Birkirkara fall to Cluj in women's Champions League

Birkirkara will face Cardiff Met Women in their final fixture, on Monday.

Birkirkara will face Cardiff Met Women in their final fixture, on Monday.

Birkirkara lost their second UEFA Women's Champions League qualifier after a 6-1 defeat at the hands Olimpia Cluj, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. 

The Romanian side broke the deadlock on 18 minutes when Mara Bartea profited from a miscommunication between Birkirkara's backline to send the ball into empty net. 

Nonetheless, the Stripes managed to level terms through Kim Parnis who hit a first-time low drive from long-range to the joy of Birkirkara's clan. 

Past the half-hour mark, Cluj were a player down when skipper Ioana Bortan retaliated on Gabriella Zahra in the middle of the field.

However, the Romanians still put themselves ahead for the second time when Phoenetia Browne headed home from a Batea's cross just before half-time.

In the second half, the Stripes were pushing forward to equalise, especially from the counter-attacks but they could not capitalise on their chances.

Their missed occasions came back to haunt them as Cluj found a third through Cristina Carp on the hour-mark when after receiving from Batea, she had the simplest of tasks in slotting the ball into the net. 

Cluj added two more goals in a span of six minutes between the 72nd and 78th minute through Mihaela Ciolacu and Andreea Voicu.

First, Ciolacu dribbled past two Birkirkara markers before slotting the ball into the far post. Next, Voicu slid behind the Stripes' defensive line and from a one on one situation, she made no mistake in making the score 5-1.

In the closing stages of the game, Carp sealed the victory when she anticipated goalkeeper Janice Xuereb to head the ball into empty net. 

The Stripes will conclude their European expedition on Monday, when they face Cardiff Met Women of Wales. 


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