Hibernians returned to winning ways as a goal four minutes in added time enabled them to beat St. Andrews 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
It was a most disappointing result for St. Andrews who shared the exchanges with their opponents for long stretches, also taking the lead, and definitely did not deserve to leave Hamrun empty-handed.
The Saints had two changes from the team which drew with Valletta as Nenad Belacevic and Aidan Friggieri replaced Kyrian Nwoko and the suspended Joseph Farrugia. Hibs also had two changes from the team which lost to Birkirkara as Dejan Boljevic and Timothy Tabone Desira replaced Johann Bezzina and the suspended Marcelo Dias. New signing Gilmar was only included as a substitute.
St. Andrews managed to take the lead on the 27th when off a cross from the right by Pena Beltre, Aidan Friggieri left the ball for Ivan Edgardo Paz to slot past Andrew Hogg.
One minute in added time, Hibernians equalised when off a freekick by Gilmar from the left, Bjorn Kristensen headed the ball and it reached Jurgen Degabriele who hit low past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
Nine minutes in the second half, Ziga Kastrevec was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a fine shot from the right. Two minutes later, it was the turn of Jackson Lima whose powerful drive from outside the area also it the crossbar.
However four minutes in added time, Hibs notched the winner when off a cross from the right by Gilmar, Rodolfo Soares headed the ball home from close range.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Bong Won Che, Michael Johnson, Karlo Kesinovic, Dale Camilleri (73′ Godwin Mckay), Felix Udoh Okon (81′ Kyrian Nwoko), Nenad Belacevic, Ziga Kastrevec, Ivan Edgardo Paz, Aidan Friggieri (90+2′ Ryan Darmanin).
Subs not used: Dean Sciberras, Dejan Debono, Liam Grech, Mark Scicluna.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Dejan Boljevic, Jackson de Lima Siqueira, Timothy Tabone Desira (79′ Montell Moore), Clayton Failla, Bjorn Kristensen (71′ Johann Bezzina), Jorge da Silva Pereira, Jurgen Degabriele, Momodou Salieu Jallow (45′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro), Andrei Agius.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Daniel Buckle, Dunstan Vella, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Andrea Azzopardi.
Coach: Mark Miller
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Kesinovic, Pena Beltre, Kristensen, Tabone Desira, Paz
Scorers: 27′ Ivan Edgardo Paz, 45+1′ Jurgen Degabriele, 90+4′ Rodolfo Soares
BOV Player of the Match: Ivan Edgardo Paz
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Sliema Wanderers dropped another two points as they were held in a 1-1 draw by Pembroke Athleta.
This was a second positive result for Pembroke following a narrow win over Hamrun last week.
Sliema coach John Buttigieg opted to start with Italian goalkeeper Giuseppe Sarao in goal, new Argentine defender Leonardo Incorvaia, Gabriel Aquilina and Mandinho, replacing Glenn Zammit, Ryan Spiteri, John Mintoff and the suspended Peter Xuereb. Despite the win over Hamrun, Pembroke coach Artim Shaqiri still made four changes as he named Argyrs Roppas in goal and included Paltemio Barbetti, Brooke Farrugia and Adrian Borg, leaving no place for Matthew Calleja Cremona, Owen Bugeja, Zoran Levnaic and Daniane Jawad.
The Wanderers managed to take the lead four minutes in the second half thanks to Frank Temile who slotted the ball home following a low cross by Denni.
However five minutes from time, Pembroke rescued a point when Raphael Kooh Sohna concluded a solo effort by advancing into the area and beating Sarao with a rising shot from a tight angle.
SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, Frank Temile, Gabriel Aquilina (86’ John Mintoff), Armando Vieira dos Santos Tarlaziz, Jonathan Pearson, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Mark Scerri (10’ Wisdom Solomon), Leonardo Incorvaia, Jean Paul Farrugia (89’ Ryan Spiteri).
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Michele Sansone, Kurt Shaw, Luca Brincat.
Coach: John Buttigieg
PEMBROKE Argyrs Roppas (60’ Matthew Calleja Cremona), Darren Falzon, Arber Dhrami, Miguel Attard, Raphael Alain Kooh Sohna, Stevan Racic, Asani Djeljilj, Paltemio Barbetti, Andrea Scozzese, Brooke Farrugia (82’ Sunday Eboh), Adrian Borg
Subs not used: Zachary Grech, Neil Micallef, Tyron Fenech, Neil Grech, Matthew Buhagiar.
Coach: Artim Shaqiri
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Attard, Incorvaia, B. Farrugia
Scorers: 49’ Frank Temile 85’ Raphael Alain Kooh Sohna
BOV Player of the Match: Denni Dos Santos
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium