A goal two minutes in added time enabled Hibernians to beat newly-promoted Pietà Hotspurs 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Friday.
The Paolites were lucky to escape with the three points as although they were a better side during the first half, taking a deserved lead, an own goal restored equilibrium and although Pietà had a player sent off, Hibs had to wait until very late in the game to notch the winner.
New Hibernians coach Stefano Sanderra had Nemanja Radojevic, Isaah Toah Ntow, Ivan Blazevic and Tiago Adan Fonseca all making their debut along with substitute Taylon Correa Marcolino. On the other hand, making their first appearance for the Hotspurs were goalkeeper Nicky Vella, Takaki Ose, Shunsuke Nakamura and Paul Chimezie.
Hibernians took the lead on the 8th minute thanks to Jurgen Degabriele whose angled shot from the right, when served by Tiago Adan, beat goalkeeper Nicky Vella.
Just before the end of the first half, Hibernians were unlucky to hit the cross bar with a Johann Bezzina freekick.
Pietà equalised nine minutes in the second half when off a cross by Gabriel Mensah crossed from the right, the ball was deflected by Andrew Hogg onto Andrei Agius and ending at the back of the net for an own goal.
The Hotspurs were reduced to ten men on the 68th minute after Jalo Ishaya Irimiya received a second yellow card for a foul just outside the area.
The game seemed heading for a draw but two minutes in added time, substitute Taylon Nicolas Correa Marcolino received an assist from the left and with a rising shot, he saw the ball hitting the upright before bouncing beyond the goal line.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Nemanja Radojevic, Joseph Mbong, Marcelo Dias, Jurgen Degabriele, Isaac Toah Ntow, Johann Bezzina (74’ Taylon Nicolas Correa Marcolino), Andrei Agius, Ivan Blazevic (55’ Bjorn Kristensen), Tiago Adan Fonseca (83’ Timothy Tabone Desira).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Conner Zammit, Kane Bonello, David Xuereb.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
PIETÀ Nicky Vella, Takaki Ose, Christian Degabriele, Dylan Agius, Paul Chimezie (94’ Travis Bartolo), Jan Busuttil (92’ Nicholas Pisani), Gabriel Mensah (78’ Ayrton Mizzi), Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa, Christian Grech, Shunsuke Nakamura, Jalo Ishaya Irimiya.
Subs not used: Jacob Chircop St John, Svein Bartolo, Neil Pace Cocks, Clive Gauci.
Coach: Ramon Zammit
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella
Referee: Etienne Mangion
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Andrea Sciriha
Yellow Cards: Irimiya, Ntow, Radojevic, Mbong, Nakamura
Red Cards: 68′ Jalo Ishaya Irimiya
BOV Player of the Match: Jurgen Degabriele