Hibernians bounced back from the defeat to Qormi two weeks ago as they beat Melita 5-1 despite playing for most of the second half in ten men. A win which puts Michael Woods’ side temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table.
The Paolites lead the way with 28 points, one ahead of Birkirkara and two ahead of Valletta. However the latter two have a game in hand. Melita, on the other hand, remain second from bottom on six points.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
Melita lacked Karl Vella Petroni and goalkeeper Matthew Sapiano while Jose Luis Armario Negrin was not in the squad after being released earlier this week. On the other hand, Adrian Pulis was back for Hibernians after serving a one-match ban but Jackson Lima, Steve Pisani and John Nwoba were all missing.
The Amateurs had the first attempt at goal on the 9th minute with Nigel Rizzo trying his luck with a shot from outside the area ending just wide.
Hibernians took the lead on 13 minutes when off a Clayton Failla freekick from the right, Andrew Cohen’s fine header beat goalkeeper Karl Zahra with the ball hitting the crossbar before ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Marcelo Dias stole the ball off an opponent, serving Allan Kardeck dos Santos who however hit just wide.
Hibs doubled the score on 19 minutes when off a freekick by Andrew Cohen from the left, Clayton Failla hit the ball past the Melita goalkeeper.
Melita pulled one back on 28 minutes when a Julian Galea effort was partially saved by Mario Muscat and off the rebound, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho slotted the ball past the Hibs goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later, Hibernians restored a two-goal lead when an Andrew Cohen freekick hit the upright and Adrian Pulis headed the ball home from close-range.
Eight minutes in the second half, Udo Nwoko was sent off for Hibernians after hitting an opponent in midfield.
The Paolites scored the fourth goal on 77 minutes when Andrew Cohen exchanged the ball with Marcelo Dias following a corner and from the latter’s cross shot, Jean Paul Farrugia placed the ball at the back of the net.
Seven minutes from time, Melita suffered the fifth goal when Clayton Failla hit past goalkeeper Karl Zahra when served by Andrew Cohen from the right.
Andrew Cohen was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MELITA Karl Zahra, Matthew Borg (72’ Michael Valenzia), Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, George Gribbon, Rudy Alhinho, Michael Martin (66’ Michael Cachia), Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Nigel Rizzo (66’ Luke Sammut), Julian Galea, Jovan Vukanic, Luke Micallef.
Subs not used: Andrew Abela, Ivan Tufegdzic, Jean Pierre Attard.
Coach: Patxi Salinas Fernandez
Asst. Coach: Alexander Martinez Lopez
HIBS Mario Muscat, Adrian Pulis (79’ Jonathan Pearson), Ryan Camilleri, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias (84’ Johann Bezzina), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Allan Kardeck dos Santos (28’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Zoran Levnajic, Udo Nwoko.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Scott Chircop, Brandon Muscat.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: N. Rizzo, Z. Levnajic, M. Borg, M. Dias, M. Sierra Camacho
Red Cards: 53’ Udo Nwoko
Scorers: 13’ Andrew Cohen, 19’Clayton Failla, 28’ Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, 38’ Adrian Pulis, 77’ Jean Paul Farrugia, 83’ Clayton Failla
Meanwhile Tarxien Rainbows came back from one goal down to beat Hamrun Spartans 4-1 and move fourth in the BOV Premier League.
On the other hand, for Hamrun, this was the fifth consecutive defeat, therefore staying three points behind ninth-placed Floriana.
The Spartans had the first attempt at goal on 8 minutes with a Massimo Grima freekick from the left ending just wide.
Hamrun managed to take the lead on 26 minutes when off a Massimo Grima freekick, the ball was deflected by Roderick Fenech and then by Tarxien defender Evaldo Silva dos Santos, beating goalkeeper David Cassar.
One minute later, a fierce shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno hit the crossbar and the ball bounced on the goal line before being cleared into safety. Then on 31 minutes, a header by Karl Pulo was parried by Andrea Cassar following a corner by Andrezinho from the right.
Six minutes from the end of the first half, Roderick Fenech floored Danilo inside the penalty area. Referee Glenn Tonna ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Daniel Mariano Bueno made no mistake to level matters.
Five minutes in the second half, Tarxien forged ahead when off a corner from the right, Orosco Anonam headed home past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
Cassar was lucky to escape with a yellow card after a foul on Andrezinho outside the area on 59 minutes. However the Brazilian midfielder scored direct from the resulting freekick.
Tarxien made it 4-1 on 68 minutes when a cross from the left created havoc inside the area and Evaldo Silva dos Santos placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
Andrezinho was voted BOV Player of the Match.
TARXIEN David Cassar, Evaldo Silva dos Santos, Justin Grioli (72’ Steve Sadowski), Roderick Bajada, Danilo Meira Santos, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito (76’ Andrew Agius), Karl Pulo (Mark Tanti), Ryan Sammut, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Manuel Caruana, Luiz Romulo de Castro, David Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Adrian Ivanov (68’ Glenn Azzopardi), Lyubomir Vitanov, Roderick Fenech, Anton Vergilov (65’ David Camilleri), Daniel Zerafa (60’ Luke Grech), Massimo Grima, Angel Yoshev, Gianluca Calabretta, Ryan Spiteri, Terence Vella.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Gabriel Formosa, Adrian Borg, Christian Cassar.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Atanas Marinov
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Eman Grech
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Bonnici, Bueno, R. Fenech, Vergilov, A. Cassar, Anonam
Scorers: 26’ own goal Evaldo, 40’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (pen), 50’ Orosco Anonam, 60’ Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, 68’ Evaldo Silva dos Santos