Hibernians moved ten points clear in the BOV Premier League as they defeated neighbours Tarxien Rainbows 2-0 in a top-bottom clash. This was the twenty-third win for the Paolites in twenty-six matches as they continue to extend their unbeaten record while for Tarxien, this was the fifth consecutive defeat.
Edison Luis dos Santos wore the captain’s arm-band as he played his final match for Hibernians before moving to Seoul E-Land in the coming days.
Branko Nisevic could not count on the injured Marcelo Dias. Tarxien, on the other hand, lacked Edu Vallecillo and Mouhamed Soly.
Hibernians took the lead nine minutes in the first half when off a cross from the right, Rodolfo Soares, left all alone in front of the goalkeeper, headed home past Sean Mintoff.
The Paolites doubled the score on 56 minutes when Jackson Lima sent Edison Luis dos Santos through and the latter hit past goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.
Tarxien were reduced to ten men on 73 minutes as Spanish defender Manu Bonaque was sent off by referee Mario Apap for hitting an opponent.
TARXIEN Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Owen Bugeja, Jorge Yepes Roda (78′ Matthew Tabone), Triston Caruana, Ryan Sammut, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Alex Cini, Obinna Ajoku Darlington (37′ Firas Aboulezz), Manuel Bonaque Acevedo.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Steve Sadowski, Kane Farrugia, Luke Zahra, Manuel Xerri.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
HIBS Henry Bonello, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares (88′ Keith Tanti), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Johann Bezzina (74′ Jean Paul Farrugia), Andrei Agius, Edison Luis dos Santos (84′ Jurgen Degabriele), Jorge da Silva Pereira.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Jonathan Pearson, Marko Rajic, Joseph Mbong.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Mario Apap
Assisnta Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Hevia, Aboulezz, Sammut
Scorers: 9′ Rodolfo Soares, 56′ Edison Luis dos Santos
BOV Player of the Match: Edison Luis dos Santos
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1,687
Balzan bounced back from the disappointing defeat to Floriana as they defeated Sliema Wanderers 2-1 to move to just one point behind the Greens.
Oliver Spiteri’s side created the better chances during the first half, taking a well-deserved two goal lead but after the break the Wanderers showed the better ideas. However it was not enough for them to earn something from the game.
Balzan took the lead on the 6th minute when Mark Scerri brought Edison Bilbao Zarate down inside the area, referee Clayton Pisani ordered a penalty and Bojan Kaljevic made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Lydon Micallef doubled the score on the 21st when he concluded a solo run with a low shot which beat Sliema goalie Glenn Zammit.
Sliema reduced the gap on the 56th minute thanks to a great goal by Mark Scerri, who received a pass by Bocar Djumo and beat Christian Cassar with a powerful shot which hit the posts before ending at the back of the net.
A few minutes later, the Blues appealed for a penalty when Djumo Bocar was apparently brought down inside the area but the referee waved play on.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos, Mark Scerri, Michael Mifsud, Andrea Pisanu (90+2’ Filippo Talato), Junior Obagbemiro (41’ Aidan Jake Friggieri), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Trevor Cilia (69’ John Mintoff), Bocar Djumo.
Subs not used: Sam Bartolo, Joseph Borg, Peter Xuereb, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
BALZAN Christian Cassar, Lydon Micallef (61’ Terrence Agius), Dylan Grima (90’ Ryan Darmanin), Oscar Dario Guerrero, Edison David Zarate Bilbao, Steve Bezzina, Bojan Kaljevic (78’ Gianmarco Piccioni), Osa Guobadia, Clive Brincat, Samir Arab, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Luke Sciberras, Godwin Mckay, Mark Spiteri.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Duncan Sultana
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Adrian Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Gatt Baldacchino, Micallef, Serrano, Cilia, Mifsud, Scerri, Agius
Scorers: 6′ Bojan Kaljevic pen, 21′ Lydon Micallef, 56′ Mark Scerri
BOV Player of the Match: Mark Scerri
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 678