Jackson Lima Siqueira scored twice as Hibernians won their ninth U*BET FA Trophy, defeating Qormi 3-1 in the final.
The Paolites were clearly the better side right from the start, deserving to lift the trophy at the end of the game. Qormi, on the other hand, failed to repeat the performance with which they eliminated champions Valletta last week.
Hibs welcomed back Clayton Failla and Edison Luis dos Santos who had missed the semi-final against Hamrun as they were suspended. Qormi, on the other hand, were in full strength.
The Paolites had the first attempt at goal on the 6th minute with a cross from the right by Edward Herrera, deflected by Kris Thackray with Matthew Farrugia saving the ball partially. Off a Jackson Lima freekick, a Rodolfo Soares header was deflected into a corner by the Qormi custodian. A close-range effort by Tarabai from the left was blocked into another corner by Farrugia on 17 minutes. Hibs maintained the pressure and a shot by Clayton Failla, served by Tarabai, inside the area, was neutralised by the Qormi goalkeeper on the 20th.
Hibernians finally managed to break the deadlock on 36 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Joseph Chetcuti brought Edison Luis dos Santos down inside the area. From the penalty spot, Clayton Failla converted.
Andrew Cohen headed just wide off a Clayton Failla corner from the right three minutes from the end of the first half.
One minute later, the Paolites doubled the score when Edward Herrera served Jackson Lima Siqueira on the right and the latter controlled the ball before beating Matthew Farrugia with a great rising shot which gave the Qormi goalkeeper no chance.
Two minutes in the second half, Jackson Lima Siqueira increased the lead further with a long-distance shot which saw the ball ending in the top right corner behind Farrugia.
On the 70th, Cohen released Tarabai on the right but the latter’s shot was blocked by the Qormi rear-guard.
Five minutes from time, Joseph Farrugia went close to scoring a consolation goal for Qormi but the captain’s direct freekick scraped past the post. A freekick by Triston Caruana a minute later was parried by Mario Muscat.
In the dying minutes, Edison Luis dos Santos hit the upright from close range following a cross from the left by Steve Pisani.
Five minutes in added time, Qormi pulled one back when off a cross by Luke Sciberras, Joseph Farrugia hit low past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Chetcuti (54’ Kenneth Scicluna), Joseph Farrugia, Jonathan Bondin (80’ Luke Sciberras), Jorge Pereira da Silva, Kris Thackray, Triston Caruana, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Vincent Kouadio Adioumani (65’ Stephen Wellman).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, George Chircop, Ranier Buhagiar.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Pearson (76’ Steve Pisani), Rodolfo Soares, Ryan Camilleri, Jason Vandelannoite, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen, Jackson Lima Siqueira (83’ Marcelo Dias), Edward Herrera, Clayton Failla, Edison Luis dos Santos (92′ Johann Bezzina).
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Aaron Xuereb, Adrian Pulis, Peter Anizoba.
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: T. Caruana, Tarabai, Pearson
Scorers: 36’ Clayton Failla pen; 43’ Jackson Lima Siqueira, 47’ Jackson Lima Siqueira; 95′ Joseph Farrugia (Q)