The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

BOV Premier League: Hibs power past Mosta and move to joint third

Henry Brincat Sunday, 29 September 2019, 17:00 Last update: about 20 days ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Mosta                1
Hibernians       2

Mosta: A. Vella, E. Murga, A. Roach, D. Bonnici (K. Gatt 77), D. Xuereb, R. Morisco, M. Jallow, T. Farrugia, DJ Brown, L. Villarreal, M. Muchardi

Hibernians: M. Calleja Cremona, T. Tabone Desira, F. Apap, J. Mbong, J. Grech (I. Iriberri 74), T. Groothusen (CB Atsina 74), B. Kristensen, D. Vella, AG Izquier, A. Agius, L. Nanni (LM Barbosa 84)

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Referee: M. Apap

Asst refs: J. Spiteri, M. Ciantar

4th official: Emm. Grech

Scorers: T. Groothusen 23, J. Grech 68, R. Morisco 90

Yellow card: M. Muchardi 54

BOV Player of the Match: J. Grech

TMI Top 3: 1. L. Nanni, 2. M. Muchardi, 3. J. Grech

Hibernians powered past mid-table Mosta yesterday to join Sirens in third place in the standings on 10 points.

Goals from Terrence Groothusen in the first half and Jake Grech in the second proved to be enough for the Paolites to win all the three points to maintain the pace near the top.

It was the Paolites' third win of the season, while Mosta suffered their third defeat which keeps them on four points from the five matches they have played.

Hibernians had goalkeeper Marko Jovicic missing through suspension. He was replaced in goal by Matthew Calleja Cremona.

Without any shadow of doubt, the Paolites were the better team in the first half reacting strongly after a fiery start by Mosta.

The Blues, in fact, created three good chances before Hibernians luckily scored their goal which enabled them to lead at the interval.

But after that goal, Hibernians took control and created chance after chance, only being denied on at least three occasions by some fine goalkeeping by Andreas Vella.

In the early stages of the second half, Mosta tried to make a comeback and attacked with insistence, but they never troubled goalie Calleja Cremona who only had to deal with one or two shots.

After that Hibs scored again and it was here that the match was won and lost as the Paolites maintained their supremacy giving Mosta no real chance to react seriously before they eventually reduced the margin in added time.

Mosta threatened seriously on the 7th minute when off a Jallow cross, a Muchardi first timer was saved with difficulty by goalie Calleja Cremona who also had to dive sideways to palm out another shot moments later.

Mosta went close again when from a Muchardi cornerkick, goalie Calleja Cremona palmed the ball away and Murga saw his effort being blocked on the line by a Hibs defender.

At the other end, from a Leonardo Nanni corner, Mosta goalie Vella missed the flight of the ball but a defender came to his rescue to head the ball to corner.

Hibernians were somewhat lucky to take the lead on the 23rd minute when off a Tabone Desira low cross, goalie Vella pushed the ball out only for the ball to hit Terrence Groothusen and rebound into the unguarded net.

Hibs were dangerous again on the 34th minute when off a Nanni corner from the left, the ball was cleared out to Joseph Mbong whose powerful shot was somehow blocked by the amassed Mosta defence.

In the 44th minute, Hibs had two other good chances to increase their lead. First it was Mbong who bustled his way into the Mosta area, but his effort was blocked by goalie Vella. Soon after, Groothusen advanced unhindered into the area, but once again goalie Vella was a protagonist as he managed to block the Hibs striker's attempt.

And before the interval whistle, it was again goalie Vella who dived sideways to stop a Nanni freekick.

At the start of the second half, Mosta attacked in search of an equaliser. In the 57th minute, a Morisco freekick was easily saved by goalie Calleja Cremona.

Hibs doubled their lead in the 68th minute. The Mosta defence failed to clear a ball in midfield and Mbong took possession and set the unmarked Jake Grech who advanced into the area to beat goalie Vella.

On the 80th minute, Mosta were unlucky not to bridge the gap when a Jallow shot had Calleja Cremona beaten, but the ball hit the crossbar.

Mosta, however, managed to find the Hibs net on the 90th minute as Rafael Morisco headed home off a Murga cornerkick.

But it was not enough for them to save at least a point.

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