Hibernians claimed their first three points in the BOV Premier League thanks to a fine 3-1 win over champions Floriana in an entertaining match at the National Stadium on Sunday.
Stefano Sanderra’s boys were therefore quick to bounce back from the defeat to Sliema. On the other hand, Floriana, who suffered a heart-breaking defeat on penalties in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round succumb to their first defeat after a winning start against Gzira United on match-day 1.
Coach Enzo Potenza was unable to field his best formation due to the absence of Ini Etim Akpan, Nicola Leone and Kristian Keqi while Brandon Paiber and Jurgen Pisani were among the substitutes. On the other hand, Andrei Agius was ruled out through suspension for Hibs.
The Paolites managed to take the lead on the 14th minute when off an assist by Ayrton Attard from the right, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, slotted past Andrea Cassar from close range.
Floriana replied with a fine solo effort by Jan Busuttil whose shot from the left, from the edge of the area, hit the upright two minutes later.
On 27 minutes, Marcelo Dias, despite attempts by Izquier and Almeida to halt his great run on the right flank, served Cheveresan whose shot was partially saved by Calleja Cremona and only got hold of the ball following a pass by a defender. The referee ordered an indirect freekick just out of the goal area; Garcia served Fonseca who, however, hit high.
Cheveresan then just failed to connect off an inviting pass by Fonseca from the right on 31 minutes and two minutes later, Jake Grech rounded the goalkeeper and served Teixeira who however hit wide for Hibernians.
Eight minutes the second half, Flavio Cheveresan tested Calleja Cremona with a shot from the edge of the area but the Hibs goalkeeper performed a good save.
Hibernians, however, doubled the score on the 54th minute when Jurgen Degabriele exchanged the ball with Jake Grech before beating Andrea Cassar with a fine shot from inside the area.
Floriana reduced the gap on 57 minutes thanks to Jan Busuttil who won possession on the right flank and dribbled a number of players before hitting past Calleja Cremona with a fine diagonal shot.
The Paolites were awarded a penalty on the 64th minute after Jose Wilkson Teixeira was adjudged to have been fouled by Camenzuli and from the penalty spot, Jake Grech made no mistake.
A powerful drive by Diego Silva Venancio was turned into a corner by Calleja Cremona on 73 minutes,
HIBS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Leandro Almeida da Silva, Ayrton Attard, Jake Grech, Rundell Winchester (67’ Shola Shodiya), Jurgen Degabriele (90+1’ Dunstan Vella), Bjorn Kristensen (90+1’ Edafe Uzeh), Zachary Karl Grech, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Jose Wilkson Teixeira (86’ Matthew Ellul).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Rudy Cassar Jeffries, David Xuereb.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
FLORIANA Andrea Cassar, Moustapha Muhamadou Beye, Enzo Ruiz, Diego Venancio, Matias Nicolas Garcia (82’ Jurgen Pisani), Alex Cini (58’ Brandon Paiber), Flavio Silva Cheveresan, Marcelo Mariano Dias (89’ Daniel Agius), Jan Busuttil, Ryan Camenzuli, Tiago Adan Fonseca.
Subs not used: Justin Spiteri, Mattias Formosa, Kieron Azzopardi, Aleandro Garzia.
Coach: Vincenzo Potenza
Asst. Coach: Darren Anton Vella
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Almeida, Kristensen, Dias
BOV Player of the Match: Gabriel Izquier