A goal by substitute Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro gave Hibernians three precious points as they defeated neighbours Tarxien Rainbows 1-0 at the National Stadium. Three points which put them, at least temporarily, on top the BOV Premier League table.
This defeat brought to an end Tarxien’s positive run of over two months since Jesmond Zerafa had been appointed as their new coach back in December.
The Paolites had three changes from the team which defeated St. Andrews as Johann Bezzina, Montell Moore and Marcelo Dias replaced Dejan Boljevic, Timothy Tabone Desira and Jorginho. Tarxien, on the other hand, welcomed back Alex da Paixao Alves who replaced Ayrton Azzopardi.
Following a goalless first half, the Rainbows almost forged ahead with an Alex Nilsson effort which was however turned into a corner by Hogg. A powerful Jackson Lima freekick scraped past the post on the 54th.
Hibernians finally managed to break the deadlock on the 69th minute thanks to substitute Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro’s direct freekick gave goalkeeper Philip Schranz no chance.
The Paolites went close to doubling the score two minutes later with a Rodolfo Soares effort following a corner by Jackson Lima but the ball hit the upright. Tarxien replied with an Alex da Paixao Alves effort from the right which was neutralised by Hogg and three minutes from time, Clayton Failla’s powerful drive ended just over the bar.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Andrei Agius, Clayton Failla, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Bjorn Kristensen, Johann Bezzina, Jurgen Degabriele (87′ Dunstan Vella), Montell Moore (73′ Dejan Boljevic), Marcelo Dias, Momodou Jallow (59′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Timmy Tabone Desira, Daniel Buckle, Connor Zammit.
Coach: Mark Miller
TARXIEN Philip Schranz, Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcelina, Triston Caruana, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia (78′ Dylan Micallef), Alex Nilsson, Sergio Fernandez Prendes (63′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves, Matthew Tabone (85′ Julian Galea), Kurt Zammit.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Matthew Brincat, Andrew Agius, Sacha Borg.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Agius, Tabone, Gilmar
BOV Player of the Match: Jackson Lima
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Pembroke Athleta registered a second win in three matches as they demolished bottom-placed Mosta 5-0. A win which enables them to move four points ahead of the Blues.
Pembroke had four changes from the team which held Sliema in a draw as Matthew Calleja Cremona, Zoran Levnaic and new signings Go Nagaoka and Tonci Radovnikovic replaced Argyrys Roppas, Brooke Farrugia, Asani Djeljilj and Arber Dhrami. Mosta, on the other hand, had six changes as goalkeeper Andreas Vella, Cesar Romero, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Adrian Caruana, Kurt Magro and Jurgen Grech replaced Yenz Cini, Chinatu Onwudinjo, Njongo Priso, Neil Frendo, Lucky Oseghale and Josue Ahoure. For Andreas Vella and Cesar Romero, this game marked their debut for the Blues.
Artim Shaqiri’s side managed to open the score on the 23rd minute when off a cross by Paltemio Barbetti, Tonci Radovnikovic’s close-range effort beat goalkeeper Andreas Vella
Three minutes later, Pembroke doubled the score when off a Paltemio Barbetti freekick, Filippo Andrea Scozzese lobbed the ball over teh Mosta custodian with a good header.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza headed the ball home off a freekick by Pedrinho but the goal was disallowed for an offside.
To make matters worse for Mosta, Pedro dos Santos Calcado was sent off for a foul on Levnaic.
Pembroke made it 3-0 on the 71st when Stevan Racic converted a penalty after Kyle Frendo brought Go Nagaoka down inside the area.
Two minutes later, Daren Falzon hit home from close range after receiving an inviting cross to make it 4-0.
Three minutes in added time, Pembroke scored the fifth goal thanks to Adrian Borg following a cross from the right.
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Darren Falzon (84’ Tyron Fenech), Zoran Levnaic (75’ Brooke Farrugia), Miguel Attard, Raphael Alain Kooh Sohna (84’ Sunday Eboh), Stevan Racic, Adrian Borg, Paltemio Barbetti, Andrea Scozzese, Go Nagaoka, Tonci Radovnikovic.
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Owen Bugeja, Zachary Grech, Neil Grech.
Coach: Artim Shaqiri
MOSTA Andreas Vella, Jonas Rodrigues Ekani (16’ Kyle Frendo), Mario Toth, David Fenech, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Adrian Caruana, Kurt Magro, Cesar Romero, Jurgen Grech (57’ Erik Mikes), Guilhermino Heron Miranda (66’ Kyle Gatt).
Subs: Victor Stangari Neves, Zachary Brincat, Luke Galea, Neil Frendo, Erik Mikes.
Coach: Zsolt Hornyak
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referee: Jurgen Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Additional Assistant Referees: Sandro Spiteri, Ishmael Barbara
Fourth Official: Ryan Aquilina
Yellow cards: Levnaic, Barbetti, Romero, Fenech, Magro
Red Cards: 58’ Pedro Dos Santos Calcado
Scorers: 23’ Tonci Radovnikovic, 26’ Andrea Scozzese, 71’ Stevan Racic pen, 73’ Daren Falzon, 90+3’ Adrian Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Paltemio Barbetti
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium