Leaders Hibernians extended their positive record on top the BOV Premier League table thanks to a 3-1 win over Pietà Hotspurs.
The Paolites seemed heading towards a comfortable win after taking a two-goal lead within the first thirty minutes but after the break, the Hotspurs kept their opponents under pressure and went close to equalising after reducing the gap. However deep into stoppage time, Hibs added a third goal to secure victory.
Hibs lacked goalkeeper Henry Bonello but Edison Luis dos Santos was back after serving a one-match ban. Pietà, on the other hand, were in full strength.
Clayton Failla put Hibernians ahead on the 9th minute when he entered the penalty area from the left and hit hard past the Pietà goalkeeper.
The Paolites doubled the score on the half-hour when off an Andrew Cohen freekick from the right, Andrei Agius headed the ball home past goalkeeper Miguel Montfort.
The Hotspurs pulled one back on 56 minutes through Jurgen Pisani whose fine shot from the left gave goalkeeper Jurgen Borg no chance.
Three minutes later, Pietà almost notched the equaliser but Claudio Frances just missed the target from close range.
However three minutes in added time, Hibs sealed the issue with a third goal as following a pass from the right by Dias, Tarabai served the unmarked Jean Paul Farrugia who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Miguel Montfort.
HIBS Jurgen Borg, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen (83′ Johann Bezzina), Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Edison Luis dos Santos, Joseph Essien Mbong (65′ Marcelo Dias), Jorge da Silva Pereira (83′ Jean Paul Farrugia).
Subs not used: Rudi Briffa, Keith Tanti, Jurgen Degabriele, Luis Andre de Melo Lima.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
PIETÀ Miguel Montfort, Karl Micallef, Christian Grech, Leonardo Fortunato dos Santos, Jurgen Pisani, Rafael Rodrigues da Silva, Joao Gabriel da Silva (66′ Ricardo Costa), Cain Attard, Kyle Cesare (46′ Dylon Agius), Claudio Frances, Luke Emmanuel Micallef (66′ Charles Nnaemeka Newuche).
Subs not used: David Cassar, Ayrton Mizzi, Orosco Anonam, Neil Pace Cocks.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Grech, Mbong, Borg, Attard
Scorers: 9′ Clayton Failla, 30′ Andrei Agius, 56′ Jurgen Pisani, 90+3′ Jean Paul Farrugia
BOV Player of the Match: Jurgen Pisani
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 1,202
Meanwhile Birkirkara kept the pace with the leaders as they beat ten-man Sliema Wanderers 4-2.
In an entertaining opening twenty-three minutes five goals were scored and although Sliema had a player sent off, it was only late in added time that they added a fourth goal to make sure of the three points which keep them eight points behind Hibernians.
Birkirkara managed to take the lead on the 4th minute when off a Zach Muscat freekick, the unmarked Ryan Camenzuli hit the ball past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
Sliema equalised on the 8th minute when off a cross from the left, Alex Muscat’s first-time effort beat Haber.
The Stripes regained the lead on 14 minutes thanks to a freekick by Rafael Ledesma as although Zammit fully stretched himself to the right, it was not enough to stop the ball from ending at the back of the net.
Three minutes later, the score was draw once again as a direct freekick by Andrea Pisanu beat the Birkirkara goalkeeper.
However Birkirkara regained the lead on 23 minutes as off a cross by Rafael Ledesma, Edward Herrera headed the ball into the direction of Ryan Camenzuli who beat the Sliema custodian with another header.
The Wanderers were reduced to ten men on 73 minutes after Marko Potezica fouled Rafael Ledesma.
Deep into stoppage-time, with the Blues all out in search of the equaliser, including goalkeeper Glenn Zammit, Birkirkara scored the fourth and final goal thanks to Nassir Maachi who headed the ball home inside the empty net following a swift counter-attack as Edward Herrera launched Paul Fenech on the right with the latter crossing for the Dutch striker.
B’KARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera, Nikola Vucanac, Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini, Eliandro dos Santos Gonzaga (66’ Matheus Bissi Da Silva), Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma (90’ Nassir Ahmed Macchi), Paul Fenech, Zach Muscat, Rowen Muscat, Ryan Camenzuli (77’ Kurt Zammit), Joseph Zerafa.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Antoine Borg, Edmond Agius, Gareth Sciberras.
Coach: Paul Zammit
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos, John Mintoff (78’ Junior Obagbemiro), Mark Scerri, Michael Mifsud (85’ Aiden Jake Friggieri), Andrea Pisanu, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Marko Potezica, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Beppe Muscat (33’ Trevor Cilia).
Subs not used: Sam Bartolo, Luca Martinelli, Joseph Borg, Filippo Talato.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Tristan Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow cards: Zerafa, Scerri, Fenech, R. Muscat
Red Card: 73’ Marko Potezica
Scorers: 4’ Ryan Camenzuli, 8’ Alex Muscat, 14’ Rafael Ledesma, 23’ Ryan Camenzuli, 90+2′ Nassir Ahmed Macchi
BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Camenzuli
Attendence at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 829