Imanol Iriberri scored twice as Hibernians returned to winning ways, defeating Balzan 2-1 at the National Stadium on Sunday.
This was the third win in four matches for the Paolites which enables them to move fourth, one point behind Valletta and Sirens. Balzan, on the other hand, suffer their fifth defeat this season to remain seventh.
Hibernians took the lead on the 8th minute when off a Jake Grech corner from the right, Imanol Iriberri rose high to head home.
Balzan equalised six minutes from the end of the first half thanks to a powerful drive by Steve Pisani from outside the area which gave goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona no chance.
On the 65th minute, Balzan were awarded an indirect freekick and Andrija Majdevac’s attempt was deflected by a defender onto the crossbar and into a corner.
Seven minutes from time, Hibs notched the winner when they were awarded a penalty after substitute Jens Wemmer was floored inside the area by Ryan Scicluna and Imanol Iriberri made no mistake from the penalty spot.
HIBS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Marcio Leonardo Barbosa da Silveira, Joseph Mbong, Jake Grech (81′ Jurgen Degabriele), Bjorn Kristensen, Dunstan Vella, Gabriel Izquier, Andrei Agius, Leonardo Nanni (74′ Jens Wimmer), Imanol Iriberri (88′ Terrence Groothusen).
Subs not used: Marko Jovicic, Timothy Tabone Desira, Myles Beerman, Ayrton Attard.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
BALZAN Kristian Naumovski, Augustine Loof, Aleksandar Kosoric, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina, Michael Johnson, Paul Fenech, Uros Ljubomirac, Stefan Dimic (72′ Alfred Effiong), Arthur Faria Machado (81′ Ryan Scicluna), Andrija Majdevac.
Subs not used: Jake Pisani, Marcus Grima, Dale Camilleri, Zachary Karl Grech, Zak Grech.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Asst. Coach: Andrea Pisanu
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Ljubomirac, Kristensen, Naumovski, Fenech
BOV Player of the Match: Jake Grech