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Record seventh title for Birkirkara as Stripes win women’s Super Cup

Birkirkara players celebrate with the women's Super Cup trophy. Photo: Domenic Borg

BIRKIRKARA             2

Del Moral 30, 58


Abdulai 29


J. Xuereb; A. Said, S. Farrugia, F. Chircop (46 S. Saliba) (90 A. Vassallo), A. Sultana, R. Giusti (83 C. Zammit), V. Mifsud (90 G. Zahra), M. Grosso, A. Del Moral, C. Rogers, V. Rapa.


P. Araujo; J. Dimech, D. Theuma, M. Sciberras (63 K. Abdulai), E. Xuereb, S. Abdulai, S. Zammit, Rafanny, J. Schembri, T. Falzon, K. Micallef.

Referee Luca Formosa.

Birkirkara came from behind to defeat Swieqi United and lift their seventh Assikura Women’s Super Cup on Wednesday.

This success now puts the Stripes joint-level with Hibernians with a record of seven Super Cup victories.

Moreover, the Stripes have now won the last three editions after lifting the Super Cup in 2019 and last year – the first edition following a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Birkirkara were yet to find the net against Swieqi this season after a 1-0 defeat and a goalless draw in the two league encounters.

However, they did beat Araujo on the half-hour mark when Arianna Del Moral cancelled Salamatu Abdulai’s opening goal in this game.

The American winger scored Birkirkara’s second to hand her club this year’s Super Cup while Swieqi continue to seek their first-ever success in this competition.

For this game, Birkirkara had to keep Uruguayan playmaker Edith Garcia on the bench as she is still recovering from a knock picked up in last weekend’s game against San Ġwann.

In addition, coach Jose Borg welcomed back young prospect Sara Saliba who will resume her career with Birkirkara after her Pomigliano deal collapsed.

On the other hand, Swieqi 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.

Darmanin welcomed back forward Jade Flask who is coming off a long-term knee injury sustained earlier this year.

Birkirkara produced the first chance of the game when Alishia Sultana teed up Raina Giusti but her header went wide from Patricia Araujo’s goal.

Swieqi United’s reply came through the feet of captain Dorianne Theuma who tried a strike from long distance but failed to beat Janice Xuereb.

Nonetheless, Xuereb was indeed beaten in the 29th minute when Ghanaian forward Salamatu Abdulai hammered her shot into the far post to put Swieqi one up.

Their joy was cut short when Birkirkara levelled terms a couple of minutes later.

Arianna Del Moral picked up the ball in the final third and made her way into the box before beating Araujo with a cool strike.

The Stripes turned the score in their favour when Veronique Mifsud let fly a long-range effort but failed to hit the target.

Just before half-time, Swieqi’s Micallef sailed a shot from inside the area over the bar as the two teams entered the dressing room in a two-goal draw.

At half-time, Birkirkara made one change with the returning Saliba replacing Francesca Chircop upfront.

The Malta youth international almost left an immediate impact on the game when she forced Araujo to produce a brilliant save on her strong strike from outside the area.

Caitlin Rodgers, also of Birkirkara, followed up with an effort that glanced past Araujo’s goal.

Birkirkara made their pressure count when Del Moral pounced on Swieqi’s lack of clearance at the back to slot the ball past Araujo from inside the small area.

Saliba almost found a third only to see her strong low drive go inches wide from the Swieqi goalkeeper’s goal.

Swieqi coach Darmanin, on his part, tried to shake up things with the introduction of Ghanaian winger Karima Abdulai replacing Mariah Sciberras.

The Owls were unlucky not to level terms when Dorianne Theuma hit a trademark freekick but her effort struck the crossbar before Birkirkara cleared the danger away.

With less than 10 minutes left, Birkirkara coach Borg deployed experienced defender Charlene Zammit to bolster the backline and preserve their precious one-goal lead.

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