Hibernians maintain the pressure on leaders Valletta as they defeated Floriana in a clash from the Championship Pool.
It was a goal by Andrew Cohen mid-way through the first half which gave the Paolites the three points.
Floriana lacked Joseph Borg, Clyde Borg and Pablo Doffo. Hibernians, on the other hand, were in full strength.
The Paolites had the first attempt at goal when Jackson Lima served Clayton Failla who unleashed a powerful shot from outside the area ending high on 20 minutes. A low shot by Failla was then saved by Manuel Bartolo a minute later. A freekick by Jackson Lima ended wide.
Hibernians scored the all-important goal on 24 minutes when Andrew Cohen won the ball on the right, rounded a defender and unleashed a powerful rising shot which beat Manuel Bartolo.
After the break the two teams continued to share the exchanges but the two goalkeepers were hardly tested.
Andrew Cohen was voted BOV Player of the match.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Pearson, Jason Vandelannoite, Rodolfo Soares, Ryan Camilleri, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen, Jackson Di Lima Siqueira, Clayton Failla, Edward Herrera (76’ Peter Anizoba Chizoba), Edison Luis dos Santos (80’ Marcelo Dias).
Subs not used: Nicholas Grima, Adrian Pulis, Aaron Xuereb, Ayrton Azzopardi, Jonathan Bezzina.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Duncan Pisani (82’ Ryan Darmanin), Manolito Micallef, Eric Akoto, Owen Bugeja, Thomas Paris, Andre Grabowski (86’ John Mintoff), Christian Caruana (46’ Tyrone Farrugia), Alandson da Silva, Ivan Woods, Onome Sodje.
Subs not used: Patrick Jansen, Luigi Farrugia, Brooke Farrugia, Francesco Guzman.
Assistant Coach: Joe Brincat
Team Manager: Adrian Mifsud
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Woods, Tarabai, Cohen, Pisani, Bartolo, T. Farrugia
Scorers: 24’ Andrew Cohen
Meanwhile Mqabba came back from two goals down to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with Mosta to maintain alive hopes of avoiding relegation.
The Blues had the first attempt at goal with a header by Obinna Obiefule ending just wide on the 7th minute following a cross from the right by Jonathan Bajada. A freekick by Branislav Timotic ended high on 22 minutes. Seven minutes later, Jonathan Debono performed a good save on a shot by David Azzopardi from outside the area.
Mauro Bonnici released David Fenech on the left on 31 minutes, the latter advanced into the area but his conclusion from close range was parried by goalkeeper. On 37 minutes,
Five minutes from the end of the first half, Mosta broke the deadlock when a cross by Dyson Falzon, Obinna Obiefule anticipated Marko Potezica, placing the ball at the back of the net.
Mosta doubled the score two minutes in the second half when off another cross by Falzon, Obinna Obiefule headed home past Kris Calleja.
Mqabba reduced the gap on the 50th thanks to a John Nwoba header off a cross by Rene Duca.
A low diagonal shot by Gilbert Martin was blocked by Kris Calleja on 57 minutes. On the 85th minute, Raimy released Obiefule who advanced into the area but his conclusion was deflected into a corner.
In added time, Mqabba notched the equaliser when a John Nwoba effort was partially saved by Debono and off the rebound, Bojan Mamic darted inside in the penalty area, hitting the ball home.
The game was not over yet as a couple of minutes later, Mosta risked suffering a third goal but Bojan Mamic’s freekick scraped past the post.
Dyson Falzon was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Alex Cini, Federico Tisbi, Yannik Ossok, Florent Raimy, Jonathan Bajada (75’ Ian Zammit), Kurt Magro (36’ Sheldon Grech), Gilbert Martin, Obinna Obiefule, Dyson Falzon.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Kane Farrugia, Luca Martinell, Predrag Mirceta, Bryan Agius, Sheldon Grech.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
MQABBA Kris Calleja, Marko Potezica, Pierre Grima, Branislav Timetic, Rene Duca (80’ John Paul Muscat), David Azzopardi (53’ Claudio Calleja), Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli (68’ Bojan Mamic), Mauro Bonnici, Ryan Sammut, John Nwoba, David Fenech.
Subs not used: Julian Briffa, Mark Anthony Briffa, Franklin Azzopardi, Clayton Micallef.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Renzo Kerr Cumbo
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Potezica, Azzopardi, Grech, Cini, Borg, Falzon, Raimy, Ossok
Scorers: 40’ Obinna Obiefule (Mos); 47’ Obinna Obiefule (Mos); 50’ John Nwoba (Mqa); 90’ Bojan Mamic (Mqa)