2017 UEFA Women’s U-17 European Championship Qualifications
Malta register a historic win over Montenegro
On its first appearance in this competition, Malta managed to finish its commitments with a historic victory, following their 2-1 win over Montenegro. Courtesy of these three points, Malta placed third in its qualification group, surpassing Montenegro themselves as a result of this success.
Frank Schembri’s team looked energized from the initial whistle and after just five minutes, they forged ahead through Gozitan player Maria Farrugia, who features for Gozo FC at club level, whom after producing a superb solo action, she notched the ball past Montenegro’s goalkeeper. Malta kept on inching their way up into the pitch, and they risked to double their lead through Kayleigh Chetcuti and Celeste Grech, but both failed to hit the target. Nonetheless, the second goal arrived after the half-hour mark, when once again, Farrugia dribbled past a couple of opponents and slotted the ball in the back of the net for 2-0.
After the change of ends, Montenegro reduced the deficit immediately, and the match was a complete opposite from the first 40 minutes. Yet, the collective effort that the Maltese put up was impressive and brave, and through their resilience they prevented their opponents from levelling terms. As the Maltese were on the cusp of history, they became more tight and compact and resisted until the final whistle, to record a superlative victory not only for themselves, but also for Maltese women’s football.
The successful outcome from this match underlines the fact that despite this was their first involvement, the level of the tournament was not a punch above their weight for the Maltese U-17 selection and certainly, it confirms that the MFA is heading towards the right direction in the sector of grassroots football, while it augurs well for a bright future in women’s football on our islands.
Match: Malta vs Montenegro
Venue: Pampeloponnisiaka Stadium, Patras, Greece
Time: 15:00 CET (16:00 local)
Referee: Ruzanna Petrozsyan (ARM)
Full-time score: 2-1 (HT: 2-0)
Scorers: Maria Farrugia 5’ & 36’ (MLT), Jovana Golovic 41’ (ME)
Malta’s starting XI:
Jodie Attard; Chloe Ann Ellul, Leanne Cefai ©, Nicole Sciberras, Celeste Grech, Maia Debono, Maria Farrugia, Kayleigh Chetcuti, Amy Busuttil, Sarah Urpani, Michela Felice
Coach: Frank Schembri
Montenegro’s starting XI:
Milica Knezevic; Tamara Tosic, Marija Vukanic, Andrea Ivanovic, Danka Topalovic, Dzanka Ramcilovic, Andrea Vucic, Jelena Vujadinovic ©, Vasilisa Nikolic, Illinka Rocen, Jovana Golovic
Coach: Dervis Hadziosmanovic