The final whistle was a huge relief for the Birkirkara clan after their comeback win over Swieqi United enabled them to lift their seventh Super Cup title.
Their third successive triumph in this competition meant that the Stripes have now joined Hibernians at the top of the all-time winners list of the Super Cup.
Despite their recent dominance in local football, Birkirkara saw their long unbeaten run in the national league come to an end after a staggering 92 games in a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Swieqi earlier this season.
In their second league encounter, the Owls managed to keep Birkirkara at bay as they have snatched four points from a possible six against the Stripes.
Hence, overcoming the Swieqi hurdle in a final was truly a sliding door for Birkirkara to secure the first silverware of the season and send a clear message that they are still hungry for success.
“It was very important for us to win this trophy which is part of three titles that we want to clinch this season,” Birkirkara coach Jose Borg told the Times of Malta.
“Having lost last year against Swieqi United in the domestic cup, we had not scored and won in three games against them, so therefore this game mattered a lot for us.
“Now, we must shift our focus to the league where we will face leaders Hibernians this weekend as we eye to regain top spot with a victory.”
For coach Borg, this was his second Super Cup success as Birkirkara coach after guiding the Stripes to last year’s title with another victory over Swieqi United.
Meanwhile, youngster Veronique Mifsud was making her fifth Super Cup appearance, and was delighted to have contributed to Birkirkara’s record seventh title.
“Our objective was to lift the trophy and considering it was a big game against Swieqi United, it will inject a lot of confidence in us ahead of the second part of the league,” she said.
This weekend, Birkirkara face Hibernians and a win could see them open a two-point gap at the top of the championship.
In addition, should the Stripes beat Mtarfa in their rescheduled game it would see them extend their gap before the Christmas break.
One of the players on whom Birkirkara will be banking to turn on in the crucial moments is American winger Arianna Del Moral.
Proud and grateful
Del Moral joined Birkirkara during the summer transfer window after a spell in the United States with Minnesota Aurora with whom she won back-to-back the Heartland Division and the Central Conference Championship in 2023.
She was deployed from the start by coach Borg and repaid his trust with a goal in each half which sealed Birkirkara’s comeback win against Swieqi.
Asked about what was going through her mind after the win, Del Moral said that she was just ‘proud and grateful’ for the opportunity that she was given and that the win was down to the collective effort.
Moreover, the American player also heaped praise on the team environment which allowed her to integrate as quickly as possible as she is relishing the opportunity to challenge for all domestic silverware with the Maltese champions.
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