Reigning champions Birkirkara extended their unbeaten run in the Assikura Women’s League to 75 games after their dramatic win against title rivals Swieqi United.
Youngster Sara Saliba scored the all-important goal for the Stripes, five minutes from time, to hand her side a crucial win in view of this season’s title race.
For Saliba, this was her second goal in this 2022/2023 campaign with the colours of Birkirkara.
Led by Jose Borg, Birkirkara are now joint-leaders with the Owls on 14 points.
However, they have potentially opened a three-point lead on Swieqi having led 4-0 in their abandoned game against bottom side San Ġwann which should be continued on another date.
For this game, coach Borg deployed three youngsters in Saliba, Mariah Cardona and Veronique Mifsud in the starting formation.
Italian midfielder Gaia Milan was also a starter while her compatriot Marta Grosso was a late entry in the second 45 minutes.
Swieqi, on their part, fielded their strongest formation including foreigners Cynthia Konlan – between the sticks, Rafanny Mendoza, Tatiana Hawkins and Rebecca Atinga.
Mġarr United and Hibernians profited from Swieqi’s slip as they both recorded victories against San Ġwann and Mtarfa respectively.
The Greens, under the guidance of Michael Mangion, beat San Ġwann 4-1 with Abigail Camilleri grabbing a brace.
Leanne Cefai and Kelly Agius scored the other goals for the Greens as they registered their fourth win of the season, as they trail Swieqi by just one point.
San Ġwann scored their goal through Julia Egging as they remain the only team still looking for their first points of the season.
Meanwhile, Hibernians hit Mtarfa for 10 with the Paolites opening a seven-goal lead in the first half.
Alexis Espitia scored four goals as she is now the league’s top scorer with seven – level with Raiders Lija’s Lexine Farrugia.
Wingback Chloe Ann Ellul scored twice with the other goals being grabbed by Martina Borg, Sarah Urpani, Rodianne Zerafa and Kayleigh Chetcuti.
The Paolites sit fourth with 12 points while Mtarfa remain with three points.