The Malta Independent 16 June 2019, Sunday

BOV Premier League: Hibs miss on ninth consecutive win as Marcolino misses penalty

Simon Farrugia Monday, 17 December 2018, 20:46 Last update: about 7 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Balzan                2
Hibernians         2

Balzan : S. Sultana, N. Sljivic, A. Da Paixao Alves, S. Bezzina, M. Johnson (D.Camilleri 79') , A. Effiong (S. Cipriott 34'), I. Bozovic, E. Serrano Valero, C. De Fiori Mendes, A. Majdevac, M. Lepovic

Hibernians : A. Hogg, D. Vella, N. Radojevic, J.Mbong, M. Dias, J. Degabriele (F. Costa Tenorio 86'), B. Kristensen ( J. Bezzina 46'), I. Ntow, T. Marcolino, A. Agius, T. Fonseca

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Referee:  Stefan Pace

Asst refs:  Luke Portelli, Edward Spiteri

4th official:  Glen Tonna

Scorers:  A. Effiong 26' , T. Marcolino 45', 75', A. Majdevac 72'

Yellow cards:  I. Bozovic, E. O. Serrano Valero, S. Sultana, A. Majdevac, S. Cipriott, A. Da Paixao Alves, C. E. De Fiori Mendes , M. Dias

Player of the match:  Taylon  Marcolino (Hibernians)

TMI Top 3:  1.  T. Marcolino     2.  A. Majdevac       3.  I. Bozovic

In the first match played at the National Stadium Balzan and Hibernians shared four goals and took a point a piece in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Balzan were the better team but failed twice to hold on to their lead.

Hibernians went into this match on a run of eight consecutive wins whereas Balzan were coming from wins against Tarxien and Sliema and a draw against Hamrun. Their campaign so far has been a rollercoaster one.

Balzan were missing the suspended Justin Grioli and Uros Ljubomirac wheras Hibernians had no selection worries.

Hibernians were first to venture forward and on 14 minutes Jurgen Degabriele sent a low cross towards Tiago Fonseca but goalkeeper Sultana saved on the Paolites forward. Balzan responded ten minutes later through a low diagonal shot by Alex Da Paixao Alves which just scraped the woodwork.

Balzan kept piling on the initial pressure and it was no surprise when in the 26th minute they opened their account. Andrija Majdevac saw his shot partially saved by Andrew Hogg and from the rebound there was Alfred Effiong who from close range slotted home.

Balzan were unlucky eight minutes later when they lost striker Effiong through injury with Cipriott being drafted in. Balzan kept on dictating matters and seven minutes from the end of the first half a low acute shot by Steve Bezzina just missed the target. And in the 44th minute a long range shot by Alex Da Paixao Alves hit the woodwork.

But it was Hibernians who against the run of play drew level just before the break. Elkin Serrano Valero brought down Taylon Marcolino with the match official pointing to the spot and from the resultant kick the same player converted.

The first minutes of the second half were rather scrappy and one had to wait till the hour mark when De Fiori Mendes found Andrija Majdevac but the latters shot was blocked by Hogg. And in the 65th minute Tiago Fonseca  tried his luck but his shot landed on the roof of the net.

In the 72nd minute Balzan took the lead once again this time it was Ivan Bozovic who passed towards Majdevac and his low drive found the corner of the net giving Hogg no chance at all.

But just three minutes had elapsed and Hibernians drew level. It was Taylon Marcolino once again who was put through and anticipated the onrushing Sultana with his shot beating the Balzan goalkeeper all ends up.

Both teams increased their tempo in the final minutes. On 88 minutes a Bozovic cross was just missed bu De Paixao Alves.  And a minute later Hibernians had a golden opportunity to steal victory at the death.  Serrano Valero was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area but this time Marcolino sent wide to the disappointment of the Paolites supporters.

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