64′ Alishia Sultana).
Referee: Réka Molnar (HUN)
Assistant referees: Katalin Török, Noemi Hegedus-Barath (HUN)
Fourth official: Réka Bognár (HUN)