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Georgia triumph as World Cup begins

Published: Thursday 4 April 2013, 21.31CET
There was little to choose between the sides as the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup preliminary round got under way, with only a late goal for Georgia preventing a full set of draws.
Georgia triumph as World Cup begins
Albania made their competitive debut against Malta ©Domenic Aquilina
Published: Thursday 4 April 2013, 21.31CET

Georgia triumph as World Cup begins

There was little to choose between the sides as the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup preliminary round got under way, with only a late goal for Georgia preventing a full set of draws.

Draws dominated on the opening day of 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup preliminary round qualifying as Montenegro and Albania marked their debuts with a point after both came close to winning. Luxembourg and Latvia also shared the spoils and only Rimantė Kunickaitė's 85th-minute own goal prevented a clean sweep as Georgia overcame Lithuania 4-3.

The action continues on Saturday and Tuesday, with the top two in each group joining the 38 top-ranked nations in the main qualifying draw at 14.00CET on 16 April.

Group A
Albania marked their first competitive women's game at any level with a 1-1 draw against hosts Malta. They were briefly ahead through Ellvana Curo's 76th-minute effort, but their lead lasted just four minutes before Dorianne Theuma marked a fine individual performance with a goal.

In the later game, Luxembourg played out a goalless at home against Latvia. Didzis Matīss' visitors edged proceedings but had to play the last 23 minutes with ten players after Anna Propošina was sent off.

On Saturday, Albania face Latvia and Malta take on Luxembourg.

Group B
Montenegro played their debut competitive senior game against the Faroe Islands in Vilnius and, on 18 minutes, captain Marija Vukčević scored not only her country's maiden goal in a qualifying tournament but the first goal of the competition anywhere in the world. Heidi Sevdal and Idunn Magnussen struck in quick succession for the Faroes after the break, and although Armisa Kuć and Vukčević restored Montenegro's lead, Sevdal secured a 3-3 draw with 14 minutes left.

Also in Vilnius, captain Tatiana Matveeva inspired Georgia to a thrilling victory as her side recovered from going 2-0 down inside 17 minutes to claim all three points against Lithuania. Nino Pasikashvili and Khatia Chkonia restored parity before half-time and Matveeva, Georgia's attacking fulcrum, made it 3-2 on the hour. Substitute Rita Mažukėlytė equalised eight minutes from time, but the hosts could not muster a reply to Kunickaitė's own goal shortly after.

Lithuania's next opponents will be the Faroe Islands, after Georgia tackle Montenegro.

Last updated: 05/04/13 8.59CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=1937463.html#georgia+triumph+world+cup+begins

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