Kirkop United have started to make amends for their below-par start to their MFA Women’s League campaign.
After conceding 12 goals in their opening games of the new year – against Birkirkara and Swieqi United – Kirkop have strung together a run of three straight wins, scoring nine goals and keeping clean sheet in every single match.
While on paper they were expected to beat struggling San Ġwann and Mtarfa, for Kirkop it was still a great opportunity to turn their tides around and improve their position in the standings.
Following their 1-0 and 7-0 victories over San Ġwann and Mtarfa respectively, Kirkop had to repeat those performances against one of the most in-form teams of the season in Raiders Lija.
An organised display and a late winner from Aleksandra Georgieva handed the Reds a much-needed victory to reach double-digit points in the standings.
They sit fifth in the seven-team league with 12 points, trailing Raiders by four with six games left for the end of the season.
For Georgieva, who scored three goals in her last two games for a total of four this season, her strike against Raiders will play a crucial role in Kirkop’s season.
“I am quite pleased with the goal against Raiders Lija,” the Bulgarian forward told the Times of Malta.
“There is no better feeling than scoring for your team, especially in the closing stages, and taking the three points home.
“I am happy and proud for the whole team because it was a collective effort from my team mates who were playing or were substitutes and the coaching staff as well – it was a magical night.
“It was a difficult game but we kept our heads up and worked as a team in order to achieve such result.”
In this week’s league fixtures, Kirkop will have a stern test for their hands as they will face title challengers Mġarr United.
Nonetheless, Georgieva is upbeat about her team’s chances of making sure to end their campaign on a positive note.
“I firmly believe that the last victory has injected a lot of confidence inside our environment,” Georgieva said.
“We are going to push until the end of the season to achieve positive results and continue to improve.
If we continue to work hard and play as a team, we can be competitive against the other teams – we are ready for the challenge.”
Young goalkeeper Raisa Costantino has now made it 196 minutes without conceding a single goal, which reflects the solid defensive phase on which Kirkop have been improving in their recent outings.
The clean sheet against Raiders can be a sign that they are becoming more compact as a team, in particular since coaches Kenneth Costantino and Antoine Borg took over from previous coach Jochen Lenders.
“Although we had a difficult first round and three bad injuries in the second, we never stopped pushing and supporting each other.
In addition, since the coaching change, we continued to become more solid and compact as we showed in our last three games.”
Forward Georgieva is one of the most experienced elements at Kirkop, having also plied her trade at Swieqi United before the joining the Reds.
The Bulgarian player is delighted with the opportunity that Kirkop have offered her and she is striving to capitalise on it in the best way possible.
“I try to improve as a player every year,” Georgieva pointed out.
“I joined Kirkop United last season and it was a very good experience for me.
At the beginning, it was a bit difficult to mesh our different playing styles on the pitch until I got to know all the players and became more easier for me to integrate.
I was pleased with the way Kirkop welcomed me and they have been supporting me from day one for which I am very grateful.”
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
TUESDAY – 20.30
Mġarr United vs Kirkop United, Mġarr Ground
Birkirkara vs San Ġwann, Sirens Stadium
WEDNESDAY – 20.30
Mtarfa vs Raiders Lija, Mġarr Ground
MD15 bye: Swieqi United.
Photo c/o Tonio Magro.
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