Despite playing a good game and having the lion’s share of ball possession, the Malta women’s national team lost 0-2 to Montenegro in another match from Group E of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
Two points separated the two teams before the game but this win puts Montenegro five points ahead of Mark Gatt’s side.
Shots at goal were few and far in between and the Maltese were unlucky to go one goal down on the half-hour and eight minutes from time, the visitors sealed the issue with a second goal.
Janice Xuereb was back in goal for Malta while Haley Bugeja was included as a substitute.
The Maltese held the initiative during the first half, going close through Brenda Borg, served on the right by Rachel Cuschieri but the Mgarr striker hit the side netting on the 12th minute.
However on the half hour, Montenegro took the lead thanks to Armisa Kuc who beat Xuereb with a low shot following a back pass.
In the second half, Nicole Sciberras and Shona Zammit made way for Ann-Marie Said and Haley Bugeja.
Xuereb performed a good save on captain Sladjana Bulatovic and Brenda Borg then had two attempts at trying to level matters.
Eight minutes from time, Montenegro doubled the score through a Helena Bozic header off a freekick by Karlicic
In the dying minutes, Malta went close once again with attempts by Ann-Marie Said and Emma Xuereb.
Malta will be in action once again on Tuesday, facing Bosnia Herzegovina away from home.
MALTA Janice Xuereb; Emma Lipman, Stephania Farrugia (88′ Jessica Lee Dimech), Dorianne Theuma, Rachel Cuschieri, Alishia Sultana, Maria Farrugia, Shona Zammit (46′ Haley Bugeja), Charlene Zammit, Brenda Borg (85 Emma Xuereb), Nicole Sciberras (46 Anne-Marie Said).
MONTENEGRO Anastasija Krstovic; Aleksandra Popovic, Maja Saranovic, Sladjana Bulatovic (77 Nada Djurdevac), Andjela Toskovic (90 Marija Maras), Nadja Stanovic, Jelena Karlicic, Armisa Kuc, Helena Bozic, Medina Desic (73 Milica Radunovic), Darija Djukic.
Referee: Kateryna Usova (UKR)