Nation's League: The ladies make Maltese football history with promotion to Group B

The Malta women’s national team created football history by securing a 2-1 victory against Latvia at the Centenary Stadium

Maltese forward Kailey Willis celebrating her goal which equalised the game in the 58th minute
Maltese forward Kailey Willis celebrating her goal which equalised the game in the 58th minute

Malta's women's national football team made history with its promotion to Group B in the UEFA Nations League, securing the top spot in their group with a 2-1 comeback victory against Latvia. 

The match, witnessed by a record-breaking crowd for a women’s match of 1,008 at the Centenary Stadium, marked a significant moment for Maltese women's football.

Malta needed to either win or draw to secure promotion to Group B, while Latvia needed to win by a margin of more than one goal for promotion.

READ MORE: Malta women’s team host Latvia in historic Nation’s League decider

Despite dominating throughout the League C campaign, the Maltese team conceded their first goal of the season in the 51st minute, heightening anxiety.

Malta's attacking efforts saw close calls, including Willis's overhead kick and Brenda Borg's attempt, but the breakthrough came from Latvia's penalty.

Latvia were awarded a penalty with Karlīna Mikson Miksone succesfully making the goal.

Maria Farrugia's entry into the game played a crucial role, as she contributed to turning the match in Malta's favour.

After 58 minutes, Farrugia's quick play led to Kayley Willis heading home Rachel Cuschieri's pass, equalising the score. 

Malta maintained control, denying Latvia's attempts.

The decisive moment came after 73 minutes when Farrugia skillfully secured the historic promotion for Malta with the second goal.

Despite Latvia's attempts to threaten with set-pieces, Malta's goalkeeper Janice Xuereb held firm.

With this victory, Malta becomes one of the top 32-ranked European teams and will participate in the Women's Euro 2025 qualifications. 

The team joins the 16-team League B, divided into four groups

READ MORE: Trailblazing reds: The ladies making history for Maltese football

'Don't let anyone discourage you' - Roberta Metsola

In a Facebook post, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola expressed pride in the historic victory of the women's national team.

Commending their qualification, Metsola hailed the players as inspirations to countless young individuals.

She urged them to persevere in pursuing their dreams, encouraging resilience against discouragement.

Metsola concluded with best wishes for the team's upcoming endeavors, reinforcing their role as protagonists not only in their country but also on the international stage. 

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech also took to Facebook to extend his congratulations. 

In his post, Grech praised the efforts of the Malta Football Association, the players, and the entire technical staff under the leadership of coach Manuela Tesse.

He emphasised that this triumph not only belongs to the dedicated athletes but is also a testament to the collective work invested over time in advancing the women's national team.

In a short post, Prime Minister Robert Abela joined in while sharing a picture of the whole team.

MaltaToday would like to congratulate the whole team for their win.