Third win for Hibernians

Hibernians moved on top the BOV Premier League table as they came from behind to beat Balzan Youths 3-1.

The Paolites lie one point ahead of champions Valletta, who however have a game in hand.

Balzan welcomed back Pedro Dos Santos Calcado but once again lacked Bledjon Guga. The injured Rodolfo Soares was missing for Hibernians.

The Youths held the initiative in the early stages and managed to take the lead on 17 minutes when off a Pedro Calcado freekick, Yessous Camilleri managed to beat Mario Muscat with a back header.

Hibernians replied with a Clayton Failla effort from outside the area ending wide but Pedrinho went close once again for Balzan with a long-distance direct freekick which was neutralised by the Hibs custodian.

On 27 minutes, the Paolites missed a good opportunity when Edison dos Santos released the unmarked Steve Pisani on the right but the latter hit wide.

Hibs finally levelled matters on 36 minutes thanks to a powerful rising shot by Edison Luis Dos Santos which gave goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone no chance.

In added time, Yessous Camilleri headed high off another Pedrinho freekick.

Hibernians forged ahead on 64 minutes when off an Andrew Cohen freekick from the left, there was a short clearance and Clayton Failla hit hard past goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone.

On 75 minutes, Mario Muscat managed to turn into a corner a freekick by Pedrinho.

One minute from time, Balzan were reduced to ten men as Jonathan Francica earned a second yellow card for a foul just outside the area and was therefore given marching orders by referee Adrian Azzopardi.

From the resulting freekick from the left, Andrew Cohen managed to beat the Balzan custodian to make it 3-1.

Adrian Pulis was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Adrian Pulis, Diego Balbinot, Edward Herrera, Clayton Failla, Bjorn Kristensen, Marcelo Dias (64’ Triston Caruana), Andrew Cohen, Steve Pisani (86’ Peter Anizoba), Edison Luis Dos Santos (90+1’ Jonathan Pearson).
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Aaron Xuereb, Dylan Sammut, Keith Tanti.
Coach: Mark Miller
Assistant Coach: Richard Mercieca

BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Jonathan Francica, Clifton Ciantar, Rennie Forace, Yessous Camilleri, Dylan Grima, Nikola Tasic, Pedro Dos Santos Calcado, Miguel Ciantar (83’ Aaron Agius), Fagner Lins Bernardes (54’ Roderick Farrugia), Lydon Micallef (57’ Bjorn Bondin).
Subs not used: Matthew Camilleri, Silvan Ciscaldi, David Fenech, Michael Borg.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Kristensen, M. Ciantar, Francica, Bondin
Red Cards: 89′ Jonathan Francica
Scorers: 17’ Yessous Camilleri, 36’ Edison Luis Dos Santos, 64’ Clayton Failla, 90’ Andrew Cohen

In the second match, Sliema Wanderers and Marsaxlokk shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

The Wanderers are still unbeaten after four matches while the Southseasiders earn a point after losing the last two games.

Marsaxlokk lacked the suspended Clive Brincat and Trevor Templeman while Ryan Grech, Cleavon Frendo and Timothy Thomas were missing for Sliema.

The Southseasiders managed to take the lead on 16 minutes thanks to a direct freekick by Martin Deanov which beat goalkeeper Henry Bonello.

Sliema replied with a powerful low drive by Jorge Santos Silva from outside the area which was parried by Reuben Gauci. Then on 39 minutes, Henry Bonello performed a fine save into a corner on a beautiful shot by Obinna Obiefule from outside the area.

In added time, Patrick Borg came to the rescue with a great clearance off the goal-line on a goal-bound shot by Jorge Santos Silva.

The Wanderers equalised nine minutes in the second half when Danial Mitev concluded a good move with a diagonal shot from the right which beat goalkeeper Reuben Gauci.

Sliema forged ahead on 75 minutes with a direct freekick by Roderick Bajada from the left which beat the Marsaxlokk custodian.

But three minutes later, former Sliema striker Obinna Obiefule levelled matters once again when he concluded a good run on the left by slotting the bal past Henry Bonello with a low shot from just inside the area.

Martin Deanov was unlucky to hit the upright with a direct freekick five minutes from time. On the other side of the pitch, Gauci managed to turn into a corner a Jackson Lima freekick three minutes later.

Four minutes in added time, Danial Mitev received a second yellow card and was therefore sent off.

Roderick Bajada was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat (58’ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Josef Mifsud, Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Daniel Mitev, Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov, Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva (89’ Jeremiah Ani).
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Cruyff Grixti, Andrew Caligari, Ryan Dalli, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Assistant Coach: Saviour Debono Grech

M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Malcolm Licari, Carlo Mamo, Patrick Borg (74’ Sunday Eboh), Carlos Campagnoli, Florent Raimy, Emiliano Lattes, Sacha Borg, Martin Deanov, Obinna Obiefule, Dylan Kokavessis.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Jonathan Xerri, Modesto Valeriani, Jean Claude Vella, Stefan Cutajar, Darrel Grech.
Coach: Wnston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla

Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Edward Spiteri
Fourth official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Mitev, Bajada, Deanov, S. Borg, Raimy, Obiefule, P. Borg, Mifsud, Gatt Baldacchino, Kokavessis
Red Cards: 90+4′ Danial Mitev
Scorers: 16’ Martin Deanov, 54’ Danial Mitev, 75’ Roderick Bajada, 78’ Obinna Obiefule
Attendance: 689