Women’s Football: Malta beat Lithuania 1-0 in second friendlySunday, February 12, 2017, 20:56
Mark Gatt, the national women’s coach, is convinced that the two home friendly games against Lithuania have benefited his squad as the Maltese girls bounced back from the 3-0 defeat in Wednesday’s opening warm-up with a 1-0 victory in today’s game at the Centenary Stadium.
Charlene Zammit struck the winning goal from a penalty on 54 minutes.
“The objectives we set for these two games have been reached,” Gatt said.
“We have given our players a chance to show their capabilities, also in different roles which they are not accustomed to.
“I’m pleased because, after these two games, our squad is stronger and we have more options.
“What we need to do better is to take the scoring chances we are creating.”
In today’s friendly, Malta missed a flurry of early chances in the opening half.
Shona Zammit’s free-kick after 13 minutes was cleared by Lithuania goalkeeper Greta Kaselyte.
The Maltese side squandered another inviting opportunity a minute later as Rachel Cuschieri was unable to hit the ball past the Lithuania goalkeeper from close range.
Brenda Borg’s delightful chip was inches wide on 16 minutes and, four minutes later, Zammit missed the target from an inviting position.
The first half ended goalless but the home side made their pressure count after the change of ends when, after nine minutes, they were awarded a penalty for a handball by Simona Velicktaite.
Charlene Zammit, the team captain, took the penalty and her clinical finish put Malta ahead.
Vestina Neverdauskaite replied for Lithuania on 70 minutes but her effort was saved by goalkeeper Rachel Borg.
Gatt’s girls were tactically organised and disciplined to fend off Lithuania’s attempts to grab an equaliser, especially in the dying minutes.
Malta: Rachel Borg, Ann-Marie Said, Kim Parnis, Stephania Farrugia, Rachel Cuschieri (46 Yasmeen-Marie Vella), Martina Borg (77 Mandy Debono), Shona Zammit (46 Gabriella Zahra), Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit, Brenda Borg (37 Alishia Sultana), Emma Xuereb (67 Dorianne Theuma).
Lithuania: Greta Kaselyte (46 Indre Venskeviciute), Liucija Vaitukaitye, Rita Mazukelyte (75 Paulina Narbutaite), Oksana Imanalijeva (65 Paulina Potapova), Algimante Mikutaite (52 Ugne Smitaite), Dovile Gaileviciute (62 Anika Kyzaite), Vestina Neverdauskaite, Simona Vecktaite, Viktorija Budryte (46 Kamile Vaiciulaityte), Samanta Karasiovaite (85 Gabija Gedgaudaite), Milda Liuzinaite.
Referee: Sofia Karagiorgi (Cyprus)