General Category

Plucky Malta once again succumb to late goal against Bosnia

Published: Tue 04 Jun 2024, 22:20
BOS MLT WNT 03.jpg
BOS MLT WNT 02.jpg
BOS MLT WNT 01.jpg

2025 UEFA Women European Qualification
FF BH Football Training Centre, Zenica

(HT 0-1)

0-1 Maria Farrugia 10, 1-1 Milena Nikovic 64, 1-2 Milena Nikovic 90+3

Another late goal, this time three minutes into stoppage time, consigned Malta to their second defeat in the return fixture against Bosnia Herzegovina in the space of five days. Malta were looking to bounce back from their cruel defeat against Bosnia last Friday, but had to swallow their third defeat in this group, which also contains the national teams of Portugal and Northern Ireland.

Malta started with a blinder, taking the lead after just 10 minutes. Alicia Sultana squared to Brenda Borg who in turn released Maria Farrugia who smashed a fine shot past Almina Hodzic. Bosnia did react to that opener but the Malta defence held firm restricting their opponents to efforts from outside the box. In fact, another great chance came Malta’s way on 33 minutes when a free kick by Rachel Cuschieri forced an excellent save off Hodzic with Haley Bugeja missing the rebound which ended up wide.

The Bosnians had a good chance right on the stroke of half time when a cross by Kapetanovic found Minela Gacanica whose header ended well over. But Bosnia then missed a golden chance deep in stoppage time when they were awarded a penalty after Gacanica was judged to have been felled in the box by Said. Captain Milena Nikovic stepped up but her shot ended up well wide much to the delight of the visitors.

Bosnia continued dictating play but Malta had another excellent chance on 57 minutes when Bugeja let fly from outside the box with Hodzic tipping the ball over the bar. Bosnia had another fine chance on the hour mark with Gacanica’s effort ending up just wide.

Three minutes later, the home side equalized when a fine cross by Krso found Nikovic who made amends for her penalty miss with a fine header from close range that gave Ebejer no chance. Bosnia continued pressing forward and had another fine chance six minutes from time with Elma Husic rifling a strong shot that was well saved by Patricia Ebejer.

Unfortunately for Malta, Nikolic managed to find a winner deep into stoppage time after a fine cross by Krso which found the Bosnian captain who cooly slotted past Ebejer.

Next month, Malta will face Northern Ireland at home on the 12th of July while four days later, the sequence will come to a close with an away game in Portugal. Malta obtained one point so far in their four matches played, an goalless away draw in Northern Ireland. 

Patricia Ebejer, Ann-Marie Said, Emma Lipman, Stefania Farrugia, Alicia Sultana (Nicole Sciberras 74), Maria Farrugia, Rachel Cuschieri, Shona Zammit, Charlene Zammit, Brenda Borg (Maya Lucia 86), Haley Bugeja (Kailey Willis 74).

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Almina Hodzic, Gloria Sliskovic, Marija Milinkovic, Melisa Hasanbegovic, Milena Nikolic, Emina Ekic (Elma Krajnic 89), Selma Kapetanovic (Andrea Cule 78), Minela Gacanica (Sofija Krajsumovic 73), Amela Krso, Dajana Spasojevic (Elma Husic 78), Aida Hadzic (Ena Sabanagic 46)

Referee Sofik Torosyan (Armenia)