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Hibernians bounce back to keep European hopes alive


Farrugia 25


Joao Vitor 15, 58

Grech 17, 83


R. Cini-6; S. Okoh-6, C. Bangura-6, T. Abraham-6 (70 L. Gatt), J. Ghio-6 (63 T. Agius), A. Hovhannisyan-6 (70 K. Catania), A. Wismayer-6 (77 T. Howland), K. Briffa-6, I. Farrugia-6 (70 G. Xuereb), Z. Leonardi-6,T. Yamaguchi-6.


I. Kone-6; K. Shaw-6, G. Llerena-6, M. Vallejo-7 (79 Z. Grech), J.Grech-6, B. Kristensen-7, D. Vella-6, G. Mensah-6 (58 E. Herrera-6), Joao Vitor-7 (86 I. Chukunyere), A. Agius-6, A. Diakite-6.

Referee Ishmael Barbara.

Yellow cards Herrera, Z. Grech.

BOV Player of the Match Joao Vitor (Hibernians).

Hibernians bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Birkirkara to secure an important victory against Pieta’ Hotspurs.

The Paolites will welcome these three points as they have now joined Gżira United in third place on 42 points, keeping their hopes of securing European football alive.

Silvio Vella’s side were relatively dominant in this game, even though the Hotspurs enjoyed a good stint early in the second 45 minutes.

Led by Rodney Bugeja, the Hotspurs remain anchored at the bottom of the championship with 11 points and with only two games left as they are looking to salvage their Premier League status.

After a slow start to the game, Hibernians took the lead inside the first 15 minutes when Joao Vitor dribbled past Reeves Cini and convert into an empty net.

Moments later, Hibernians were given a penalty when Zean Leonardi floored Gabriel Mensah. Jake Grech took charge of the penalty and fired it centrally to beat Cini and doubled the Paolites’ lead.

Pieta’ Hotspurs created their first chance of the game through Okoh who fired from the edge of the area but Ibrahim Kone managed to block his effort.

The Hotspurs managed to pull one back through Ivin Farrugia who fired from point-blank range in the 25th minute.

The game ebbed and flow but it was the Hotspurs who came close to scoring the game’s next goal through Armen Hovhannisyan but could hit the target from the penalty area.

In the second half, Cini made a couple of quick saves on Mensah and Matthias Vallejo to keep the Hotspurs’ chances of a positive result alive.

Jake Grech squandered a brilliant chance to extend Hibernians’ lead when he was teed up by Bjorn Kristensen but missed the target from inside the penalty area.

Hibernians still managed to find a third through Joao Vitor who beat Cini on the first post with a low drive.

Grech scored Hibernians’ fourth from tight angle to secure his personal brace like Joao Vitor.

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