LIJA ATHLETIC 0
Fonseca 14, 46; Apap 23
Grech 49; Degabriele 52
L. Bonnici-4 (71 D. Galea), C. Cassar-4, P. Gusso-4.5, I. Borg-4 (70 A. White), N. Micallef-5, F. Brandan-5.5, W. Serrano-5, M. Jimenez-4.5 (67 D. Scerri), J. Gill-4.5, C. Flores-4.5, V. Alhinho-4.5 (83 G. Falzon).
M. Calleja Cremona-5.5 (62 R. Briffa), F. Apap-6 (68 M. Ellul), L. Almeida-6 (54 I. Iriberri), J. Grech-6, T. Fonseca-6.5 (54 Z. Grech), J. Degabriele-6.5, B. Kristensen-6.5, D. Vella-6 (54 A. Attard), G. Izquier-6.5, A. Agius-6, Gilmar-6.5.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara.
Yellow cards: Alhinho, Fonseca, Serraanop, Kristensen, Almeida, Ellul.
BOV Player of the Match: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).
Hibernians maintained their challenge for the title with a most comfortable 5-0 win over Lija Athletic.
The Paolites took a two-goal lead early in the game and with Lija’s response non-exixtent, added another three goals within seven minutes of the second half.
Coach Stefano Sanderra made the five substitutions as from then onwards, they knew they could control the proceedings without any particular effort.
Much more was expected for Lija considering that in their last three outings, they earned a point in a draw with neighbours Balzan and after losing narrowly to Gżira, managed to beat Senglea. However, this time, they simply had no reply, leaving their opponents to penetrate at will.
With Erjon Beu still unavailable, Lija had one change from the team which defeated Senglea as Valdo Alhinho replaced Gonzalo Virano. Hibs, on the other hand, welcomed back Gabriel Artiles and Jake Grech in the starting line-up as they replaced Zachary Karl Grech and the suspended Sergio Raphael dos Anjos.
The Paolites took the lead on 14 minutes when Gilmar delivered a corner from the right and Bjorn Kristensen headed the ball down for Tiago Fonseca to flick the ball home from close range.
Nine minutes later, Hibernians doubled the score. Gabriel Izquier received a short corner by Gilmar from the left and off the former’s cross, Ferdinando Apap’s header was not held by Bonnici with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Hardly a minute in the second half, Hibernians scored the third goal. Jurgen Degabriele’s cross from the left was well-met by Tiago Fonseca who hit home from close range.
Three minutes later, Hibs increased the lead further. Gilmar sent Jake Grech through and the latter hit low past Luke Bonnici with a shot from the edge of the area.
Jurgen Degabriele made it 5-0 on 52 minutes when he received the ball on the edge of the area and rounded a defender before beating Bonnici with a fine shot.
In the remaining minutes, Hibernians controlled the proceedings without any particular effort with Lija trying to avoid conceding more goals.