The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Premier League: Late Hibs equaliser shatters Valletta’s residual hopes

Monday, 15 April 2024, 07:25 Last update: about 2 months ago

Valletta’s residual hopes of avoiding the big drop were shattered in the final minutes when Jurgen Degabriele scored a great goal from the edge of the area to give Hibernians a point against struggling Valletta.

The Citizens looked set to obtain a precious victory, a victory that would have given them fresh hopes of survival, but Degabriele’s strike now means that the Citizens really need a miracle to keep their status.

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For Hibernians it was still a relatively negative result as they lost precious points in their quest to earn fourth place in the standings, a final placing that could mean European football next season.

Surely the sending off of Valletta’s defender Bolanos was the turning point of the game as Valletta with a man less could not hold on to their precious lead.

The Paolites did the early running with a Bruno shot going wide and on 23 minutes a Degabriele initiative was blocked by Guarnone. Three minutes later Valletta’s first attempt from a Falcone header that went just wide.

On 34 minutes Valletta took the lead with a superb goal scored by Brandon Paiber whose missile hit the base of the upright before finishing at the back of the net. Valletta almost doubled a couple of minutes later with Kone charging out of position to block Azzopardi.

Ten minutes into the second half Hibernians drew level with a Kurt Shaw down the right finished off by Antwi from close range. However Valletta kept persisting for a fresh lead and substitute Garba scored a gem of a goal with a scorcher from the edge of the area.

Valletta’s hopes received a setback with twelve minutes to go when Bolanos was shown a second yellow and he will also miss Sunday’s other decider against Balzan. Valletta defended bravely for the rest of the match and surrendered two minutes from time when Degabriele scored a great goal to practically put an end of Valletta’s hopes.

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