Champions Birkirkara return to domestic action after Euro heroics
This weekend’s action from the Assikura Women’s League sets up an intriguing clash between Swieqi United and Hibernians while Birkirkara will resume their domestic commitments.
Hibernians are currently sharing top spot with seven points after their opening three league assigments.
Led by coach Keith Gouder, the Paolites scored two victories against Valletta and Lija Athletic while held Mġarr to a 3-3 draw.
They have scored seven goals so far with new signing Leah Ayres, who joined from Raiders, topping the club’s scoring charts with three – all against Mġarr.
Swieqi, on their part, have already found the net on 15 occasions in their opening couple of assignments – 7-1 vs Mtarfa and 8-0 vs San Ġwann.
Saviour Darmanin’s side have a game in hand having skipped their big clash with Birkirkara due to the Maltese champions playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Ghanaian pair Karima and Salamatu Abdulai have scored five and four goals each so far, as they sit in first and second place of the league’s top scorer list.
For this game, both teams will be without their starting goalkeepers as Hibernians’ Zeeraya Jivraj is still recovering from an injury while Swieqi’s newcomer Patricia Araujo was sent off last weekend.
Mġarr United, coached by Michael Mangion, are hoping to secure their third win of the season when they face Mtarfa.
They are at the back of a comfortable 4-1 win over Valletta with Brazilians Luana Cabral, Joelma and Fernanda Peinado scoring all the goals for the Greens.
Peinado, formerly of Swieqi, has now already scored three goals in her first two games for the Greens after joining them during the summer transfer window.
The Valletta game was also a memorable one for defenders Abigail Camilleri and Rebecca Bajada who played their 300th and 200th league match respectively.
Simon Spiteri’s Mtarfa is the only team that is yet to score a single point in this campaign so far albeit there opening games were a tall task for them – vs Swieqi United and vs Valletta.
Defending champions Birkirkara will play just their second game of the season when they face San Ġwann.
Jose Borg’s side is at the back of their European heroics where they secured the second win for a Maltese club in the Champions League, beating Montenegro’s Breznica 1-0.
In the following game, they put on a solid shift against 24-time Switzerland champions FC Zurich where they also managed to find the net through summer signing Francesca Chircop – her maiden goal in European football.
In their opening game of the season, the Stripes had run rampant past Lija Athletic winning 11-0 and are now looking to pick up their second win on the trot as they eye their 12th title this season.
San Ġwann, led by Julian Camilleri, have one point so far – earned in a 1-1 draw against Lija Athletic.
Elsewhere, Lija Athletic meet Valletta at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
This will be their first ever head-to-head in women’s football and a lot of familiar faces will cross path since most of the players of both sides featured at Raiders Lija until last season.
Denis Guerra’s Valletta have won one game from three so far and are looking to bounce back to winning ways after last weekend’s Mġarr United defeat.
On the other hand, Lija Athletic are at the back of an encouraging display against Hibernians in their narrow 1-0 defeat last week.
Jethron Azzopardi’s team have scored one point in three games so far.
Following this matchday, the women’s league will return on October 13 as the Malta women’s national team will now take centre stage with their opening two games from the UEFA Women’s Nations League against Latvia and Moldova.
Mtarfa vs Mġarr United – 20.15, Centenary Stadium
Lija Athletic vs Valletta – 20.30, Victor Tedesco Stadium
Birkirkara vs San Ġwann – 18.00, Dingli Ground
Hibernians vs Swieqi United – 20.30, Dingli Ground
Photo: Jonathan Sajeba Photography.
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