(Hibernians won 5-4 after penalties)
I. Kone; F. Apap, K. Shaw, G. Bravo (95 R. Soares), Thaylor, J. Grech, J. Degabriele, B. Kristensen (106 D.Vella), Z. Grech (68 J. Zerafa), G. Artiles (68 Y. Muritala), A. Diakite.
G. Kitanov; A. Magri Overend, C. Rutjens, O. El Hasni, M. Veselji (83 C. Lonardelli), J. Arias (83 K. Reid), F. Juarez, L. De Grazia (91 A. Ciolacu), E. Callegari, J. Busuttil, A. Garzia.
Referee Ishmael Barbara
Yellow cards Kristensen, Magri Overend, Bravo, Kone, Veselji, De Grazia, Artiles, Rutjens.
Hibernians’ goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone proved his team’s hero after scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out to hand the Paolites their fourth Super Cup triumph.
The Paolites’ custodian denied Floriana on their fifth penalty, when he blocked Oualid El-Hasni’s shot, before netting the decisive one past Georgi Kitanov.
Floriana will rue their missed chances with their players failing to beat an inspiring Kone throughout the 120 minutes of regular time.
Hibernians, on their part, rarely threatened Floriana but were cool enough from the spot to become the first Maltese club to win this cup on Gozitan soil.
For their coach Andrea Pisanu, this is his first local silverware since entering Maltese football.
Floriana produced the first clear-cut opportunity of the game when Mattia Veselji’s shot was temporarily blocked by Ibrahim Kone before the Hibernians’ custodian had to deny Jose Arias from the rebound inside the small area.
The Greens continued to muster the chances in this game with Jan Busuttil going for a solo effort just to see his close-range shot sail over the bar.
Busuttil tried his luck again with a curling effort from the edge of the area but he could not beat Kone.
Floriana forward Veselji also tried to beat Kone but he could not find the target from a tight angle as the Greens continued to create goalscoring opportunities.
On the brink of half-time, Hibernians had two efforts from distance but failed to beat Georgi Kitanov. First, Thaylor’s long-range strike went wide from goal before the Floriana goalkeeper was forced to deny Ali Diakite.
As the second half wore on, chances were at a premium with Floriana dominating possession while Hibernians looking to contain them and catch them on the break.
In an attempt to spark his team into life, Hibs’ coach Andrea Pisanu inserted lanky forward Yunusa Muritala.
Yet, it was the Greens who came close to drawing first blood but Busuttil’s effort from inside the small area was blocked by Kone, who was having an inspiring game for the Paolites.
Veselji tested Kone with another effort from inside Hibernians’ penalty area but the Guinea international goalkeeper was not to be beaten.
With both teams failing to break the deadlock, the game went to extra-time with Floriana’s coach Gianluca Atzori deploying forward Andrei Ciolacu.
Just like in regular time, Floriana continued to create the best chances with substitute Kemar Reid forcing Kone into another brilliant save to preserve the stalemate.
Hibernians came close to finding the net through Kurt Shaw who met a Jurgen Degabriele’s set piece just to see his header glance past the goal.
The teams continued to keep each other at bay as only a penalty shoot-out could determine the winner of the BOV Super Cup, with Hibernians winning 5-4 from the spot.
Penalty shoot-out sequence
J. Busuttil (F) scores, 1-0.
K. Shaw (H) scores, 1-1.
A. Ciolacu (F) scores, 2-1.
Y. Muritala (H) scores, 2-2.
K. Reid (F) scores, 3-2.
J. Grech (H) scores, 3-3.
C. Rutjens (F) scores, 4-3.
J. Degabriele (H) scores, 4-4.
O. El Hasni (F) misses, 4-4.
I. Kone (H) scores 4-5.
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