Hibernians secured a place in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League after defeating SS Folgore 4-2 in the second leg of the second qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday.
The Paolites, who qualify with a 7-3 aggregate score, will be meeting either Riga FC of Latvia or Shkendija of North Macedonia. The first leg will be played away from home on August 5 with the return match scheduled for August 12. This will be the first time the club will be playing in the third qualifying round of a UEFA competition.
Stefano Sanderra’s side took an early lead but then conceded two goals by the end of the first half. However Hibs were quick to restore equilibrium early in the second half, adding another two goals to register a win.
Making their debut for the Paolites were goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Erjon Beu who were both included as substitutes.
Hibernians took the lead on the 9th minute when Jake Grech entered the area from the right and served Jurgen Degabriele from the left with the latter slotting the ball past Giorgi.
Folgore equalised on the 27th when off an assist by captain Andrea Nucci from the right, Eric Fedeli placed the ball in the top right corner with a fine shot from the edge of the area.
Before the end of the first half, one minute in added time, the San Marino champions stunned the Paolites as Yaya Jassey intercepted a back pass by Bjorn Kristensen for Andrei Agius and rounded goalkeeper Nicky Vella, who was out of the area, and deposited the ball inside the empty net to put them 2-1 ahead.
Two minutes in the second half, the Paolites levelled matters when off a cross by Thaylor from the right, Wilfried Domoraud headed home past Riccardo Giorgi.
Hibernians regained the lead on the 66th thanks to Jurgen Degabriele who slotted the ball from close range after exchanging the ball with Kristensen.
Jake Grech extended the lead on the 77th with an angled shot from the right which beat the Folgore goalkeeper when released by Degabriele.
HIBS Nicky Vella (75’ Ibrahim Kone), Leandro Almeida, Ayrton Attard (61’ Myles Beerman), Jake Galea, Jurgen Degabriele, Bjorn Kristensen (81’ Connor Zammit), Dunstan Vella, Zachary Grech, Thaylor (76’ Edafe Uzeh), Andrei Agius, Wilfried Domoraud (81’ Erjon Beu).
FOLGORE Riccardo Gucci, Andrea Nucci (89’ Gioele Evangelisti), Giovanni Bonini (85’ Francesco Gioia), Nicholas Arrigoni, Eric Fedeli, Mirco Spighi, Marco Bernardi (68’ William Edoardo Garcia), Piero Tamagnini (68’ Federico Di Addario), Assane Fall (85’ Andrea Sabbiadini), Cristian Brolli, Yaya Jassey.
Referee: Arda Kardeşler (TUR)
Assistant Referees: Kerem Ersoy, Ali Saygın Ögel (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ali Şansalan (TUR)