The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

BOV Premier League: Hibernians in seventh heaven

Simon Farrugia Sunday, 25 November 2018, 18:00 Last update: about 16 days ago
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja

Qormi                      1
Hibernians              2

Qormi: J. Azzopardi, F. Gnindokponou, D. Mansi, Y. Yankam, M. Micallef, M. Arrieta (K. Seo 60'), A. Cassar (A. Abela 52'), A. Ferreira, L. Adamec, K. Soares Mendonca (M. Borg 80'), T. Gusman

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Hibernians: A. Hogg, D. Vella, N. Radojevic, J. Mbong, M. Dias, J. Degabriele (T. Tabone Desira 90'), I.Ntow, T. Marcolino (F. Costa Tenorio 77' ) J.Bezzina, A. Agius, T. Fonseca

Referee: Alan Mario Sant  

Asst refs: Edward Spiteri, Alan Camilleri

4th official:  Ishmael Barbara  

Scorers:  Johann Bezzina 37', Taylon Marcolino 65', Tensior Gusman 66'

Yellow cards: Ntow, Abela, Radojevic

Player of the match: Jamie Azzopardi (Qormi)

TMI Top 3:  1. J.Azzopardi    2.  T. Marcolino      3.   T. Fonseca

Attendance:  544

Hibernians registered their seventh consecutive win though this was no stroll in the park with Qormi being a hard nut to crack. This resulted in a very entertaining match with chances coming at regular intervals.

The Paolites went into this match on a winning streak of six matches defeating in the process St. Andrew's, Tarxien, Hamrun, Sliema, Mosta and Birkirkara.  Following marġinali wins for Gzira and Valletta this was a must win for Hibernians in order to hold to top spot together with the Maroons and keep the Lillywhites at a distance.

Hibernians made two changes from their last match, a 2-1 win over Birkirkara, with Ntow and Bezzina replacing Tabone Desira and the suspended Kristensen.

On the other hand Qormi effecting no less than four changes with French striker Gnindokponou, Arrieta, Adamec and Gusman starting instead of Kim Seo, Camilleri, Abela and Turkovic. In their last outing the finished on the losing end against Sliema.

Qormi were more lively inside the first minutes and in the 4th minute a Gnindokponou cross shot was turned over the bar by Hogg. Hibernians replied three minutes later when  Marcolino squared towards Degabriele only for his shot from inside to area being blocked on the line by Mansi.

On 9 minutes Mbong tested Azzopardi with a shot from the edge of the area with Qormi going near two minutes later. Radojevic headed short towards Hogg and in came Gusman who flicked the ball but with an empty net just missed out.

The match continued to be an open one and on 14 minutes Ntow crossed from the left flank but Fonseca's header was saved by an alert Azzopardi.  In the 16th minute Gnindokponou's cross found Ferreira whose volley hit the side rigging.

But the Paolites responded immediately with Marcolino once again testing Azzopardi who turned his shot into a corner. Hibernians were now pressing forward and in the 28th minute Azzopardi saved on Fonseca and from the rebound he deflected Vella's effort into a corner.

In the 33rd minute Azzopardi was once again the saviour for his team saving on Fonseca. But he could do nothing four minutes later when Hibernians took the lead.  Marcolino set Johann Bezzina inside the area and after twisting and turning hi curled a shot into the net.

And in first half stoppage time Marcolino was denied by Azzopardi with Mbong finishing just wide from the rebound.

On resumption Marcolino went near in the 49th minute but once again Azzopardi was on the alert to save. With Hibernians increasing their lead on 65 minutes when in a swift counter attack Degabriele set Taylon Marcolino who low drive beat Azzopardi.

But Qormi reacted immediately with Kim Seo In squaring towards Tensior Gusman who reduced the gap and it was once again game on. Qormi were now on a high and on 68 minutes Gnindokponou tested Hogg with a shot from the edge of the area.

Hibernians could have increased their lead on 74 minutes but the Qormi goalkeeper saved on Marcolino.

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