SANTA LUCIA 0
Laukzemis 37, 47, 73
SANTA LUCIA: C. Farrugia-6, T. Tabone Desira-5.5, A. Prates-5.5, I. Duarte-5.5 (72 A. Vella), K. Correia-5.5, A. Magri Overend-5.5 (59 K. Xuereb), G. De Araujo-5.5, A. Da Silva-6, V. Filho-5.5, J. Zerafa, R. Tachikawa (26 M. Camilleri-5.5).
HIBERNIANS: M. Calleja Cremona-6, F. Apap-6, L. Almeida-6, A. Attard-6, J. Grech-6.5 (75 D. Vella), B. Kristensen-6.5 (82 E. Uzeh), G. Izquier-6.5 (76 Z. Grech), S. Shodiya-6, A. Agius-6, J. Wilkson Teixeira-6 (65 R. Winchester), K. Laukzemis-7 (76 J. Degabriele).
Referee: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Grech
Red Cards: Zerafa (Sta. Lucia ) 55.
BOV Player of the Match: Karolis Laukzemis
Hibernians returned to winning ways as a hat-trick by Lithuanian international striker Karolis Laukzemis handed them a comfortable 3-0 win over Santa Lucia.
The Paolites dominated from start to finish with their opponents constantly on the receiving end. In fact, throughout the 90 minutes, Santa Lucia did not even have a single shot at goal.
Coach Oliver Spiteri lacked Kevin Ante Rosero and was unlucky to lose the influential Rei Tachikawa to injury early in the game. To make matters worse, they had Jamie Zerafa sent off early in the second half.
Hibs coach Stefano Sanderra welcomed back Bjorn Kristensen and opted to rest Jurgen Degabriele and Dunstan Vella, including them as substitutes late in the game.
Hibernians held the initiative right from the start, going close on seven minutes when goalkeeper Christopher Farrugia palmed out the ball following a corner by Izquier and Bjorn Kristensen’s effort was neutralised by the goalkeeper.
Shola Shodiya had a powerful shot from the right, following an assist by Wilkson Teixeira, blocked by Farrugia on 12 minutes and four minutes later, Kristensen tested the Sta Lucia custodian direct from a corner. An Andrei Agius freekick was partially saved by the goalkeeper with the ball cleared into safety by a defender on 20 minutes and eleven minutes later, Gabriel Artiles hit just wide when served on the left by Laukzemis.
Hibs finally managed to break the deadlock on 37 minutes when off a cross by Shodiya from the right, Karolis Laukzemis slotted the ball past Farrugia from close range.
On 44 minutes, the Paolites could have added another when Kristensen intercepted a pass by a defender and served Texeira on the right and off the latter’s assist, Laukzemis missed a good opportunity, having his conclusion blocked at point blank range when all alone in front of goalkeeper.
Two minutes in the second half, Hibernians doubled the score thanks to Laukzemis who received an assist by Izquier and hit low past Farrugia.
Zerafa was given marching orders by referee Ishmael Barbara on 55 minutes after receiving a second yellow card for a foul.
The Paolites increased the lead further on 73 minutes. Jake Grech delivered a cross from the right and Laukzemis tapped the ball home from close range.
Enjoying a comfortable three-goal lead, Hibs controlled their opponents without particular difficulty in the remaining minutes.