Hibernians returned to winning ways as a penalty fourteen minutes from time gave them a narrow win over Floriana at the National Stadium.
For the Paolites, who had Georgian midfielder Giorgi Gorozia making his debut when included as a substitute, this was a first win after two defeats and a draw with Hamrun. Hibs and Birkirkara now lie just one point behind fourth-placed Floriana. This was the third defeat in five matches for the Greens.
Hibernians scored the all-important goal on the 76th minute when they were awarded a penalty after goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan failed to hold the ball following a cross by Mbong from the right and floored Giorgi Gorozia; from the penalty spot, Jorge Pereira da Silva converted.
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Sebastian Nayar, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (41′ Jurgen Pisani), Maurizio Vella, Alex Cini, Arthur Henrique Oyama (77′ Leighton Grech), Mario Fontanella, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Bradley Sciberras, Denilson Borg Castaldi, Neil Spiteri.
Coach: JJ Aquilina
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Martin Kreuzriegler, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jackson Lima, Rodolfo Soares, Bjorn Kristensen (71′ Giorgi Gorozia), Joao Moreira (77′ Jurgen Degabriele), Andrei Agius, Joseph Essien Mbong, Jorge Pereira da Silva (87′ Johann Bezzina).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Clayton Failla, Timothy Tabone Desira, David Xuereb.
Coach: Mark Miller
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Duncan Sultana
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Etienne Mangion
Fourth Official: William Debattista
Yellow Cards: Mbong, S. Pisani, J. Pisani, Ruiz
BOV Player of the Match: Jorge Pereira da Silva