Hibs close in on Valletta following narrow derby win

A goal by Jackson Lima early in the second half gave Hibernians a narrow win in the derby against Tarxien Rainbows to move to just three points behind leaders Valletta with three games to go.

Tarxien gave a good account of themselves and shared the exchanges with their opponents for long stretches despite playing for an hour in ten men.

The Rainbows lacked Daniel Zerafa and Triston Caruana but welcomed back Sergio Fernandes Prendes after serving a three-match ban. On the other hand, Bjorn Kristensen returned for the Paolites after missing the last game against Floriana.

Tarxien were reduced to ten men on the 31st minute after Ebiabowei Baker picked a second yellow card for a foul on Degabriele.

Three minutes later, Tarxien goalkeeper Andrea Cassar performed a great save at point blank on a Jorginho header off a freekick by Failla from the right.

Hibernians managed to break the deadlock six minutes in the second half when Jackson di Lima Siqueira received the ball outside the area and advanced before hitting low past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.

Jackson Lima almost doubled the score on the 74th minute with a powerful shot from outside the area but Cassar neutralised his effort.

TARIXEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Gilgio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira, Alex Nilsson, Ayrton Azzopardi (36′ Matthew Tabone), Carlos Menendez Hevia, Luke Montebello (77′ Brandon Muscat), Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Roderick Bajada, Ryan Spiteri, John Mintoff.
Coach: Jacques Scerri

HIBS Justin Haber, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias (72′ Joseph Essien Mbong), Bjorn Kristensen, Andrei Agius, Clayton Failla (80′ Andrew Cohen), Jurgen Degabriele (61′ Jorge Santos Silva), Jorge da Silva Pereira, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg,, Dunstan Vella, Zach Scerri, Daniel Buckle.
Coach: Branko Nisevic

Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Additional Assistant Referees: Fyodor Zammit, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Paul Apap
Yellow Cards: Baker, Gilmar, Pedrinho, Hevia, Lima
Red Cards: 31′ Ebiabowei Baker
Scorers: 51′ Jackson di Lima Siqueira
BOV Player of the Match:
Attendance: 1,332