Hibernians kept marching on top the BOV Premier League table as they defeated Mosta 2-0 to register the seventh win from as many matches.
It was definitely no easy match for the Paolites as the Blues had their fair share of scoring opportunities, especially during the first half. A highly-contested penalty paved the way for Hibernians with the second goal arriving deep into stoppage time.
Hibernians coach Branko Nisevic could not count on the suspended Jean Paul Farrugia. Ryan Grech and Diego Pereira were missing for Mosta.
Bojan Kaljevic had a powerful shot from the right partially saved by Mario Muscat on the 8th minute. A minute later, a Cristian Martins Fernandes effort was turned into a corner by the Hibs custodian. On the other side of the pitch, a Clayton Failla freekick was parried by Omar Borg on the 18th.
Late in the first half, Mosta appealed for a penalty as a Hibs player seemed to handle the ball inside the area following a shot by Alex Cini but the referee waved play on.
Six minutes in the second half, the Paolites were awarded a penalty following a tackle by Kane Farrugia on Tarabai. This decision brought harsh protests by the Blues who claimed that the incident occurred outside the area. However referee Paul Caruana stood by his decision and Clayton Failla converted from the penalty spot to put Hibs ahead.
Hibernians were reduced to ten men on the 55th when Ryan Camilleri received a second yellow card.
The Paolites still continued to share the exchanges with their opponents and Zoran Levnajic was unlucky to hit the crossbar three minutes from time.
However one minute in added time, hardly a minute after replacing Andrew Cohen, substitute Obinna Obiefule advanced on the right and after having a first attempt blocked by Omar Borg, he took the rebound, placing the ball at the back of the net.
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MOSTA Omar Borg, Alex Cini, Kane Farrugia, Tyrone Farrugia, Jonas Ekani Rodriguez, Kurt Zammit (84′ Mark Brincat), Lukas Duriska (65′ Yuri de Jesus Messias), Manolito Micallef, Cristian Martins Fernandes, Ricardo Faria Silva, Bojan Kaljevic.
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, Bryan Agius, Ishmael Grech, Giancarlo Sammut, Kyle Frendo.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias (70′ Matthew Bartolo), Andrew Cohen (90′ Obinna Obiefule), Bjorn Kristensen (73′ Johann Bezzina), Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnajic, Edison Luis dos Santos.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Matthew Tabone, Neil Chetcuti, Ayrton Azzopardi.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: T. Farrugia, R. Camilleri, Z. Levnajic, Kaljevic
Red Cards: R. Camilleri
Scorers: 52′ Clayton Failla, 90+1′ Obinna Obiefule
BOV Player of the Match: Rodolfo Soares
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 757
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At the National Stadium, Birkirkara dropped two important points as they were held in a 1-1 draw by Qormi.
Although they were the better side, the Stripes were controlled well by Qormi who were coming from three consecutive defeats.
Birkirkara, playing in a completely blue kit instead of the traditional yellow-red stripes, started with Edward Herrera and Matheus Bissi da Silva on the bench. Qormi lacked Roderick Sammut, Emerson Vella and Francesco D’Aniello.
During the first half, the Stripes found it hard to pierce Qormi’s well-organised side. Qormi went close on 21 minutes with a through pass by Duncan Pisani for Alfred Effiong who controlled the ball well on the left flank, testing Haber with a low diagonal shot which was turned into a corner. Two minutes from the end of the first half, Frank Temile exchanged the ball with Haruna Shola Shodiya, his cross to the centre was met by Temile’s header which ended high over the crossbar.
Seven minutes in the second half, Temile failed to connect off an inviting cross from the right by Herrera.
Birkirkara took the lead on the 62nd when off a through pass by Temile, Haruna Shola Shodiya beat Matthew Farrugia with a shot from outside the area.
Qormi levelled matters six minutes alter when a cross from the left by Leonardo Gabrieli was partially saved by Haber and Ricardo Innocenti hit home off the rebound.
Finally Matthew Farrugia blocked a close-range effort by Jhonnattann after Toure headed the ball down off a cross by Shodiya on 71 minutes.
BIRKIRKARA Justin Haber, Ryan Camenzuli (46’ Edward Herrera), Alejandro Mendoza, Jhonnattann Benites, Paul Fenech, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras (60’ Demba Toure), Rowen Muscat, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Frank Temile (84’ Terence Vella), Zach Muscat.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Matheus Bissi, Kurt Zammit, Daniela Zerafa,
Coach: Paul Zammit
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alfred Effiong, Giuseppe Bellucci, Leighton Grech, Roderick Bajada, Jorge Periera Da Silva (90’ Dylan Pirotta), Owen Bugeja, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Ricardo Innocenti, Leonardo Gabrieli (73’ Gianluca Nucera).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Dormond Micallef, Karl Sciortino, Gillmore Azzopardi, Clayton Casha.
Coach: Tommaso Volpi
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Sammy Attard
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Christopher Lawrence Francalanza
Yellow Cards: R. Camenzuli, P. Fenech, G. Sciberras, A. Mendoza, M. Farrugia, G. Bellucci. Z. Muscat, J. Benites
Scorers: 62’ Shodiya Haruna Shola (B), 68’ Ricardo Innocenti (Q)
BOV Player of the Match: Paul Fenech
Attendance at the National Stadium: 769