Birkirkara have secured a remarkable result as they became Malta’s first representative to register a victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The Stripes cancelled a one-goal deficit to score two second-half goals and beat Northern Ireland champions Glentoran 2-1 in their final qualifying game from Group 7.
Maltese players Raina Giusti and Charlene Zammit were Birkirkara’s heroes as they completed a famous comeback for the Stripes against a team that is already nine games in their domestic championship and had players representing Northern Ireland in the recent UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.
Coached by Jose Borg, Birkirkara finished in third place in their mini-group after their opening defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina’s SFK Sarajevo on Thursday.
Birkirkara, who won their 10th Maltese title last season, have now recorded their second positive result in this competition after their 2-2 draw against Wales’ Cardiff Met Ladies in the 2018/2019 edition under the guidance of coach Melania Bajada.
Back then, they were just the second team to had secured at least draw in this competition after the 3-3 draw registered by Hibernians against KI of Faroe Islands in the 2015/2016 campaign.
For this game, coach Borg kept the same starting formation which he deployed against SFK Sarajevo.
Glentoran forged ahead inside the 13th minute through Kelly Bailie to put themselves in the driving seat for a third place finish.
At half-time, coach Borg replaced forward Sofie Iaderosa with Giusti and she immediately left an impact as she capitalised on a Gaia Milan’s assist to level terms.
This is Giusti’s third goal in this competition as she became the all-time Maltese scorer in the Champions League.
Just before the hour mark, Birkirkara scored the winning goal when Zammit guided a Tracy Teuma’s corner into the net.