MFA WOMEN XI 2
BOLTON LADIES 1
A selection of the Malta women’s national hosted Bolton Ladies in a friendly appointment, defeating them 2-1 at the MFA Training Grounds, yesterday.
Coach Mark Gatt handed newcomers Anna Vincenti and Emma Lipman a starting XI role with the former between the sticks and latter pairing Stephania Farrugia as a central defender.
The Maltese enjoyed more possession but Bolton were proving to be a tough nut to crack. The English side, on their part, were looking to catch the Maltese on the break with their pace on the flanks.
Malta came close to score on minute 22 through an Ylenia Carabott shot just to be denied by the Bolton custodian. A minute later, Lipman had a close-range header sailing over the bar before Maria Farrugia saw her shot from outside the box deflected into corner.
From the resultant set-piece, Lipman, who plays for Roma, came close to put Malta ahead but the Bolton goalkeeper produced a finger-tip save before Farrugia’s rebound struck onto the crossbar.
On the half-hour mark, skipper Dorianne Theuma attempted a trademark long-range shot but it was not enough to threaten Bolton.
Four minutes later, Carabott squandered a golden opportunity when she failed to hit the base of the net from inside the box. However, the Birkirkara forward was not to be denied a minute later when she capitalised on a Brenda Borg cross to put Malta ahead.
On the 38th minute, Alishia Sultana saw her header go wide as Carabott’s goal was the difference at half-time.
After the change of ends, Malta stunned Bolton with a swift break as Haley Bugeja, who had just entered the field as a substitute, outpaced her marker before sending the ball into the near post to double the score, after receiving from Farrugia.
Malta continued to pile pressure on their opponents and it was Kailey Willis who tried an effort from inside the box just to be denied by Bolton’s goalkeeper.
Lipman continued to threaten from set-pieces but failed to convert her towering headers into goals.
Ten minutes from time, Ruby Howard scored for Bolton as Malta failed to clear the danger in the penalty area.
However, the Maltese held on to their one-goal advantage to take victory home.
MFA WOMEN XI: A. Vincenti (77 P. Ebejer); E. Lipman (55 N. Sciberras); S. Farrugia, J. Vella Turner, A. Said (46 C. Cassia); D. Theuma, S. Zammit (46 V. Mifsud); B. Borg (46 H. Bugeja); M. Farrugia (60 M. Borg), A. Sultana (68 S. Buttigieg); Y. Carabott (46 K. Willis).
Referee: Luke Xuereb.
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