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First match point for Birkirkara to seal Assikura Women’s League title

Stephania Farrugia (left) in action for Birkirkara during December's Super Cup final against Swieqi United. Photo: Swieqi United FC

Stripes are eight points clear with four games left.

Assikura Women’s League leaders Birkirkara will return in action this week as the national championship resumes following the February international window.

Just before the break which allowed the Malta women’s national team host the Faroe Islands and Belarus in a couple of international friendlies, the Stripes had moved eight points clear at the top of the table.

Should they beat the Paolites and Swieqi, who trail them by eight points, fail to beat Hibernians, Birkirkara will have completed their quest for their 12th domestic title.

Their commanding showing against title rivals Swieqi propelled Birkirkara to a 3-1 win, their first over the Owls this season, to open such a comfortable gap with just four games left.

Arianna Del Moral and Sara Saliba, who was part of the Malta U-17’s team during the European qualifications, scored the winning goals for Jose Borg’s side.

This 2023/2024 campaign was another reminder that Birkirkara is still the team to beat in the domestic landscape with the Stripes boasting the best defensive and attacking records so far.

Borg’s side scored an impressive 80 goals in 19 league outings while they conceded just on four occasions – three times against Swieqi and once against Mġarr United, another Top Four side.

Their 20th league meeting will pit them against third-place Hibernians who are at the back of an important victory over Mġarr.

Kenneth Costantino’s Paolites were coming from two straight defeats – against Birkirkara and Swieqi United, with six goals conceded and just one scored.

However, Hibernians managed to keep their cool to overcome an in-form Mġarr side that had defeated Swieqi and snatched a point against Birkirkara in their previous two games.

Alexis Espitia scored the all-important goal, her 13th of the season as she remains Hibs’ best scorer, while her side registered their second straight clean sheet against Mġarr.

The Paolites sit just two points behind Swieqi as they look to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish.

The Greens, on their part, face Swieqi in another highly-awaited clash in this upper section of the national league.

Mġarr sit fourth with 30 points to show for their efforts, having scored just four points in the Top Four appointments so far.

On the other hand, Swieqi will hope to bounce back from their Birkirkara defeat to secure their 13th win of the season and keep their slim title hopes alive.

The Owls are on 40 points, with 64 goals scored and 14 conceded – second-best statistic in both phases.  

Key forward Salamatu Abdulai remains the club’s best scorer having scored 20 goals in her first full season with Swieqi.

In the Bottom Four section, leaders Valletta take on San Ġwann while Mtarfa meet Lija Athletic.

The Citizens have scored a victory in every single game in this section as they are on 33 points with 11 wins.

San Ġwann follow in second with 19 points while Lija Athletic trail the former by six.

Mtarfa remain anchored at the bottom without a single point recorded.

FIXTURES

THURSDAY
Mtarfa vs Lija Athletic – 20.15, Centenary Stadium.

FRIDAY
Valletta vs San Ġwann – 20.30, Victor Tedesco Stadium.

SATURDAY
Birkirkara vs Hibernians – 14.00, Mġarr Ground.
Swieqi United vs Mġarr United – 16.30, Mġarr Ground.

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