Hibernians, Mgarr share spoils in thrilling Assikura Women’s League encounter

A six-goal thriller took place in the second week of the Assikura Women’s League as Mġarr United and Hibernians shared the spoils in an electric encounter.

After securing winning starts on their season openers, the two teams rubbed shoulders at the Dingli Ground looking to pick up their second straight victory. Hibernians handed a debut to American defender Natalee Geren who partnered Amy Busuttil as the central defensive pair. Mġarr, on their part, also had new face in this game with Luana Cabral making her first appearance at the heart of the midfield deparment.

The Paolites drew first blood when newly-signed Leah Ayres headed home from close-range inside the opening 18 minutes. Mġarr levelled terms when Fernanda Peinado, on her club debut, pounced on a second ball inside the small area to beat un-retired Sharon Costantino, former Malta international, who was taking over from the injured Zeeraya Jivraj between the sticks.

After the change of ends, Hibernians came out from the blocks very strong and took a two-goal lead thanks to an Ayres’ brace. Nonetheless, Mġarr still managed to salvage a point after an Alessia Caschetto own goal before Brazilian playmaker Joelma found the leveller with a long-range freekick.

Lija Athletic and San Ġwann cancelled each other out to collect their first points of the season after meeting at the Dingli Ground.

San Ġwann, coached by Julian Camilleri, took an early lead through Shania Gheiti. However, Lija’s resilience earned them a point thanks to Vanessa Carneiro’s first goal for her club and in the domestic league after joining during the summer transfer window. Midway into the second half, San Ġwann went a player down when Martina Schembri was given the marching orders but Camilleri’s side managed to hold on to secure at least a point.

Valletta secured their first win in women’s football after cruising to victory against Mtarfa.

Denis Guerra’s side scored nine goals with Anna Aloisio grabbing a hat-trick. Newly-signed forward Marcelle put her name on the scoresheet with a couple of goals. Francesca Bartolo, Suzanne Farrugia Sacco, Monique Sultana and Sarah Vella Barberi scored the other goals for the Lilywhites.

For this game, coach Guerra had young goalkeeper Kayleigh Vella Barberi between the sticks with Sabrin Blihi, who last week was in goal for Valletta against Hibernians, returned to her natural defender role. Ylenia Grech and Sarah Vella Barberi also returned following last week’s absence to strengthen Valletta for this tie. Mtarfa, on their part, fell to their second defeat of the season. Newcomer Oumayma Jelili, who hails from Tunisia, was in the starting line-up for Simon Spiteri’s side.

Meanwhile in the Assikura Women’s Youth League, Swieqi United defeated San Gwann by the odd goal in five while Hibernians and SKMM shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

On the other hand, in the BNF Women’s Under-16 League, SKMM defeated Valletta 3-0 while Hibernians beat San Gwann 3-1. Swieqi United registered a most comfortable 13-1 win over Gudja United Women while Birkirkara defeated Santa Lucia 7-0.