Birkirkara girls move six points clear after narrow win over Swieqi

MFA Women’s League pacesetters Birkirkara restored their six-point lead at the summit after registering a key victory against third-place Swieqi United in the last match day of round 2. Meanwhile, Mġarr United – who sit second – defeated San Ġwann whereas Kirkop United produced an important victory against in-form Raiders Lija.

To celebrate the International Women’s Day on Tuesday, the captains of each team were presented with flowers from both the Malta senior coach Mark Gatt and Frank Schembri, U-19’s coach, respectively.

Photo (above) courtesy of Mark Zammit Cordina

In addition, in line with the Malta FA’s support to Ukraine and the condemnation of the Russian invasion, a banner brandishing the words ‘Football Unites and Support’ was held up prior to the game between Raiders and Kirkop at the Centenary Stadium.

Shifting the attention to the league’s action, Birkirkara cemented their status as league leaders with a 1-0 victory against Swieqi United thanks to Veronique Mifsud goal.

The Maltese midfielder handed Birkirkara the win three minutes before half-time, netting her seventh goal of the season.

For this game, Birkirkara coach Melania Bajada deployed Spanish goalkeeper Isabel Bacaicoa between the sticks while Canadian forward Patricia Lamanna made her second appearance for the club. Both players joined the club during the winter transfer window.

On the other hand, Swieqi had Brazilian Fernanda Peinado and American Alexis Espitia in the startng formation, who also joined the Oranges in January. Their other winter signing – Rafanny Mendoza – was introduced in the second half.

SWIEQI Jodie Attard, Chloe Ann Ellul, Jessica Lee Dimech, Dorianne Theuma, Emma Xuereb, Fernanda dos Santos Peinado (Maria Vella), Mandy Debono (Rafanny Andreina Mendoza Abache), Shona Zammit, Michaela Cachia, Jade Schembri, Alexis Veronica Espitia.

B’KARA Isabel Sanchez Bacaicoa, Gabriella Zahra, Ann-Marie Said, Stephania Farrugia, Tracy Teuma (Kim Parnis), Alishia Sultana, Veronique Mifsud, Charlene Zammit, Michela Felice (Mariah Sciberras), Sara Saliba (Yasmeen Marie Bajada), Patricia Mary Lamanna (Ruth Steer-Chetham).

Referee: Ranald Portelli

Meanwhile, Mġarr hit San Ġwann for five with defender Maia Debono scoring a hat-trick for the Greens.

Debono, who made her international debut during the VisitMalta Women’s Trophy, scored after four minutes before doubling the lead on 22nd minute.

Brenda Borg scored her 11th goal of the campaign after the break with Rodiana Borg following with a fourth. Debono sealed the win with her third, Mġarr’s fifth, on the 72nd minute.

Mġarr coach Michael Mangion started Icelandic winger Juliana Onnudottir from the start while the other January signing – Nicole Bautista – was a second-half entry for the Greens.

SAN GWANN Melissa Galea, Annabelle Rapa (Mariah Micallef), Lara Mae Vella, Daniela Camilleri, Lynn Mifsud, Rhea Borg, Yulya Carella, Martina Schembri, Sarah Cioffi, Janice Spiteri (Yana Scicluna), Nicole Saliba.

MGARR Patricia Ebejer, Abigail Camilleri (Mirayah Aquilina), Maia Melanie Debono, Keeva Caoimhe Camilleri (Sarah Galea), Rodiana Borg, Daniela Said Ebejer, Juliana Dogg Onnudottir Chipa (Leslye Nicole Espinel Bautista), Jasmine Vella Turner (Nicole Grixti), Leanne Cefai, Rebecca Bajada (Maria Mizzi), Brenda Borg.

Referee: Paul Apap

Photo (above) courtesy of Tonio Magro

In the other game of the week, Kirkop produced the surprise of the week when they defeated an in-form Raiders side at the Centenary Stadium.

Aleksandra Georgieva scored the all-important goal seven minutes from time to lift the Reds to 15 points, trailing Raiders by just four in fifth-place.

Kirkop’s clean sheet allowed youth goalkeeper Raisa Costantino to extend her clean sheet run to 196 minutes.

KIRKOP Raisa Costantino, Ingrid Psaila, Jeanelle Falzon, Celine Galea, Sarah Urpani, Mirea Ellul (Marie Claire Cilia), Kathryn Ellul (Yasmin Attard), Aleksandra Georgieva, Alessia Caschetto, Yolande Attard (Maria Ibrahim), Rodianne Zerafa).

RAIDERS Giulia D’Antuono, Rebecca Vella (Cristina Hili), Georgiana Mifsud, Sarah Caruana, Monique Sultana, Laura Muscat (Eva Codermatz), Miriana Conti, Maya Lucia, Michela Bonello Ghio, Leah Alice Ayres, Anna Aloisio.

Referee: Justin Camilleri