Stripes complete double

Birkirkara completed a famous domestic double after they overcame a resilient Mġarr United side 5-4 after penalties to clinch their 14th Women’s Knock-Out Competition at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday. Both sides had terminated regular time and extra-time at 1-1 before heading towards penalty kicks. From the spot, the Stripes scored four times while Mġarr failed to match their opponents as they fell short of clinching their first ever silverware.

In her first season at the helm of Birkirkara, Melania Bajada has now claimed both the championship and the cup, emulating her predecessor’s, Shawn Meilak, success who achieved the double during the 2016/2017 season.

The Greens, coached by former Premier League manager Patrick Curmi, started the match brighter and they almost scored first but Birkirkara’s goalkeeper Janice Xuereb was alert to avert the danger. Moments later, Stephania Farrugia replied for Birkirkara but her long-range effort struck the woodwork. The Stripes continued to push for the lead and Veronique Mifsud squandered a glorious chance when in front of the goalkeeper, she sent the ball wide.

After the change of ends, Tracy Teuma tried to deceive Mġarr United’s goalkeeper but her angled drive failed to hit the target. Curmi’s clan started to inch their way up on the field and they could have forged ahead when Roxanne Micallef hit a close-range shot but Xuereb denied her.

However, it was a matter of time for the Greens to find the net and they did so on minute 72 when Claudette Xuereb saw her initial effort hit the post before converting the rebound.

Yet, the Stripes levelled terms when four minutes later, Maia Debono accidentally sent the ball into her own net.

The Stripes came close to turn around the score to their favour with clear cut opportunities from Teuma and Alishia Sultana but they could not capitalise.

On the other hand, Mġarr United replied with a chance from Amber Grech but failed to hit the base of the net.

As no one managed to unlock the score in extra-time, the game headed to penalties. Birkirkara converted four penalties through Gabriella Zahra, Samantha Zarb, Stephania Farrugia and Alishia Sultana as they went on to lift the coveted trophy. Abigail Camilleri, Roxanne Micallef and Brenda Borg scored for Mgarr.