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Nikolov strike sends Hibernians out of Europa League

Hibernians were beaten by Fehervar at the Centenary Stadium. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina


Nikolov 61

Hibernians’ run in the Europa League ended in the second qualifying round after they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fehervar.

It was a well-deserved victory for the Hungarian team who dominated proceedings from the start, with the result never really in doubt.

Hibernians had only three attempts, none on on target against Fehervar’s 12 chances. Stefano Sanderra’s side played a cautious game, waiting to catch their opponents on the break even but their game plan did not pay the desired dividends.

Fehervar opened the first 45 minutes brightly with Ukraine international Ivan Petriak threatening the most, with the first chance of the game dropping on his feet on the 8th minute but failed to capitalise from close-range.

Moments, later, the former Shakhtar Donetsk player was protagonist again with a solo effort that saw his conclusion go inches wide from Matthew Calleja Cremona.

The Hungarian side were pegging the hosts in their own half with Hibernians trying to harm their opponents with counter-attacks even though on rare occasions.

Hibs’ first noteworthy chance arrived on the 36th minute when Jurgen Degabriele attempted a volley from the edge of the area but he did not have the desired impact on the ball and failed hit the target.

Fehervar opened the second half dominating proceedings, but Hibernians backline was proving a tough nut to crack as they failed to record a single shot inside the first 10 minutes.

On the hour mark, Attila Fiola almost scored a wonder goal when he dribbled past a Hibernians defender inside the box before firing a curling effort from a tight angle just to be inches wide.

A couple of minutes later, Fehever forged ahead when an unmarked Boban Nikolov capitalised on the second post from a corner kick to send the Hungarian side in front.

Fehervar almost doubled the score but Petriak squandered a glorious chance from inside the penalty box.

Hibernians tried to stage a reaction through a Gabriel Artiles freekick which sailed over the bar.

In the dying stages of the game, Degabriele almost pulled a magnificent leveller just to see woodwork deny his first timer.

Hibernians ended the game in 10 men when Shola Shodiya was sent off after halting a Fehervar’s counter-attack inside the own half, as the Hungarian side managed to move into the next round.

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