Hibernians scored two in the first half but eventually beat FCI Levadia Tallinn of Estonia 3-2 in the first leg of the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday.
A result which leaves the tie wide open to determine which team would be facing RFS of Latvia in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Coach Andrea Pisanu named Ferdinando Apap in the starting line-up after serving a two-match ban while their latest signing, Yunusa Muritala, was included as a substitute.
Hibs took the lead on the 17th minute when off a cross by Gabi Izquier from the left, Zachary Grech served Ferdinando Apap who headed home in style.
On the 26th minute, the Paolites doubled the score when Dunstan Vella was unlucky to hit the foot of the upright with a shot from outside the area but off the rebound, Terence Groothusen headed the ball into the direction of Jurgen Degabriele whose header beat goalkeeper Vallner.
Three minutes from time, Levadia reduced the gap when Maximiliano Ugge headed home from close range following an Ernest Agyri corner.
Hibernians regained a two goal lead on the 90th with Yunusa Muritala beating the Levadia goalkeeper with an angled shot from the right, deflected by Lepistu, after rounding a defender.
However their joy was short-lived as the Estonians reduced the gap once again thanks to Ernest Agyri who flicked the ball past Kone when served by Roosnupp from the left.
The second leg will be played on Thursday 28 at the A Le Coq Arena in Tallinn.
HIBS Ibrahim Kone, Ferdinando Apap, Gonzalo Llerena Bravo, Jake Grech (77’ Ayrton Attard), Terence Groothusen (77’ Yunusa Muritala), Jurgen Degabriele (90+1’ Gabriel Mensah), Dunstan Vella, Zachary Grech, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Ali Diakite, Rodolfo Soares.
LEVADIA Karl André Vallner, Milan Mitrovic, Maximiliano Ugge, Rasmus Peetson (77’ Ilya Antonov), Mark Oliver Roosnupp, Brent Lepistu, Liliu (53’ Robert Kirss), Ernest Agyiri, Artur Pikk, Zakaria Beglarishvili (77’ Murad Velijev),Marko Putincanin.
Referee: Volen Chinkov (BUL)
Assistant Referees: Deniz Sokolov, Martin Venev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Vasimir El-Hatib (BUL)