Malta beats Kosovo in Women’s World Cup preliminary round

Malta concluded its 2019 Women's World Cup preliminary round commitments on a high note after beating debutants Kosovo 3-1 at the Selman Stermazi Stadium in Tirana

Malta’s 3-1 win over Kosovo in Group 2 of the Preliminary Round of the Women’s World Cup
Malta’s 3-1 win over Kosovo in Group 2 of the Preliminary Round of the Women’s World Cup

Malta beat Kosovo 3-1, finishing with a total of four points in the 2019 Women’s World Cup preliminary round commitments.

The team however missed out on qualification to the group phase, with Albania claiming top spot after securing a last-gasp 2-1 win over Greece in the other match.

Having gained only one point from their opening two matches, Malta were determined to chalk up their first win in their last outing.

The team, coached by Mark Gatt, established a foothold in the match from the start with Apollon Ladies midfielder Rachel Cuschieri breaking the deadlock on 12 minutes.

Malta’s initial dominance produced a second goal on 27 minutes thanks to Jade Flask. Nine minutes later, Malta all but wrapped up their win when captain Dorianne Theuma added a third.

After the change of ends, Malta remained the better side and, with a 3-0 cushion, Gatt made two substitutions by the 63rd minute. Emma Xuereb replaced Cuschieri at the start of the second half and Martina Borg then came on for Flask.

Kosovo scored a consolation goal 10 minutes from time through Blerta Shala but the brave team had long secured the three points.

In the other Group 2 game on Tuesday, Furtuna Velaj redeemed herself after missing a penalty as her stoppage-time goal gave Albania a 2-1 win over Greece. Albania won the group with seven points, one more than Greece.

Janice Xuereb, Gabriella Zahra, Ann-Marie Said, Stephania Farrugia, Dorianne Theuma, Ylenia Carabott (85 Kim Parnis), Jade Flask (63 Martina Borg), Shona Zammit, Rachel Cuschieri (46 Emma Xuereb), Charlene Zammit, Alishia Sultana.

Fiorentina Kolgeci (90 Ilfete Kryeziu), Gentiana Lushtaku, Feride Kastrati, Qendresa Bajra (46 Blerina Musa), Blerta Shala, Valentina Limani, Edona Kryeziu, Liridona Syla, Marigona Durguti, Agnesa Rexha, Kaltrina Biqkaj.

Referee: Amy Rayner (England)

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