Hibernians moved fourth in the BOV Premier League table thanks to a 2-0 win over Gzira United at the Hibernians Stadium. A win which puts the Paolites two points ahead of Floriana and just two behind the Maroons.
Hibs coach Mark Miller was unable to field his best formation due to the absence of Jackson Lima and Joseph Mbong. Gzira, on the other hand, had two players making their debut – Kris Thackray and Prince Loïc Destin Mambouana.
The Paolites had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 5th minute when off a cross by Jurgen Degabriele from the right, Clayton Failla’s diagonal shot gave goalkeeper Justin Haber no chance.
Eight minutes in the second half, Hibernians doubled the score when off a Giorgi Gorozia freekick, Joao Moreira rose high to head home past the Gzira goalkeeper.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Timothy Tabone Desira, Martin Kreuzriegler, Andrei Agius, Rodolfo Soares, Clayton Failla, Giorgi Gorozia (75′ Dunstan Vella), Johann Bezzina, Joao Moreira (66′ Jorge Pereira da Silva), Bjorn Kristensen, Jurgen Degabriele (90′ David Xuereb).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Conner Zammit, Daniel Buckle.
Coach: Mark Miller
GZIRA Justin Haber, Prince Mambouana, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (68′ Juan Crobalan), Kris Thackray (85′ Luca Brincat), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Roderick Briffa, Andrew Cohen (85′ Nicky Muscat), Moises Avila Perez, Haruna Garba, Ndubuisi Emmanuel Okoye, Amadou Samb.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Karl Pulo, Sacha Borg, Zack Scerri.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Dusan Petrovic
Additional Assistant Referees: Etienne Mangion, Emanuel Grech
Fourth Official: Christopher Francalanza
Yellow Cards: Soares, Gatt Baldacchino, Samb, Thackray
BOV Player of the Match: Clayton Failla
Meanwhile at the Centenary Stadium, St. Andrews registered a shock 1-0 win over Floriana. The Greens therefore suffered a second consecutive defeat – a fourth defeat in the last six league matches.
For the Saints, who re-join Naxxar on the 14-point mark, four ahead of Tarxien and nine ahead of Lija, this was a second consecutive positive result following a draw with Hamrun in the previous game.
Both sides had a player making their debut – Jason Vandelannoite for St. Andrews and Michele Paolucci for Floraina.
St. Andrews scored the all-important goal on the 29th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Emerson Marcelina fouled Misael Miranda Gomez inside the area and from the penalty spot, Kemar Reid converted.
Nine minutes in the second half, Floriana were reduced to ten men after Maurizio Vella was sent off for retaliation on Ricardo Martin
Five minutes from time, Emerson Marcelina hit the upright with a header from close range.
ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Travis Blagrove, Jason Vandelannoite, Misael Miranda Gomez, Kemar Reid, Marcus Grima (49′ Ricardo Martin), Joseph Farrugia, Matthew Gauci, Kemmu Degran Jackson (59′ Aidan Friggieri), Jacob Walker, Tano Azian (93′ Jamie Magri Overend).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Dejan Debono, Adam Magri Overend, Dario Zampa.
Coach: Michael Woods
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Sebastian Nayar, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Maurizio Vella, Jurgen Pisani (46′ Leighton Grech), Michele Paolucci, Alex Cini, Dylan Grima, Mario Fontanella, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Jake Stensen, Mattia Zarb, Bradley Sciberras, Denilson Borg Castaldi, Neil Spiteri.
Coach: JJ Aquilina
Referee: Ismael Barbara
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: Ruiz, Martin
Red Cards: 54′ Maurizio Vella
BOV Player of the Match: Misael Miranda Gomez
Attendance at the Centenary Stadium: 438