04.03.15 Swieqi Women's fight Hibs tooth and nail in Knock Out Quarter Final!
If one was to just see the 5-0 scoreline for Hibs, one would form the impression that this was a walk in the park. However the women's team of Swieqi United, only formed last summer, played with their hearts and soul last night to give Hibs a good challenge and work hard for their win.
Swieqi let their excitement about playing this prestigious game effect their performance in the opening five minutes, giving Hibs the chances and time to dictate the level of play. However birthday girl Emma Grech was in fine form guarding the goal for Swieqi and pulled off a spectacular save to deny Hibs an early lead.
Backed by a sizeable crowd, Swieqi began to settle down and calm the high tempo of the game. A solid back line made Hibs fall further behind and rely on long shots. This tactic provided Hibs with their opening goal when their captain scored a beautiful volley that went in the top corner, earning applause even from the Swieqi fans. Not even the world's best goalkeeper could save such a beauty!
Swieqi did not let such a set back effect them and continued controlling the game and keeping Hibs frustrated. However in the last 10 minutes of the game Swieqi began to lose their concentration slightly and Hibs scored 3 goals giving them a 4-0 lead heading into half time.
Swieqi's only chance fell to Kate Galea. A well taken free kick could have resulted into another wonder goal added to her name, however a sharp keeper at the other end sniffed out the danger.
Hibs came out for the second half thinking that they had one foot in the semi final. Swieqi on the other hand came out with other ideas. What was witnessed for the remaining 45 minutes was sheer passion by the ladies in blue who literally gave their all. Keeper Grech was marvelous, the defence kept solid and the midfield combined well to keep pushing Swieqi up into attack. Kate Galea had two free kicks which went agonising close to a consolation goal.
Hibs added a 5th goal to their name to ensure their passage to the semi final when they scored ten minutes from time.
All in all, this was a performance where Swieqi showed their remarkable improvement they have made from their early days and have every reason to wake up this morning feeling proud of themselves.
The women's team are now on a 6 week break from competitive football, returning on 14th April v Tarxien.
Line Up: Emma Grech, Maria Elena Grech, Claire Vella (Justine Busutill Gaerty), Kate Galea, Stephanie Mamo, Daniela Casha (c), Kristina Agius, Becky Naudi, Caroline Gafa (Claire Casha), Daniela Maggi (Ruth Azzopardi), Amy Galea Gingell (Giulia Muscat)
Subs not used: Krista Montfort, Caro Kramer, Stephanie McPhail
Write up: Robert Dingli