Edison Luis dos Santos was the hero for Hibernians as he notched a hat-trick in a comfortable 4-0 win over Qormi to move back on top the BOV Premier League table.
After two draws in their last two outings, the Paolites made their intentions clear right from the start, claiming a well-deserved win. Hibs lie two points ahead of Valletta who however have a game in hand. Qormi, on the other hand, are now joint fifth together with Sliema Wanderers.
Qormi lacked captain Joseph Farrugia and Italian defender Federico Mirarchi but had Scottish midfielder Stuart Duff making his debut. Adrian Pulis was missing for the Paolites.
Hibernians took the lead on the 2nd minute when an Andrew Cohen freekick was turned into a corner by Matthew Farrugia and from the resulting corner by Clayton Failla from the right, Edison Luis dos Santos tapped the ball home from close range.
Marcelo Dias went close on 31 minutes with an angled shot from the right but Matthew Farrugia blocked his attempt. Six minutes later, off an Andrew Cohen freekick, Diego Balbinot and Tarabai had close range efforts blocked by the Qormi goalkeeper.
Hibernians doubled the score two minutes from the end of the first half thanks to a long-distance effort by Clayton Failla which gave Matthew Farrugia no chance.
One minute in added time, the Paolites added another goal thanks to Edison Luis dos Santos who concluded a good run on the left flank with a powerful drive which was not held by Farrugia. This goal brought harsh protests by Qormi players who argued that the ball had not crossed the goal line.
On the hour, Mario Muscat handled the ball just outside the area but from the resulting freekick, Jorge Pereira da Silva hit incredibly high.
Matthew Bartolo tested substitute goalkeeper Luke Bonnici with a shot from outside the area on 76 minutes and two minutes later, Bonnici performed a good save on Luke Sciberras.
One minute in added time, Edison Luis dos Santos scored the fourth goal when he flicked the ball home from close range off a cross from the right by substitute Edward Herrera.
Edison Luis dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HIBS Mario Muscat (72’ Luke Bonnici), Ryan Camilleri, Aaron Xuereb, Diego Balbinot, Rodolfo Soares, Clayton Failla (66’ Triston Caruana), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Steve Pisani, Marcelo Dias (91′ Edward Herrera), Edison Luis dos Santos.
Subs not used: Jonathan Pearson, Johann Bezzina, Ayrton Azzopardi, Peter Anizoba.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jeffrey Chetcuti (57’ Stephen Wellman), Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Kenneth Scicluna, Dino Cachia (65’ Luke Sciberras), Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Stuart Duff, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Daniel Nwoke (15’ Joseph Chetcuti).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Charlon Sammut, Gabriel Buttigieg, Christian Briffa.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Technical Advisor: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Muscat, Scicluna, Jos. Chetcuti
Scorers: 2′ Edison Luis dos Santos, 43′ Clayton Failla, 45+1′ Edison Luis dos Santos, 90+1′ Edison Luis dos Santos
After collecting just three points from the previous five matches, Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as they beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-0. A win which puts Danilo Doncic’s side on the 17-point mark.
For Tarxien, this was the first defeat since Patrick Curmi took over as the new coach. They are still second from bottom on ten points.
Brazilians Rodrigo Galvao, Roberto Saraiva and Caio Garcia Suguino together with Steve Sadowski and Manuel Caruana were all ruled out for the Rainbows. Sliema, on the other hand, lacked Josef Mifsud.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal with Danial Mitev serving Mark Scerri who hit just wide. On the 16th, off a cross by Cleavon Frendo, Danial Mitev anticipated David Cassar with a header and Jackson Lima’s conclusion was parried by the Tarxien goalkeeper. On the other side of the pitch, a diagonal shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno from the left ended just wide. A Ricardo Costa shot from outside the area hit the foot of the post on 18 minutes.
Jorge Santos Silva went close for Sliema with a shot from the edge of the area ending wide on 29 minutes. Three minutes later, Orosco Anonam had a close-range shot
The Wanderers were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes after Jackson Lima Sequeira was brought down inside the area. From the penalty spot, Danial Mitev made no mistake to put Sliema ahead.
A long-distance freekick by Jackson Lima was neutralised by the Tarxien custodian.
One minute from the end of the first half, Sliema doubled the score. Following a good run on the left flank, Jorge Santos Silva served Cleavon Frendo on the right but the latter’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Everton. Jorge Santos Silva took the rebound and after having a first attempt blocked by a defender, his second shot was not held by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
Twenty-three minutes in the second half, Danial Mitev found his way just in front of the goalkeeper but his cute lob ended over the bar.
However on the 70th, Danial Mitev was not to be denied as he managed to beat Cassar with a rising shot from outside the area with the ball hitting the crossbar before ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes from time, Mitev could have added another one when served from the left by Mifsud Triganza but his diagonal shot ended just wide. Finally on the 90th, Mifsud Triganza received a pass by Jorge Santos Silva but his low shot from the edge of the area just missed the target.
Danial Mitev was voted BOV Player of the Match.
SLIEMA Anthony Curmi, Alex Muscat, Mark Scerri (46’ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Danial Mitev, Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov, Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva, Cleavon Frendo (81’ Ryan Grech)(88’ Andrew Caligari), Beppe Muscat.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Dejan Vukovic, David Spiteri, Timothy Thomas.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Saviour Debono Grech
TARXIEN David Cassar, Carl Sammut, Everton Antonio Pereira, Stefan Giglio, Ricardo Costa (56’ Adrian Carabott), Karl Pulo, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Julian Vella, Orosco Anonam, Lee Galea (56’ Ryan Mintoff), Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Warren Zerafa, Franklin Abela, Clive Fenech, Luke Vella Critien.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Grioli, B. Muscat, Bezzina, Silva, Everton
Scorers: 34’ Danial Mitev (pen), 44’ Jorge Santos Silva, 70’ Danial Mitev