Degabriele 32, 58; Grech 74
GŻIRA UNITED 1
I. Kone-6, F. Apap-6, L. Almeida-6, A. Attard-5.5, J. Grech-6.5 (83 Z. Grech), J. Degabriele-7, B. Kristensen-6.5, D. Vella-6.5, Thaylor-6 (86 E. Uzeh), A. Agius-6.5, G. Izquier-6.
D. Radelic-6, G. Bohrer-6.5, L. Tabone-5.5, N. Muscat-6.5, S. Pisani-5.5 (70’ M. Davis), Z. Scerri-5.5, Y. Messias-6.5, N. Portelli-6 (70’ E. Mbong), M. Maia-6, Jefferson-6, J. Mendoza-5.5.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit.
Yellow cards: F. Apap, L. Almeida, Jefferson, J. Degabriele.
BOV Player of the Match: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).
Leaders Hibernians made another statement of intent as they survived an early scare, coming back from a goal down to beat Gżira United 3-1.
With this win, the Paolites have now extended their lead at the top the BOV Premier League table to eight points over Birkirkara, Floriana and Valletta before today’s big match between the Citizens and Ħamrun Spartans.
The Maroons, on the other hand, continue to share the sixth place with Balzan.
Gżira had a great start and during the first half shared the exchanges with their opponents. However, once Hibernians scored the second goal, the game was over for Darren Abdilla’s side.
Abdilla named an unchanged side following the win over Sirens while Hibernians had two changes with Ayrton Attard and Thaylor replacing Timothy Tabone Desira and the suspended Wilfried Domoraud.
Gżira took only four minutes to forge ahead. Yuri Messias delivered a corner from the left and Maxuell’s header gave goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone no chance.
Yuri Messias served Jefferson on the left, five minutes later, but the latter’s angled shot was parried by Kone.
A powerful drive by the Brazilian ended wide on 16 minutes and five minutes later, Pisani sent Maxuell through, but Kone cleared the danger.
Hibernians started to gain confidence and on the half hour, Izquier served Jake Grech whose conclusion was deflected into a corner. #
From the resulting corner by Degabriele, Ferdinando Apap’s header was neutralised by Radelic Zarkov.
Two minutes later, Hibs levelled matters. Thaylor delivered a cross from the right and Dunstan Vella served Degabriele who hit home from close in.
Early in the second half, Gżira had a good chance to regain the lead.
Nikolai Muscat sent Jefferson through but after rounding the goalkeeper, his conclusion was blocked; however, he took the rebound and served Messias who chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, ending high.
Hibs replied with a Jake Grech angled shot which was neutralised by the Gżira goalkeeper.
However, Hibernians took the lead on 58 minutes. Dunstan Vella released Grech on the left and the latter’s effort beat the Gżira custodian with Jurgen Degabriele tapping the ball home from close range.
On 68 minutes, Jefferson concluded a good run on the left with a diagonal shot which was deflected by Kone with Artiles clearing the ball into safety.
Six minutes later, Hibs increased the lead further. Grech exchanged the ball with Jurgen Degabriele, hitting home off the latter’s cross from the left.