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Armenia in dreamland after pipping Malta

"I really cannot believe what is happening," Armenia keeper Anna Karapetyan told UEFA.com after her side earned a 1-1 draw with Malta to top preliminary round Group 2.

Armenia celebrate in Ta'Qali
Armenia celebrate in Ta'Qali ©Domenic Aquilina

A penalty from Kristine Mangasaryan gave Armenia a draw against UEFA Women's EURO 2013 preliminary round Group 2 hosts Malta, first place and a berth in Monday's qualifying group stage draw.

Leading Malta and the Faroe Islands by a point going into the final day of fixtures in Ta' Qali, Armenia's 1-1 draw with Malta proved enough for them as the Faroe Islands lost 1-0 to a Georgia penalty from Lela Chichinadze deep into added time which gave her side third position.

Malta had scored first against Armenia through Rachel Cuschieri's well-placed free-kick in the 14th minute and the home nation continued to dictate matters. However, chances went begging and with 26 minutes left Malta conceded a spot kick that was converted by Mangasaryan. Armenia then held on for the chance to join the top-ranked nations in competing for finals places from September.

"I really cannot believe what is happening," Armenia goalkeeper Anna Karapetyan told UEFA.com. "I am so happy right now."

Armenia coach Aslanyan Vagharshak was carried shoulder high at the end of the match, and added: "I am delighted for the girls who have worked so hard for this qualification. All we have to do now is work harder for the next phase of this competition, but all credit to all my squad for this hard-earned success."