The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

BOV Premier League: Hibs held to a draw, miss chance to move closer to the top

Henry Brincat Sunday, 9 February 2020, 18:12 Last update: about 16 days ago

Senglea            1
Hibernians       1                                    


M. Farrugia

C. Zammit

D. Debono

E. Sakyi (S. Cipriott 70)

E. Arab

W. Teixeira

N. Braunovic (W. Zamble 87)

J. Debono

J. Cabral

A. Di Nascimento

R. Theodoro (JM Micallef 90)



M. Jovicic

F. Apap

J. Wemmer (M. Beerman 90)

L. Da Silveira

J. Grech

B. Kristensen (T. Tabone Desira 63)

D. Vella

G. Iziquier

A. Agius

J. Santos Silva (L. Dos Santos 76)

I. Iriberri


Referee: M. Degabriele

Asst refs: R. Vella, J. Spiteri

4th official: D. Agius

Scorers:  J. Grech 6 pen., JW Teixeira 39,

Yellow cards: D. Debono 5, E. Sakyi 29, CA Do Nascimento 55, B. Kristensen 60, N. Braunovic 76, J. Grech 83,

BOV Player of the match: J. Grech

TMI Top 3: 1. JW Teixeira, 2. J. Grech, 3. E. Sakyi.

Attendance: 878

Hibernians missed a chance to move closer to the top of the Premier League when they were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbours Senglea.

Jake Grech converted a 6th minute penalty to give Hibernians the lead, while Teixeira netted a gem of a goal for Senglea a few minutes from the interval whistle to level matters.

The point sees the Paolites joining Sirens on 31 points in 3rd place (the latter have today's match against Hamrun in hand). But they have remained four points behind Floriana and Valletta who lead the title race with 35 points.

On the other hand, Senglea obtained this precious point which enables them to overtake Gudja, moving into 12th place on 16 points.

The Paolites had a lot more possession in the first half, but failed to take advantage after taking an early lead. Midfield was predominantly in their hands, but their conclusions were rather poor as Senglea were in control at the back.

The Yellow Reds played the waiting game with a breakaway whenever there was a chance. And this arrived six minutes before the interval whistle when they stunned the Paolites through a fantastic Teixeira run on the left flank which ended with the ball in Marko Jovicic's net.

In the second half, Hibernians were again unconvincing. Despite their dominance, they rarely went close to scoring.

Senglea defended with all their might, but in a very organised manner, so much so that they contained their more established opponents admirably.

The match had barely taken off when in the 5th minute Hibernians were awarded a penalty as Dejan Debono appeared to have pulled Imanol Iriberri by his jersey in the area. Mr Degabriele rightly whistled for a penalty and from the spotkick, Jake Grech made no mistake.

In the 25th minute, Hibernians threatened to increase their lead when Jorge Santos Silva advanced into the area and crossed low for Dunstan Vella who saw his shot being blocked by goalie Matthew Farrugia.

In the 32nd minute, from a Grech cornerkick, the ball was headed out to Iriberri who, however, hit his shot well over the bar.

It was against the run of play that Senglea equalised in the 39th minute. But what a goal it was! Jose Wilkson Teixeira received a ball on the left side of midfield and showed a pair of heels to his direct opponent as he advanced into the Paolites' area to beat Hibs goalie Marko Jovicic with a low shot.

Three minutes later, at the other end, Vella was denied a goal by goalie Farrugia who dived sideways to turn to corner a good shot.

In the 54th minute, from a Wemmer cross, Iriberri's poor header went wide and three minutes later, a Grech freekick was saved on deck by goalie Farrugia.

Senglea also had their good moment in the 64th minute, when Junior Cabral set Ricardo Theodoro in the Hibs area, but Jovicic rushed out of his charge to block in extremis.

In the 72nd minute, Hibernians went close to regaining the lead when off a corner by Izquier, Ferdinando Apap was unlucky to see his header rebounding out off the far upright.

In the 85th minute, as Hibs' pressure mounted on the Senglea fort, Wemmer's header off a Tabone Desira cross was well off target.

Four minutes later, it was newcomer Edison Luis dos Santos (Tarabaj) who went close for the Paolites with a shot that just missed the target.

The Paolites claimed a penalty when Iriberri seemed to have been floored by a Senglea defender, but the official ignored their protests.

Despite their forcing, the Paolites failed to get the goal that would have given them three precious points.

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