Hibernians moved on top the BOV Premier League table as a goal by captain Andrew Cohen enabled them to beat neighbours Tarxien Rainbows 1-0 in the derby at the National Stadium on Sunday.
The Paolites therefore maintain their unbeaten record with a third consecutive after being held in a draw in their first outing. This win puts them one point ahead of Mosta and Valletta.
The Rainbows, on the other hand, concede their first defeat after a win over Sliema and draws with Birkirkara and Balzan in the first three matches.
Tarxien had Nigerian striker Lucky Omeruo making his debut. Hibernians, on the other hand, lacked the suspended Denni Rocha dos Santos. Jackson Lima was back after serving a one-match ban but Branko Nisevic once again relied on goalkeeper Rudy Briffa despite the return of Jurgen Borg.
The Paolites went close on the 13th minute with a diagonal shot from the right by Marcelo Dias ending just wide.
Hibs took the lead on the 24th minute when following a good run on the right flank, Marcelo Dias crossed for Andrew Cohen whose first-time effort gave goalkeeper Andrea Cassar no chance.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, cross Jorginho from teh left, Jorge Santos Silva headed just wide
Hibs could have doubled the score on the 62nd minute when Jorge Santos Silva concluded a good run with a low shot which beat the Tarxien goalkeeper but hit the foot of the upright with the ball cleared into safety by a defender.
A powerful shot by substitute Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro was blocked by Cassar seven minutes from time.
Photos: Copyright © Jonathan Bugeja
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Manuel Caruana, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira, Triston Caruana (61′ Danilo Meira Santos), Lucky Omeruo, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Luke Montebello (73′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos (77′ Brandon Muscat).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Roderick Bajada, Gaetano Gesualdi, Daniel Zerafa.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
HIBS Rudy Briffa, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Andrew Cohen (71′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro), Bjorn Kristensen (70′ Jonathan Pearson), Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Jorge da Silva Pereira, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Jurgen Degabriele, Zach Scerri, Dunstan Vella, Joseph Essien Mbong.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Hevia, Baker
Scorers: 24′ Andrew Cohen
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen