Hibs defeat Balzan in drab encounter which came to life in dying minutes

Hibernians returned in second place as they collected the three points thanks to a 2-1 win over Balzan at the National Stadium on Sunday.

It was a drab encounter which lacked goal-mouth action especially during the first half but after the Paolites went ahead mid-way through the second half, Balzan equalised on the 90th but Hibs had other thoughts and notched the winner on the 93rd.

The Paolites took the lead on the 71st minute thanks to Dunstan Vella who received an assist by Jake Grech from the left and controlled before hitting low past goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes.

Three minutes later, Hibs were unlucky to hit the crossbar with an Andrei Agius freekick

Balzan equalised on the 90th minute thanks to a great header by Steve Bezzina off a corner from the right by Steve Pisani

However three minutes in added time, a cross by Gabi Izquier created havoc inside the area and substitute Ayrton Attard hit home from close range.

HIBS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Leandro Almeida, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Dunstan Vella, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Haruna Shola Shodiya (66’ Ayrton Attard), Andrei Agius, Jose Wilkson Teixeira, Karolin Laukzemis (81’ Rundell Winchester).
Coach: Stefano Sanderra

BALZAN Vukasin Vranes, Augustine Loof, Marcus Grima (68’ Eric McWoods), Samir Arab, Steve Pisani, Alfred Effiong, Gary Camilleri (55’ Steve Bezzina), Stefan Dimic, Pedro Mota (82’ Adam Bradshaw), Sean Cipriott (82’ William Donkin), Moussa Kamara.
Asst. Coach: Joseph Grech

Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, James Muscat
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Apap, Cipriott, Dimic, Laukzemis, Calleja Cremona, McWoods
BOV Player of the Match: Jurgen Degabriele