Raiders Lija chalked up the most impressive result in Matchday 12 of the MFA Women’s League after recording a 3-1 victory over Swieqi United. Meanwhile, leaders Birkirkara have opened six-point gap over Mġarr United after dispatching of Mtarfa.
A brace from Maya Lucia and a Leah Ayres goal secured a famous win for Raiders Lija as they now edge closer to Swieqi in the standings. Led by coach Denis Guerra, Raiders have now recorded 16 points and sit in fourth place, just three points behind the Oranges.
They have an important record of 26 goals scored and 11 conceded in their 10 league outings. In addition to this, they have now managed to score a draw (0-0) and a victory (3-1) against one of the title challengers this season, in Swieqi.
The win reflects the long-term project on which Raiders have embarked and which is now paying dividends with the positive performances and results staged on the field of play. Forward Ayres, who joined the club during the summer transfer window, has now scored 8 goals while sitting third in the league’s scoring charts. On the other hand, midfielder Lucia has now scored five times for Raiders.
Swieqi, on their part, were dealt another heavy blow to their title hopes which can prove fatal as they are now 12 points distant from leaders Birkirkara albeit with a game in hand. In this game, Swieqi coach Billy Mock deployed winter signing Alexis Espitia from the start while Venezuelan signing Rafanny Mendoza was an unused substitute.
A hat-trick from Mariah Sciberras propelled Birkirkara to a comfortable 8-0 victory over Mtarfa. The Stripes have now moved to 31 points, leading second place Mġarr with six points but having played an extra game.
Alishia Sultana scored twice as she has now reached the double digits in the league’s top scorer table – 10 goals, second-joint with Mġarr’s Brenda Borg. Gabriella Zahra, Ann-Marie Said and Ruth-Steer Chetham were the other scorers for the Stripes.
For Birkirkara, coach Bajada handed a debut to Spanish goalkeeper Isabel Sanchez Bacaicoa who joined the Stripes in January.
In the other game of the week, Kirkop United registered their third win of the season after beating San Ġwann 1-0.
Yolande Attard scored the all-important goal on the 64th minute to lift Kirkop to nine points, five away from second bottom Mtarfa and eight points distant from bottom side San Ġwann. The latter stay with just one point after 10 games.
The MFA Women’s League will now stop for the FIFA women’s international window as the Malta national team will host Moldova and Morocco in the second edition of the VisitMalta Women’s Trophy.
The domestic championship will resume on March 1 with Matchday 13.
STANDINGS (after MD12):
BIRKIRKARA – 31 POINTS
MĠARR UNITED – 25
SWIEQI UNITED – 19
RAIDERS LIJA – 16
KIRKOP UNITED – 9
MTARFA – 4
SAN ĠWANN – 1
Photo c/o Raiders Lija.