Fine win for Hibernians over Birkirkara

Hibernians registered their second win as they were in excellent form, beating Birkirkara 3-0.

The Paolites were clearly in control right from the start, deserving to take home the three points. Birkirkara, on the other hand, disappointed after collecting maximum points from first two outings.

Brazilian striker Marcelo Dias was making his debut for Hibernians. In fact, Miller made two changes to the team which beat Marsaxlokk as Dias and Edward Herrera replaced Steve Pisani and Triston Caruana in the starting line-up.

Birkirkara, on the other hand, lacked Rowen Muscat and the suspended Andrew Decesare.

The Paolites held the initiative during the first half, having the first attempt at goal on the 6th minute with Edison Luis Dos Santos, served by Clayton Failla, having a shot from outside the area end which ended wide. Marcelo Dias then tried his luck with a rising shot from the edge of the area ending just over the bar.

Hibernians managed to take the lead one minute from the end of the first half when a cross by Andrew Cohen beat Jorge Mora and Rodolfo Soares placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.

Five minutes in the second, Dias tested Mora with a good shot from outside the area which was turned into a corner by the Spanish goalkeeper.

On 59 minutes, Steve Pisani served Edison Luis Dos Santos whose cute lob hit the foot of the post with Jorge Mora beaten. A close-range effort by Edison Luis Dos Santos was turned into a corner by Birkirkara custodian five minutes later. On the other side of the pitch, Alan Tabone served Trevor Cilia on the right whose rising shot ended just over the bar on 67 minutes.

The Paolites doubled the score on 74 minutes when Andrew Cohen served Edison Luis Dos Santos who managed to round a defender and Mora who had rushed out of the area and placed the ball into the empty net.

Four minutes later, Hibs scored the third goal when Cohen released Edison Luis Dos Santos on the right and after entering the area, the latter managed to serve Clayton Failla who slammed the ball home.

Three minutes in added time, Joseph Zerafa floored Andrew Cohen. However Cohen’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Jorge Mora.

Edison Luis Dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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B’KARA Jorge Mora, Rodrigo Pereira, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Terence Vella (54’ Ryan Camenzuli,), Alan Tabone (84’ Ryan Scicluna), Moises Avila Perez, Leighton Grech, Joseph Zerafa, Angus Buhagiar
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Wayne Chetcuti, Aiden Galea, Andrea Cassar, Matthew Bugeja.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Peter Pullicino

HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Adrian Pulis (80’ Triston Caruana), Diego Balbinot, Edward Herrera, Clayton Failla, Bjorn Kristensen, Rodolfo Soares (86’ Peter Anizoba), Andrew Cohen, Marcelo Dias (51’ Steve Pisani), Edison Luis Dos Santos.
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Jonathan Peason, Aaron Xuereb, Ayrton Azzopardi.
Coach: Mark Miller
Assistant Coach: Richard Mercieca

Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Sciberras, Pereira, Perez, Mora
Scorers: 44’ Rodolfo Soares, 74’ Edison Luis Dos Santos, 78’ Clayton Failla

Champions Valletta registered their third win in as many matches as they defeated Qormi 3-1 to extend their unbeaten record to thirty-six league matches.

Valletta welcomed Malta captain Michael Mifsud to their starting line-up but Ryan Fenech was missing as he is recovering from an injury. Qormi, on the other hand, had Brazilian midfielder Giuseppe Vela Jr making his debut while Christos Karamanolis, Joseph Chetcuti and Kenneth Scicluna were all missing.

Following a good move on the left, Denni served Michael Mifsud whose conclusion from the edge of the area ended wide on the 9th.

Valletta took the lead on 18 minutes thanks to a powerful drive by Jamie Pace from a distance of around thirty metres which gave goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia no chance.

On 27 minutes, Farrugia performed a good save on a Denni effort from the left.

One minute from the end of the first half, the Citizens doubled the score when Denni Rocha Dos Santos concluded a solo effort with a diagonal shot from the right which beat Farrugia.

Eleven minutes in the second half, Valletta increased the lead when Michael Mifsud concluded a solo effort which was blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Alfred Effiong hit home.

Qormi reduced the gap on 68 minutes when Jorge Da Silva Pereira was brought down inside the area by Steve Borg and from the penalty spot, Joseph Farrugia made no mistake.

Substitute Gilbert Agius went close with a fine shot which was turned into a corner by substitute goalkeeper Steve Sultana on 72 minutes and then, a diagonal shot by Mifsud from the right scraped past the post on 74 minutes. A minute later, a header by Effiong just missed the target.

Roderick Sammut came to the rescue blocking off the goal line an Alfred Effiong close-range effort ten minutes on the 80th.

Denni Rocha Dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ian Azzopardi (46’ Dyson Falzon) Alfred Effiong, Roderick Briffa (66’ Gilbert Agius), Jamie Pace, Edmond Agius, Denni Rocha Dos Santos (90+4′ Llywelyn Cremona), William Barbosa Da Silva, Michael Mifsud.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ousseni Zongo, Samir Arab, Isaac Zammit.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Assistant Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

QORMI Matthew Farrugia (68’ Steve Sultana), Jeffrey Chetcuti, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo (78’ George Chircop), Joseph Farrugia, Luke Sciberras, Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Da Silva Pereira, Stephen Wellman, Giuseppe Vela Jr (32’ Dino Cachia), Abubakar Bello-Osagie.
Subs not used: Carmelo Farrugia, Charlon Sammut, Ranier Buhagiar, Steve Agius.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Technical Advisor: Steve D’Amato

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: S. Borg, Effiong, Sciberras
Scorers: 18’ Jamie Pace, 45’ Denni Rocha Dos Santos, 56’ Alfred Effiong, 68’ Joseph Farrugia (pen)
Attendance: 2,358