Hibernians and Valletta shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the National Stadium on Sunday.
For the Paolites, this was the third consecutive positive result after the back-to-back wins over Floriana and Tarxien. On the other hand, Citizens, who were eager to bounce back from the defeat to Gzira, could only take home one point from this clash.
Both coaches made several changes from their last outing as Andrei Agius, Edafe Uzeh and Shola Shodiya replaced Zachary Grech, Ayrton Attard and Rundell Winchester. Valletta, on the other hand, had Leandro Aguirre, Eslit Sala, Taisei Marukawa and Mario Fontanella replacing Mihailo Jovanovic, Matteo Piciollo, Kyrian Nwoko and Taylon.
Valletta took the lead five minutes from the end of the first half when off an assist by Shaun Dimech for Taisei Marukawa, the latter’s angled shot, deflected by Edafe Uzeh, beat Calleja Cremona.
Hibernians equalised on the 63rd minute when they were awarded a penalty after Jake Grech was brought down inside the area by Henry Bonello and from the penalty spot, Jake Grech made no mistake.
HIBS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Leandro Almeida da Silva, Edafe Uzeh (46′ Dunstan Vella), Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Bjorn Kristensen, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Shola Shodiya (90+1′ Connor Zammit), Andrei Agius, Jose Wilkson Teixeira.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Kane Bonello, Rundell Winchester, Dunstan Vella, Matthew Farrugia, Rudy Cassar Jeffries.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana (17′ Shaun Dimech), Triston Caruana, Santiago Malano (77′ Ryan Fenech), Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph. Zerafa, Taisei Marukawa, Eslit Sala, Rowen Muscat, Leandro Aguirre (68′ Miguel Angel Alba), Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ryan Camilleri, Nicholas Pulis, Ryan Tonna.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Uzeh, Pena Beltre, Bonello, Zerafa, Sala, Izquier
BOV Player of the Match: Taisei Marukawa