Malta lose opening Visit Malta match against strong Slovakia

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Malta lost their opening match in the Women’s VisitMalta tournament going down 4-0 to Slovakia.

Two goals in each half good enough for Slovakia, ranked number 45 in the world.

Slukova opened the scoring with ten minutes gone and that score became 2-0 ten minutes later when Panakova fired past Janice Xuereb.

Minutes later Malta broke quickly down the left but their effort was snuffed out by the Slovakian defence.

Jade Flask took a heavy knock but after some side-line treatment was able to continue.

Slovakia were relentless in pushing forward in the opening half and forced a fine save from Xuereb off a free kick just outside the box.

It was Malta who started the brighter after break with coach Mark Attard’s half time talk having the desired effect.

Malta were more confident and aggressive and were enjoying the better of play but Slovakia were always a threat.

Stephania Farrugia and Charlene Zammit were towers of strength in defence and Malta needed a bit of luck when a goal-mouth scramble ended with the ball being thumped away from the danger area.

Slovakia upped their game as the match entered the last quarter hour with substitute Ondrusova adding to their total.

Their were not done and added a fourth in extra time through Mikolajova.

A 4-0 win for Slovakia in their opening game in the VisitMalta tournament but encouraging signs for Malta in their first competitive game of the year. Their next game in the competition is against Sweden, world ranked number five. That will be the toughest test yet for a young Maltese side but should be good experience as they prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2023 qualifiers which begin in September.

Photo. Jade Flask takes knock.

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