Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Upbeat Malta girls eager to maintain progress in Italy clash
Nov 11, 2019
Posted in:
General
UEFA Women's EURO 2021 Qualifiers
PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA

  • PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA

Malta will face Italy in their fifth UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifier on Tuesday at the Teofilo Patini Stadium in Castel di Sangro with the game kicking off at 14.15.


Ranked 14th in the world, the Azzurre are currently top of Group B on 15 points with Denmark second on 12 but with a game less. Italy have won their opening five qualifiers, including a hard-fought 2-0 win over Malta at the Centenary Stadium last month and a 6-0 win over Georgia in Benevento last Friday.

 

The Malta girls are going into this difficult encounter in high spirits on the back of their bright display in the 1-1 draw against Israel at the Centenary Stadium. Coach Mark Gatt is looking to take the positives from the Israel game into the Italy encounter.

 

“We were very positive and looking forward to the Israel game and thankfully our hard work paid the desired dividends as we scored and earned our first point,” Gatt told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

“However, that game is in the past and it’s imperative that we focus on our task against Italy.”

 

Gatt stressed the importance of being tactically organised against such a strong team.

 

“It’s important that our team maintain their tactical organisation and that the girls are fully concentrated,” Gatt explained.

 

“We are fully aware that the Italy game will be a difficult one but we can take a lot positives from our home games against them and Israel. We need to exploit those situations while believing in our own abilities.”


STRONG OPPONENTS

 

Gatt believes it’s very important for his girls to emulate the solid performance in the home match against the Azzurre, particularly in the defensive phase. Attacking-wise, the Malta coach thinks the Israel game was a step forward as his team enjoyed a lot of possession in the final third.

 

“The Israel game can be beneficial for us because we are not accustomed to enjoying a lot of possession,” Gatt said.

 

“We managed to see more of the ball against Israel and that was important for our decision-making process as we also created a host of scoring chances.

 

“It is fundamental for us to be sharp and precise in our possession, especially in a game like this against a strong team like Italy.”

 

The Italy game will be the final qualifier for the Malta women’s team in 2019. Gatt’s team will then resume their qualifying campaign with a home double-header against Georgia (March 5, 2020) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (March 10, 2020).
 

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