Malta to face Italy in the Women’s Euro 2021 qualifiers

Friday, February 22, 2019, 7:23
The Malta women’s team have been drawn in the same group as Italy in the qualifying round of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Championship.

The draw, made this afternoon at UEFA’s Nyon Headquarters, placed Malta in Group B with the other teams being Denmark, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel and Georgia.

Malta is in one of two groups with six teams as the other seven qualifying groups comprise five teams.

This is the first time Malta have been drawn in the same group as Italy in a senior women’s competition.

Italy, under the guidance of Milena Bertolini, have qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final tournament after a lapse of 20 years.

Their squad features several players from Serie A champions Juventus, including goalkeeper Laura Giuliani, skipper Sara Gama, midfielder Martina Rosucci and forward Barbara Bonansea.

Malta met Denmark in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying round with the latter winning both matches, 5-0 and 8-0.

One of the star players in Denmark’s squad is Pernille Harder, the 2018 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year who turns out for VfL Wolfsburg.

The Danes reached the final of the last European Championship, losing 4-2 against the Netherlands, the tournament hosts.

Meanwhile, Malta have played against the other three Group B teams in the past – Bosnia in the 2005 Women’s Euro qualifiers, Israel in the 2015 Women’s World Cup preliminaries and Georgia, whom the Maltese girls beat 2-1 in the 2017 European qualifiers.

The UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying round matches will run from August 2019 to September 2020. The group winners and the three runners-up with the best record against the sides finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections, will join hosts England in the final tournament.

The other six runners-up will contest the play-offs in October 2020 for the remaining three slots in the 16-team finals, to be held the following summer.

Mark Gatt, the Malta women’s coach, and Pierre Brincat, the Malta FA Director of Women’s Football, represented the Malta FA at today’s draw.

Malta were in Pot Five prior to the draw together with Faroe Islands, Macedonia, Estonia, Montenegro, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Kosovo.

 

UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifying draw

Group A: Netherlands (holders), Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, Kosovo, Estonia

Group B: Italy, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Malta, Georgia

Group C: Norway, Wales, Belarus, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Moldova, Azerbaijan

Group E: Scotland, Finland, Portugal, Albania, Cyprus

Group F: Sweden, Iceland, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia

Group G: France, Austria, Serbia, Kazakhstan, FYR Macedonia

Group H: Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania

Group I: Germany, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Montenegro





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