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Champions Birkirkara eye women’s cup progress as they face Raiders

Four teams will take the playing on Sunday as the Women’s Knock-Out enters its business end with the two semi-finals.

The three Round 1 games produced nine goals, six of them scored by league champions Birkirkara who will face Raiders Lija in one of the two semis.

In the other game, Swieqi United start as favourites to progress when they meet lowly Mtarfa.

Led by Melania Bajada, Birkirkara are fresh from their first star after clinching their 10th domestic title and matching the unbeaten league record of 69 games.

They launched their cup quest with a brilliant performance after easing past Mġarr United 6-0. A bold statement made by the Stripes ahead of their final four game against Raiders Lija, the revelation of the season with 31 points in the championship.

The teams met three times in the championship with Birkirkara winning on all occasions. Bajada’s side defeated Raiders 3-0 in the opening encounter before scoring another three in a 3-1 victory in the second game.

Raiders gave the Stripes a run for their money in their final encounter, with the Stripes winning 1-0 thanks to a Tracy Teuma goal.

Denis Guerra’s Raiders, on their part, were taken to the distance by underdogs San Ġwann as they had to wait until the 107th minute to make their pressure count and score the all-important goal.

Birkirkara and Raiders has been a classic rivalry at youth level, having contended the U-20’s title in a one-off decider and the U-20’s cup as well. Both games were played at the Centenary Stadium with Birkirkara winning the league while Raiders claiming the spoils in the cup.

The other finalist will be the winner of the contest between Swieqi United and Mtarfa. The Owls start as heavy favourites to progress in the final.

Billy Mock’s side are at the back of seven positive results including their 2-0 win in Round 1 against Kirkop United.

They finished second with 38 points and are striving to wrap up this 2021/2022 season on a high with a potential cup success.

On the other hand, Mtarfa finished the standings with just four points to show for their efforts in a season during which they secured their first ever victory at senior level in the women’s league (1-0 vs San Ġwann).

Swieqi won 12-0, 7-0 and 9-0 in the league fixtures.

SEMI-FINALS

SUNDAY, MAY 22

Swieqi United vs Mtarfa – 10.30, Mġarr Ground.

Birkirkara vs Raiders Lija – 16.00, Centenary Stadium.

FINAL

FRIDAY, MAY 27

Swieqi United/Mtarfa vs Birkirkara/Raiders Lija – 19.30, Centenary Stadium.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina.

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