A goal six minutes in added time enabled Riga to force extra-time and go on to win by scoring another two goals to reach the play-off round of the UEFA Europa League as they defeated Hibernians 4-1 at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.
Following a 1-0 win in Riga, needing a positive result to secure a historic place in the play-off round, things immediately seemed going in the wrong direction after referee Rob Hennessy, who took several controversial decisions throughout the game, ordered a penalty after just two minutes when Leo was adjudged to have been fouled by Andrei Agius. However, Ivan Paurevic’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Hibernians goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.
The best opportunity in the first half fell at the feet of Jake Grech whose powerful drive ended just wide.
Four minutes in the second half, Riga took the lead. Andrei Agius failed to control a back-pass, losing the ball to Jean-Baptiste Leo, who rounded the Hibs captain before beating Kone with a low shot.
However, on the hour the Paolites levelled matters when Domoraud served Jake Grech on the left and off the latter’s assist, Jurgen Degabriele beat goalkeeper Ivan Brkic with a curved shot.
Leo could have restored the lead for Riga on the 77th but was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a fine effort.
On the 90th, Hibs were reduced to ten men after Jake Grech was sent off as he received a second yellow card.
Five minutes from time, Jurgen Degabriele scored what seemed a legitimate goal but this was disallowed for an offside.
The referee signalled seven minutes of added time and these proved vital for the Latvian champions as six minutes in added time, Ivan Paurevic headed the ball home off a cross from the left to make it 2-1 and force extra-time.
In the remaining minutes, Bjorn Kristensen, who was substituted earlier, was sent off the bench.
Three minutes in added time in the first half of extra-time, Riga extended the lead when off a cross by Ngonda, Yunusa Muritala headed home past Kone.
This goal was the killer blow for the Paolites, as although Vladimirs Kamess was sent off on the 111th minute after hitting an opponent, it was no surprise that Riga would add another goal.
In fact, on the 115th minute, Andrei Agius’s short back pass for the goalkeeper was intercepted by Yunusa Muritala who placed the ball past the Hibs custodian.
HIBS Ibrahim Kone, Ferdinando Apap (106′ Erjon Beu), Leandro Almeida, Sergio Raphael (119′ Zachary Grech), Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele (119′ Francis Sarfo Mensah), Bjorn Kristensen (79′ Edafe Uzeh), Dunstan Vella (64′ Ayrton Attard), Thaylor, Andrei Agius, Wilfried Domoraud.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
RIGA Ivan Brkic, Juan Camilo Saiz Ortegon, Felipe Brisola (99′ Nedeljko Piscevic), Armands Petersons, Mikael Soislao, Ivan Paurevic, Yuri Vakulko (76′ Yanusa Owolabi Muritala), Muzinga Glody Ngonda, Jean-Baptiste Leo (114′ Ritvars Rugins), Wesley Nata (61′ Vladimirs Kamess), Antonjs Cernomordijs.
Coach: Andris Riherts
Referee: Rob Hennessy (IRE)
Assistant Referees: Allen Lynch, Emmett Dynan (IRE)
Fourth Official: Bernard Connolly (IRE)