Hibernians will be meeting Qormi in the final of the U*BET FA Trophy on Sunday as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 2-1 in the second semi-final on Monday.
Led by coach Richard Mercieca, following the sacking of Mark Miller last week, Hibs showed the better ideas throughout the ninety minutes and deserved to win.
With Clayton Failla and Edison Luis dos Santos both ruled out through suspension, the Hibs caretaker coach named Adrian Pulis and Steve Pisani in the starting line-up. For the Spartans, Dene Shields had his first
The Paolites had the first attempt at goal after just two minutes when Edward Herrera concluded a good move inside the area with an assist for Andrew Cohen whose diagonal shot ended just wide. Hamrun replied with a Kevin Sammut corner from which Anderson Mendes Ribeiro headed high from close range on 16 minutes. Andrew Cohen hit the upright with a direct freekick for Hibernians on the 25th.
Hibs managed to take the lead on the half-hour when off a Jackson Lima freekick, Rodolfo Soares anticipated Omar Borg heading the ball home.
Fourteen minutes in the second half, Andrew Cohen almost took advantage of a failed clearance by the Hamrun rear-guard following a pass by Edward Herrera from the right. On the other side of the pitch, Andrew Cohen came to the rescue clearing into safety a goal-bound freekick by Massimo Grima on the 70th. In a swift counter-attack, Marcelo Dias concluded a solo effort with a low shot which was neutralised by Omar Borg.
The Paolites doubled the score on 73 minutes when Andrew Cohen sent Steve Pisani through and the latter advanced into the area, hitting low past the Hamrun goalkeeper.
Hamrun pulled one back eight minutes from time when Ryan Camilleri floored Anderson Mendes Ribeiro inside the area. From the penalty spot, Dene Shields converted with a rising shot.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Pearson, Rodolfo Soares, Ryan Camilleri, Adrian Pulis (62’ Marcelo Dias)(82’ Peter Anizoba), Jason Vandelannoite, Jackson Di Lima Siqueira, Edward Herrera, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen, Steve Pisani (86’ Johann Bezzina).
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Aaron Xuereb, Ayrton Azzopardi, Brandon Muscat
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
HAMRUN Omar Borg, Roderick Fenech, Ronni Hartvig, Steve Bonnici, Matthew Gauci, Massimo Grima, Daniel Zerafa (64’ Gianluca Calabretta), Kevin Sammut, Gaetan Spiteri (75’ Lee James Agius), Dene Shields, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Rupert Mangion, Luke Grech, David Camilleri, Glenn Azzopardi.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Herrera, Calabretta, Pisani, Spiteri, R. Camilleri, Anizoba, Grima
Scorers: 30’ Rodolfo Soares (Hib) 73’ Steve Pisani (Hib); 82’ Dene Shields pen (Ham)