The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

Conference League: Ten-man Hibernians earn precious draw in Latvia

Friday, 5 August 2022, 08:15 Last update: about 8 days ago

FK RFS: P. Steinbors, A. Jatta, V. Jgodinskis, Z. Lipuscek, D. Rakels (56’ C. Kouadio), S. Panic, T. Saric, P. Mares, A. Zjuzins (34’ V. Fjodorovs) (77’ E. Stuglis), E. Deocleciano, A. Ilić

HIBERNIANS: I. Kone, G. Artiles, F. Apap (89’ L. Soares), G. Bravo, D. Santos, T. Aldama, J. Grech. D. Vella (59’ A. Attard), A. Diakite, J. Degabriele (83’ B. Kristensen), Y. Muritala (83’ T.

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Groothunsen)

Referee: Genc Nuza (Kosovo)

Local champions Hibernians obtained another precious result in the UEFA Europa Conference League when they held FK Riga Futbola Skola to a 1-1 draw.

It was an uphill task for the local champions who had Taylor Aldama sent off on 26 minutes, but the Paolites battled all the way even taking the lead in the first half.

In the second half Hibernians had to defend for long stretches their precious lead, with the Latvians even missing a penalty early in the second half, and with Hibernians finally conceeding the equaliser five minutes from time.

RFS had a powerful start with the Hibs defence at odds as the Latvians pushed for an early goal.

They came close after barely five minutes when Ferdinando Apap cleared off the goal line an Ilic header.

Minutes later the same Ilic missed a good opportunity from an ideal position.

On 26 minutes Hibernians were dealt a sever blow when Taylor Aldama received a second booking leaving his side with ten players for the rest of the match.

Oddly enough Hibernians were more menacing with ten players with Steinbors making a great save off a Dunstan Vella header.

However on 38 minutes Steinbors could do nothing when from a corner action Dunstan Vella fired in the top corner of the net.

At the start of the second half

RFS had a golden opportunity when they were awarded a penalty but Petr Mars low drive from the penalty spot was brilliantly saved by Kone.

RFS continued to pile the pressure with Kone again instrumental when denying substitute Stuglis.

Five minutes from time RFS obtained the equaliser through Tomislav Saric who fired home from close range, leaving the issue wide open for next week’s second leg at Ta’ Qali.

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