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Muritala strikes late as Hibernians beat battling Sta Lucia

HIBERNIANS    3       

Degabriele 2; Apap 73

Muritala 85

SANTA LUCIA   2           

Terzi 27, 54


J. Haber-6, F. Apap-6.5, G. Llerena-6, T. Aldama-6.5, J. Grech-6, J. Degabriele-6.5 (88 J. Morillas), B. Kristensen-6, J. Florencio-6 (66 Y. Muritala), J. Zerafa-6 (81 Z. Grech), A. Agius-6, A. Diakite-6 (66 D. Vella).


M. Calleja Cremona-6, L. Soares-6.5, T. Rier-6, N. Pulis-6 (90 M. Alba), R. Bairam-6, L. Ayad-6 (87 J. Carbone), D. Xuereb-6 (87 J. Tanti), J. Pisani-6, F. Rodrigues-6 (72 K. Nwoko), Y. Terzi-7, R. Hehedosh-6.

Referee: Darryl Agius.

Yellow cards: Hehedosh, Kristensen.

BOV Player of the match: Yevhenii Terzi (Santa Lucia).

Hibernians maintained a perfect record since the appointment of Silvio Vella as their coach with a third win on the trot as they came from behind to beat Santa Lucia 3-2.

The Paolites seemed heading towards a comfortable win after taking an early lead but Santa Lucia had other thoughts, turning the score in their favour.

However, Hibs scored another two goals to claim the three points.

For Santa Lucia, this was definitely a disappointing result as for long stretches they seemed to be able to take home a positive result and precious point in their battle against relegation.

Santa Lucia lacked former Hibernians defender Rodolfo Soares while for the Paolites, Joseph Zerafa replaced the suspended Gabriel Izquier with Kurt Shaw ruled out injured.

Hibernians took the lead after just two minutes. Joao Vitor Florencio provided Jurgen Degabriele with an assist from the left and the latter hit home past goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona.

Seven minutes later, Thaylor Aldama advanced into the area but his diagonal shot ended just wide.

Santa Lucia, however, managed to equalise on 27 minutes.

Yevhenii Terzi received an assist by Francisco Rodrigues Farias and advanced a few metres before unleashing a powerful shot from around 25 metres, beating Haber in the top left corner.

A minute later, Santa Lucia threatened once again with a direct freekick by Farias which was deflected into a corner.

Hibs hit back with an assist by Thaylor for Degabriele whose first-time effort was turned into a corner by Calleja Cremona.

From successive corners, a header by Gonzalo Llerena was tipped into a corner and another effort by Ferdinando Apap was cleared off the line by a defender.

Nine minutes in the second half, Santa Lucia stunned the Paolites with a second goal. Robert Bairam sent Terzi through on the left and the Ukrainian midfielder beat Haber with an angled shot.

Apap went close to equalising off a Degabriele freekick from the right on 57 minutes and two minutes later, a freekick by Degabriele hit the crossbar.

The Paolites finally levelled matters on 73 minutes. A freekick by Degabriele was not held by Calleja Cremona and Apap hit the ball home from close range.

Five minutes from time, Hibernians made it 3-2.

Jake Grech provided substitute Yunusa Muritala with an assist from the left and the latter controlled the ball before placing it in the bottom left corner.

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