The women’s football season gets into its business end as the Assikura Women’s Knock-Out will commence on Wednesday evening with three fixtures from the first round, including the mouthwatering clash between Birkirkara and Swieqi United.
The Stripes, crowned league champions for the 11th time this season, will launch their cup defense against the side that challenged them for championship crown.
Led by Jose Borg, Birkirkara finished their league campaign with 16 wins out of 18 games as they picked 50 points.
In finishing another season unbeaten, Birkirkara extended their unbeaten run in the championship to 87 games.
Having won the previous four editions of this competition, Birkirkara start as favourites to keep this trophy in their cabinet.
However, they will be facing a Swieqi side that will be looking to put aside their league disappointment and try to lift their first ever major trophy in the women’s game.
Swieqi finished second with 41 points, registering the best offensive record with 80 goals. They are at the back of a 4-0 victory over Raiders Lija with Dorianne Theuma, Tatiana Dabney, Shona Zammit and youngster Maria Vella grabbing the goals.
Dutch coach Judith Kuipers led the Owls to 13 wins and two draws in their 18 league appointments.
The two teams will meet for the fourth time this season after their trio of matchups in the league and their Super Cup matchup, and will cross swords at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
In another highly-awaited clash, Mġarr United and Hibernians will meet at the Centenary Stadium.
The Greens, who defeated Mtarfa in their season finale, managed to pip Hibs to third place by just one point.
Mġarr United against Hibernians became an instant rivalry this season with three hard-fought matches that resulted in two wins for the Greens (3-1 and 1-0) and 1 draw (1-1), the only game played at the Centenary Stadium.
Both teams registered similar statistics as they scored 52 goals, with Mġarr conceding one goal less than Hibernians (17).
The Paolites, on their part, are heading into this competition in high spirits having lost narrowly to Birkirkara (2-3), beat Raiders Lija and handed Swieqi a 2-1 defeat in their final game of the season.
Elsewhere, Raiders Lija will face Mtarfa at the Sirens Stadium.
Denis Guerra’s side finished fifth with 22 points while Mtarfa placed second-bottom with 6 points, having beaten San Ġwann 1-0 in their final game of the season.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3
1. Raiders Lija vs Mtarfa – Mġarr Ground, 8.30pm.
2. Birkirkara vs Swieqi United – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 8.30pm.
3. Mġarr United vs Hibernians – Centenary Stadium, 8.30pm.
Bye: San Ġwann.
SUNDAY, MAY 7
Winner 1 vs Winner 2 – Centenary Stadium, 5pm.
Winner 3 vs San Ġwann – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 5pm.
MAY 12 (Centenary Stadium, 7pm).
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