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Azerbaijan win a morale boost for Malta women, says Dorianne Theuma

It was an historic evening for the Malta women’s national team when they emerged winners over Azerbaijan in Baku in last week’s Women’s World Cup qualifier.

The 2-1 victory was Malta’s first-ever in a proper qualification round of a Women’s World Cup tournament.

The Maltese side were on the back of another milestone after recording their maiden point in such qualifications in their 2-2 draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

One of Malta’s scorers in the Baku win was Dorianne Theuma, the first player to collect 100 caps with the women’s team. She put her nation ahead midway into the second half after converting from the penalty spot, netting her 29th goal at international level.

“The victory against Azerbaijan was very special for the team given it was our first ever win at this stage of the competition,” Theuma told the Times of Malta.

“Three points against Azerbaijan were one of our objectives in this campaign and we are pleased that we managed to reach our target.

“At the same time, it was a very important game on a personal level having scored for my country – something which I have been missing recently.”

Experienced midfielder Theuma spoke about the morale boost that this victory will inject in the women’s side ahead of the remaining commitments, starting from this month’s double-header against Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“The three points against Azerbaijan will inject more confidence in us ahead of the upcoming games,” the Swieqi United player explained.

“We are aware of the difficulties that the games against Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina will present to us but I firmly believe that our team can stage another solid showing in both games.”

After four Women’s World Cup qualifiers, Malta sits fourth in the six-team group with four points. A commanding start which reflects the technical quality that this national team has.

Theuma heaped praise on the talent that forms the women’s team, indicating the performance against Women’s Euro 2022 participants Russia as a reflection of the progress that the local movement has done in recent years.

“Managing to obtain a respectable result against a massive country like Russia, who have access to all resources and are one of the top teams in the women’s game, means that we are truly doing a lot of progress,” she said.

“I just hope that the Maltese talent continues to be given a lot of priority in order to flourish and eventually improve.”

MFA WOMEN’S LEAGUE – THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

TUESDAY – 20.30
Swieqi United vs Kirkop United, Centenary Stadium
Mġarr United v Birkirkara, Mġarr Ground

WEDNESDAY – 20.30
San Ġwann vs Mtarfa, Centenary Stadium

STANDINGS (after 3 games played)

Birkirkara – 9 points
Mġarr United – 9 points
Swieqi United – 6 points (2 games played)
Raiders Lija – 3 points
Kirkop United – 0 points (2 games played)
San Ġwann – 0 points (2 games played)
Mtarfa – 0 points

MD4 bye – Raiders Lija.

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