Ibrahim Kone is hopeful Hibernians’ dramatic shoot-out win over Floriana can spur the team to a strong second half of the season as the Paolites celebrated their fourth success in the Super Cup competition.
The Guinea international goalkeeper was undoubtedly the star performer for the Paolites as after thwarting the Greens with a string of fine saves during the match, including two one vs one situations.
But then he stepped his performance further in the penalty shoot-out as he not only managed to save Oualid El Hasni’s shot but went on to convert the penalty that gave the team a 5-4 win.
Kone said that he was ecstatic to have helped the team clinch the Super Cup for the fourth time in their history and avenged their defeat to Floriana in the 2017 edition.
“Winning trophies is what makes a successful career of a football player,” Kone told the Times of Malta.
“At the moment, I have a very good feeling to be holding this prestigious trophy. It was not easy to win the match as Floriana produced a very stern challenge, but we kept fighting till end.”
Kone received a lot of praise for his performance on Thursday at the Gozo Stadium, but the Hibernians goalkeeper said it was mostly a team effort.
“If you had to ask me if I was pleased with my display, obviously I was very happy to have given a good contribution towards the success of my team,” Kone said.
“But, honestly, I am particularly happy with the hard work produced by the whole team as every player had to make a lot of effort to win this match.
“At Hibernians we are blessed to have a lot of leaders in our squad and there was a strong determination among the players to return home with the trophy in our hands.
“The match could have gone either way as there was little separating either side. Both teams had their moments during the match and could have won it.
“Then fatigue also played a part but we were always on our game. I think this result mirrored the effort of all the players and was fully deserved.”
Kone said that this Super Cup success will surely be a huge injection of confidence for the team for the rest of the season where they hope to challenge for both the league title and the FA Trophy.
“Winning always is the best medicine to boost the confidence of a team,” Kone said.
“Our objective has always been the same, to try and win as many matches as possible.
“It’s important for us to keep our feet firmly rooted to the ground and not get too carried away by this win.”
Hiberians and Floriana will meet again on Monday when they face off in the final match of Match Day 13 at the National Stadium and Kone warned his team-mates that the Greens will out for revenge.
“It’s going to be another difficult test for us, particularly, as Floriana will be out for retribution,” Kone said.
“It’s up to us to stay focused and continue what we’ve been doing well since the start of the season.”
Birkirkara vs Balzan 13.00
Pietà H. vs Sirens 13.00
TONY BEZZINA STADIUM
ŻEBBUĠ R. vs Gżira Utd 11.30
Marsaxlokk vs Valletta 14.00
Gudja Utd vs Ħamrun S. 14.00
STA Lucia vs Mosta 19.00
PLAYING ON MONDAY
Hibernians vs Floriana 19.30
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