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Live blog: Birkirkara beat Swieqi United to lift seventh women’s Super Cup title

Arianna Del Moral (right) scored Birkirkara's two goals in this Super Cup final. Photo: Dominic Borg

4.50pm IT’S OVER! BIRKIRKARA HAVE WON THEIR SEVENTH WOMEN’S SUPER CUP!

Thank you for following this live blog and we invite you to stay tuned to this website for our post-match reports.

4.49pm Amelia Vassallo comes on for Birkirkara as the Stripes are controlling this encounter in its final stages…

4.46pm A late change for Birkirkara with Gabriella Zahra, another experienced member of the Stripes, replacing Veronique Mifsud in the midfield department.

Also, there will be an addition of five minutes.

4.38pm With 83 minutes on the clock, experienced defender Charlene Zammit is coming on for Raina Giusti as Birkirkara are looking to secure their precious one-goal lead.

4.33pm Swieqi so close to peg Birkirkara back but a Dorianne Theuma’s trademark freekick struck the crossbar before Birkirkara cleared the danger away.

4.25pm We have just been informed that a nice crowd of 671 people has flocked to the Centenary Stadium to watch the 17th edition of the Super Cup… another testament to the growth of the local women’s game!

4.23pm Arianna Del Moral scored both goals for Birkirkara in this game so far, including this one which cancelled Swieqi’s lead…

Arianna Del Moral (centre) scoring Birkirkara’s equaliser against Swieqi United. Photo: Dominic Borg

4.22pm First substitution for Swieqi with Karima Abdulai coming on for Mariah Sciberras, settling down as right winger in this second half for the Owls.

4.19pm Sara Saliba is trying to find the net on her first game for Birkirkara this season, sending a low drive towards Araujo but once again could beat the Swieqi goalkeeper.

4.17pm Swieqi forged ahead first in this game through Salamatu Abdulai…

Salamatu Abdulai (left) and Mariah Sciberras reacting after Swieqi opened the score. Photo: Dominic Borg

4.13pm GOAL!

What a start for Birkirkara in this second half as Del Moral scores her second of the game to put the Stripes ahead!

The American made the most of a defensive mistake from Swieqi to slot the ball past Araujo to the delight of the Birkirkara clan.

4.07pm Birkirkara came out the better team from the blocks with midfielder Caitlin Rodgers attempting a strike on goal but her effort glanced past Araujo’s goal.

4.03pm Second half is underway and what an entrance by Saliba as she fires a delightful strike forcing Araujo to a brilliant save!

4.02pm Just one change at half-time with Birkirkara replacing forward Francesca Chircop with Sara Saliba.

3.46pm Kaysia Micallef with a final chance for Swieqi just before half-time, but her shot sailed over the bar as Birkirkara and Swieqi end the opening 45 minutes in a 1-1 stalemate.

3.45pm There will be one minute of added time as the two teams are still locked at 1-1.

3.38pm Birkirkara’s midfielder Veronique Mifsud let fly a strike from outside the area but was not enough to beat Patricia Araujo in goal.

3.35pm Swieqi United’s starting XI!

Photo: Joe Borg

3.30pm GOAL!

Birkirkara’s reaction came swiftly through Arianna Del Moral who beat Patricia Araujo from close-range and level terms just two minutes after Abdulai’s goal.

The American winger joined Birkirkara during last summer’s transfer window and has managed to repay her club’s trust with an important goal in this final.

3.28pm GOAL!

Swieqi United draw first blood with a brilliant strike from the edge of the area produced by Abdulai.

A wonderful piece of play by the Ghanaian forward who stunned goalkeeper Janice Xuereb and the rest of the Birkirkara camp.

3.27pm Birkirkara’s starting XI!

Photo: Joe Borg

3.21pm Swieqi United’s captain Dorianne Theuma, on her fifth Super Cup appearance, tried her luck from long-range but was not enough to beat Janice Xuereb, with 22 minutes on the clock.

3.19pm The tempo of the game has become a little bit calmer now, with both sides making use of their forwards as hold-up players – Francesca Chircop for Birkirkara and Salamatu Abdulai for Swieqi – to try and breakdown the opponents’ backlines.

3.09pm Birkirkara will be wary of Salamatu Abdulai’s pace with Swieqi relying a lot on her speed, especially in counter-attack situations.

The Ghana forward is the league’s top scorer with 14 points, together with Brazilian playmaker Joelma of Mġarr United.

3.06pm First big moment of the game, with Raina Giusti’s header going inches wide from Patricia Araujo’s goal as Birkirkara have stepped up their game in the opening stages.

3pm WE ARE UNDERWAY!

In this season’s two encounters, Swieqi halted Birkirkara’s long unbeaten run in the league with a stoppage time goal before a 0-0 draw in the second round round.

Will Birkirkara claim a record seventh Super Cup or will Swieqi lift the trophy for the first time?

2.59pm On the other hand, Swieqi’s coach Saviour Darmanin, on his Super Cup debut as coach, made just one change from last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Hibernians.

Youngster Kaysia Micallef was given the nod over Ghana winger Karima Abdulai.

Moreover, Darmanin welcomes forward Jade Flask who is at the back of a long-term knee injury sustained earlier this year.

2.55pm Birkirkara make a handful of changes for this game from last weekend’s league action with Uruguayan playmaker Edith Garcia just fit for the bench after an early exit in Saturday’s match against San Ġwann.

Moreover, there is major news from the Stripes’ camp with promising prospect Sara Saliba available for Jose Borg’s selection for this game.

The Malta youth international player had to join Pomigliano in the Serie A but the deal never went through due to bureaucratic difficulties from the Italian club.

2.50pm Here are the team news of both Birkirkara and Swieqi United…

Birkirkara (4-2-3-1): Janice Xuereb; Ann-Marie Said, Stephania Farrugia, Francesca Chircop, Alishia Sultana, Raina Giusti, Veronique Mifsud, Marta Grosso, Arianna Del Moral, Caitlin Rogers, Valentina Rapa.

Swieqi United (4-3-3): Patricia Araujo; Jessica Dimech, Dorianne Theuma, Mariah Sciberras, Emma Xuereb, Salamatu Abdulai, Shona Zammit, Rafanny, Jade Schembri, Tammy Falzon, Kaysia Micallef.

2.45pm Welcome to our live blog for this afternoon’s highly-anticipated Assikura Women’s Super Cup clash between Birkirkara and Swieqi United!

The Stripes will be vying for a record seventh title as 2022/2023 Assikura Women’s League champions.

On the other hand, the Owls, eyeing a maiden win in this competition, are contending this trophy as winners of last season’s Assikura Women’s Knock-Out.

Stay tuned to our blog as we will bring you the latest updates from the 17th edition of the Super Cup.

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