Georgia pip Faroe Islands and Malta

Georgia are through to the main qualifying group stage for the first time after pipping Malta and the Faroe Islands in a thrilling preliminary round Group 2.

Georgia celebrate winning the group
Georgia celebrate winning the group ©Domenic Aquilina

Georgia are through to the main UEFA Women's EURO qualifying group stage for the first time after pipping Malta and the Faroe Islands in a thrilling 2017 preliminary round Group 2.

Going into the last day, Georgia and the Faroes both trailed Malta by three points, having each lost to the hosts and beaten Andorra. Georgia signed off with a 7-0 thrashing of Andorra and, after the Faroes defeated Malta 4-2, Tamaz Kostava's side finished top on goal difference in a three-way head-to-head tie-breaker against the other two teams on six points.

Having secured one point on their only previous appearance in top-level qualifiers for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Georgia now await the group stage draw, streamed live on UEFA.com at 14.00CET on 20 April. They will compete home and away between September 2015 and October 2016 in eight matches against some of Europe's leading nations.

Andorra made their debut against Malta
Andorra made their debut against Malta©Domenic Aquilina

Competition summary
Day 1

• Tatiana Matveeva and Lela Chichinadze got the goals as Georgia overcame the Faroe Islands 2-0. Chichinadze's last-minute strike clinched a margin of victory that was to prove decisive later on.

• Andorra, making their competitive women's football debut, scored just three minutes in against Malta through Alpa Lopez Villa.

• Malta then plundered five goals but Andorra pulled it back to 5-3 with free-kicks from Bibiana Correia and Marina Muelas.

Malta celebrate beating Georgia
Malta celebrate beating Georgia©Domenic Aquilina

Day 2
• The Faroes netted eight without reply against Andorra including four goals by Rannvá Andreasen.

• Georgia knew a win would take them through but they lost 2-1 to Malta thanks to home captain Dorianne Theuma's last-minute decider.

Day 3
• Georgia had to prevail against Andorra and hope the Faroes beat Malta by one or two goals. Khatia Tchkonia scored four for Georgia in their 7-0 triumph, Chichinadze also claiming two to take her tournament tally to four.

• A draw was all Malta needed, while the Faroe Islands were looking for victory by a three-goal margin.

• The Faroese were two up in 15 minutes, including Andreasen getting her tournament-leading fifth goal, only for Malta to level early in the second half. Heidi Sevdal then struck on 53 and 90 minutes to give the Faroes a 4-2 success, one goal short due to that second Georgia goal on matchday one.

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