Birkirkara’s quest for a fifth straight women’s Knock Out will start with a tough task after being drawn against Swieqi United in the quarter-finals, on Thursday.
The Stripes, who have just been crowned as Malta champions for the 11th time, are eyeing another treble season to continue cementing their status as the team to beat in the local game.
Jose Borg’s side fended off Swieqi’s challenge as they defeated them on three occasions in their four matchups this season, including in December’s Super Cup which Birkirkara won 2-0.
With 15 wins in 17 games, Birkirkara are on course for another unbeaten season as they are now on a run of 86 positive results in a row.
Swieqi, on their part, will be looking to put their league disappointments aside and try to win their first major silverware in the women’s game.
Judith Kuiper’s side boast the best offensive record this season although their leading scorer Jade Flask, with 19 goals, is sidelined with a knee injury.
The winner of this tie will face either Raiders Lija or Mtarfa who were drawn against each other.
In another intriguing match-up, Mġarr United will face Hibernians with San Ġwann, who were handed a bye, awaiting the winner in the final four.
The Greens and the Paolites produced a tight battle for a third-place finish.
Hibernians currently sit third with 31 points but the Greens trail them by just two points and with a game in hand, against Mtarfa next week. In their three clashes this season, Mġarr won twice (3-1 and 1-0) with the other match finishing in a 1-1 draw.
The quarter-finals are pencilled for May 2 and May 3 while the semi-finals will be played on May 7. The final is scheduled for the Centenary Stadium, on May 12.
During. yesterday’s news conference, the Malta FA also unveiled a new trophy for the Assikura Women’s League champion which will be handed to Birkirkara on April 29, following their final match against San Ġwann.
Malta FA awards
The Malta FA announced the return of the Awards night in its traditional format, set for May 5 at the Dolmen Hotel.
As from this year’s edition, vice-president Dr Matthew Paris revealed that the women’s player of the year award can be handed to a foreign-based player who is eligible to represent Malta, just like in the men’s awards.
Besides the male and female footballer of the year awards, there will be 10 other accolades including the traditional Young Player of the Year, Foreign Player of the Year and Coach of the Year award.
QUARTER-FINALS – MAY 2-3
1. Raiders Lija vs Mtarfa
2. Birkirkara vs Swieqi United
3. Mġarr United vs Hibernians
Bye: San Ġwann.
SEMI-FINALS – MAY 7
Winner 1 vs Winner 2
Winner 3 vs San Ġwann
FINAL – MAY 12
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