A Patricia Lamanna’s (picture) brace helped Birkirkara inch closer towards their 10th domestic championship, on Wednesday. The Stripes overcame Kirkop United’s test with a 2-1 victory which allowed them to open a nine-point lead at the top of the pile with four games left. Mġarr United’s slim title hopes continue to fade after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of an in-form Raiders Lija side.
Melania Bajada’s side forged ahead through Canadian forward Lamanna early in the game after capitalising on an Alishia Sultana’s cross. This was the league’s 100th goal in 2022 as well. Moments later, Kirkop’s Rodianne Zerafa levelled terms, for her sixth goal of the season.
Birkirkara, however, restored their lead with their winning goal just before half-time through Lamanna who has now increased her goal tally to seven goals in four games with the Stripes.
Bajada’s team have now moved to 40 points with a positive goal difference of 59 goals. In the process, the Kirkop win ensured Birkirkara to stretch their league unbeaten run to 64 games – five away from the domestic record set by Hibernians.
Three of Birkirkara’s next four games include direct encounters against Raiders, second-place Mġarr and Swieqi.
Meanwhile, Mġarr’s title hopes were dealt a heavy blow as two first-half goals from a Laura Muscat’s cross shot and a Leah Ayres’close-range effort handed Raiders another impressive win this season, having already beaten Swieqi in this campaign.
Forward Ayres has now become the fourth player to reach the double-digit tally in this season’s league’s scoring charts.
Denis Guerra’s side remain joint-third with Swieqi on 25 points as they set their sights on next Monday’s clash with Birkirkara, in an attempt to upset the remaining big gun of the league.
Meanwhile, Swieqi hit nine past Mtarfa to register their eighth win of the season. American forward Alexis Espitia scored a brace while the other winter signings in Rafanny Mendoza – her maiden Swieqi goal – and Fernanda Peinado – the 30th scored by a foreigner this season – grabbed a goal each. The other scorers were Chloe Ann Ellul, Amy Busuttil, Iulia Mifsud – her first senior goal, Demi Magrin and Jessica Dimech.
STANDINGS (AFTER MD16):
BIRKIRKARA – 40 POINTS
MĠARR UNITED – 31
SWIEQI UNITED – 25
RAIDERS LIJA – 25
KIRKOP UNITED – 15
MTARFA – 4
SAN ĠWANN – 1
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