Willis 3, 12
J. Xuereb; A. Said, E. Lipman, S. Farrugia, D. Theuma (46 S. Zammit), K. Willis (46 J. Flask), M. Farrugia (76 M. Farrugia), C. Zammit (89 A. Gatt), B. Borg (76 N. Sciberras), E. Xuereb, H. Bugeja (86 R. Bajada).
C. Topler; K. Dos Santos (80 L. Schmit), A. Barbosa, A. Machado (80 R. Kirps), Y. Lentz, C. Schmit (63 M. Soares), L. Miller, C. Lavinas (63 M. Lourenco), C. Jorge, M. Estevez, A. Thompson (63 J. Lourenco).
Referee Martina Molinaro.
Yellow cards Machado.
A first-half brace from Kailey Willis and a Jade Flask goal in the second half handed the Malta women their second consecutive win against Luxembourg.
It was the perfect start for coach Manuela Tesse who has clinched victories in both her opening games in charge of the senior side.
For this game, the Italian coach made a few changes including starting Dorianne Theuma, who also captained the side.
Malta will now return to action in April when they are expected to play at least against Estonia in an away fixture.
The Maltese side could not have wished for a better start when Kailey Willis struck a superb volley from outside the penalty area that stunned Celine Topler, opening her senior national team account on her third cap.
The Chievo Verona forward doubled Malta’s lead with a close-range effort following a corner-kick situation in minute 12 as the hosts continued to make their pressure count.
Dorianne Theuma came close to extending Malta’s lead with an effort from a tight angle just to be inches wide.
Luxembourg managed to pull one back against the run of play. Malta goalkeeper Janice Xuereb failed to block an incoming cross with Amy Thompson converting from a point-blank range.
Malta came close to restoring their two-goal lead but Theuma failed to hit the target with her header before Xuereb was forced into action to deny Marta Estevez from a freekick.
On the brink of half-time, forward Haley Bugeja tried her luck with a shot from inside the penalty area but the ball sailed over the bar. Moments later, Theuma’s shot hit the side net as Malta led by one goal at the break.
After the change of ends, Malta made two changes with Shona Zammit and Jade Flask coming on for Theuma and Willis.
Flask took only five minutes to make an impact when she capitalised on a well-weighted Ann-Marie Said’s cross and headed home past Topler.
The Maltese side continued to dominate proceedings with Maria Farrugia coming close to finding Malta’s fourth with a long-range freekick.
Orlando Pride’s Bugeja prolonged her search for a goal with a personal effort twenty minutes from time, but once again could not beat Topler.
Topler denied Farrugia as well as the Durham Women player tried to find the back of the net from a freekick.
In the closing stages of the game, England-based Alexandra Gatt was handed her senior national team debut.
Ylenia Carabott missed a golden opportunity to return to the scoring sheet for Malta when she failed to convert from the penalty spot, in stoppage time.
World Cup News
Football/ 1 week ago
Morocco says joining Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup bid
King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced on Tuesday that his country had joined the...
Football/ 1 week ago
Update: World Cup 2026 to feature 12 groups of four teams
The expanded 2026 men’s World Cup in North America will start with 12 groups...
Football/ 2 weeks ago
Argentina goalie auctions World Cup gloves for $45K for cancer hospital
The gloves worn by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez in the nail-biting penalty shootout...
Football/ 2 months ago
Messi says World Cup trophy ‘called out’ to him
Lionel Messi won the World Cup because the sparkling solid gold trophy picked him...