Denni Rocha dos Santos scored on his debut with Hibernians but ruined the day by being sent off as the champions defeated Naxxar Lions 4-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. Denni will therefore miss next week’s derby against Tarxien Rainbows.
This second consecutive win puts Hibernians two points behind leaders Mosta while Naxxar remain without any points after three matches.
Hibs lacked injured goalkeeper Jurgen Borg and the suspended Jackson Lima but Denni Rocha dos Santos made his debut. Nisevic awarded young goalkeeper Rudy Briffa a place in the starting line-up.
The Paolites took the lead on the 13th minute thanks to a powerful shot from outside the area by Jorge Santos Silva which was not held by Azzopardi.
However three minutes from the end of the first half, Naxxar equalised when off an Emiliano Lattes corner, Sidoine Oussou headed home.
Hibs regained the lead eight minutes in the second half when Jorge Da Silva Pereira served Denni Rocha dos Santos who slid the ball from underneath Azzopardi.
However on the 70th minute, Denni was sent off by referee Malcolm Spiteri after attempting to hit an opponent twice.
One minute from time, Hibs increased the lead through Jorge da Silva Pereira, served by Jorge Santos Silva, whose powerful shot beat the Naxxar goalkeeper.
Two minutes in added time, Jorginho served Clayton Failla whose conclusion beat Azzopardi for the fourth time.
HIBS Rudy Briffa, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Rodolfo Soares (83’ Jonathan Pearson), Marcelo Dias, Andrew Cohen (90’ Jurgen Degabriele), Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Jorge Santos Silva, Jorge da Silva Pereira
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Dunstan Vella, Zach Scerri, Joseph Essien Mbong, David Xuereb.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Blazo Rajovic, Andrew Scicluna, Richard Carlos Cardozo (73’ Ishmael Grech), Mattia Del Negro (60’ Daren Falzon), Sidoine Ossou, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, David Fenech, Angus Buhagiar, Emiliano Lattes, Armando Tarlazis Vieira dos Santos (86’ Jurgen Debono).
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Arya Koorosh Haghigi, Duane Bonnici, Sead Hadzibulic.
Coach: Stefano Grima
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant referees: Luke Porteli, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow cards: Mandinho, Falzon
Red Card: 70’ Denni Dos Santos
Scorers: 13’ Jorge Santos Silva, 42’ Siddoine Ossou, 53’ Denni Rocha dos Santos, 89’ Jorge Pereira da Silva, 90+2′ Clayton Failla
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 548
Meanwhile Floriana collected their first three points as they defeated Qormi 3-0 at the Hibernians Stadium. Qormi, therefore remain anchored at the bottom of the table without any points along with Naxxar Lions and St. Andrews.
Floriana took the lead on the half-hour when Ousmane Sidibe handled the ball inside the penalty area and from the penalty spot, Mario Fontanella converted.
Seven minutes later, Fontanella was unlucky to hit the upright with a good attempt from the left.
The Greens doubled the score on 72 minutes when off a cross from the right, Juninho Cabral served Steve Bonnici who headed the ball home from close range.
Six minutes later, Floriana added another with Filippo Andrea Scozzese heading the ball home off a Nicolas Chiesa corner.
FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, Emanuel Briffa, Steve Bonnici, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Jurgen Pisani, Clyde Borg, Conor Borg (82′ Steve Pisani), Antonio Monticelli, Nicolas Chiesa, Mauricio Villa (65′ Juninho Cabral), Mario Fontanella (74′ Matteo Piciollo).
Subs not used: Tyrone Gauci, Neil Spiteri, Luke Micallef, Glen Tabone.
Coach: Luis Oliveira
QORMI Andreas Vella, Alessio Cassar, Ousmane Sidibe, Noah Olawole Ojuola, Emerson Vella, Joseph Chetcuti, Kurt Magro (82′ Shamison Zammit), Carlo Gordon Monti (75′ Clint Barbara), Gillmore Azzopardi, Ryan Micallef (75′ Steve Agius), Alex Nilsson.
Subs not used: Jean Matthias Vella, Karl Sciortino, Terrence Vella, Edward Falzon.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa.
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Sidibe, Micallef
Scorers: 30′ Mario Fontanella pen, 72′ Steve Bonnici, 77′ Filippo Andrea Scozzese
BOV Player of the Match:
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 544