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Jefferson double gives Gżira win over Hibernians

Gzira United's Marko Cosic attempts to hold off Hibs' Yunusa Muritala. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

HIBERNIANS    1         

Apap 34

GŻIRA UNITED         2         

Jefferson 63, 72

HIBERNIANS I. Kone-6, F. Apap-6.5, G. Llerena-6, T. Aldama-6, J. Grech-6.5 (87 D. Vella), J. Degabriele-6, B. Kristensen-6 (78 G. Mensah), J. Zerafa-6, Y. Muritala-5.5 (78 J. Morillas), A. Diakite-6 (78 Z. Grech), R. Soares-5.5.

GŻIRA UNITED D. Zarkov-6.5, G. Bohrer-6, L. Tabone-6, N. Muscat-6 (65 Z. Scerri), M. Dias-6, C. Gauci-5.5 (65 S. Pisani), T. Kolega-6, M. Cosic-6, M. Maia-6, J. De Assis-7 (81 B. Borg), J. Mendoza-6.5 (65 L. Riascos).

Referee Fyodor Zammit

Yellow Cards Kristensen, Grech, Mendoza, Muscat, Jefferson, Pisani, Apap

BOV Player of the Match Jefferson de Assis (Gżira United)

Jefferson de Assis was the hero for Gżira United on Sunday with a brace as they turned defeat into victory, beating Hibernians 2-1.

The Maroons, therefore, returned to winning ways after back-to-back draws against Gudja United and Marsaxlokk. Hibernians, on the other hand, suffered their second defeat in four matches.

Hibs coach Andrea Pisanu made one change from the team which defeated Mosta as Joseph Zerafa replaced Gabriel Izquier. On the other hand, for Gżira, Clive Gauci and Toni Kolega were preferred to Zachary Scerri and Ricardo Correa.

The two teams were quite cautious in the opening stages and apart from a Jurgen Degabriele effort from outside the area which ended just wide on eight minutes, the two goalkeepers were hardly tested.

However, on 34 minutes, Hibernians took the lead. Jurgen Degabriele delivered a freekick from the right and Ferdinando Apap beat goalkeeper Zarkov from close range.

Gżira threatened with a Gabriel Bohrer Mentz freekick which ended wide on 38 minutes but a minute later, Hibs went close once again with a fine Degabriele effort which was turned into a corner in style by Zarkov.

Rodolfo Soares missed the target with a back-heel attempt and just before the end of the first half, a close-range effort by Jake Grech, served by Thaylor Aldama, was neutralised by the Gżira goalkeeper.

In the second half, the Paolites kept pushing for more and an Ali Diakite effort, off a corner by Degabriele, was blocked by Zarkov on 49 minutes. Five minutes later, a powerful drive by Jake Grech was stopped by the Gżira custodian and on the hour the Hibs midfielder was unlucky to hit the upright with a shot from the edge of the area.

Against the run of play, Gżira levelled matters on 63 minutes. Jackson Mendoza sent Jefferson de Assis through and the latter beat Ibrahim Kone on the run and advanced into the area to place the ball at the back of the net.

Nine minutes later, Gżira made it 2-1 when Ali Diakite lost the ball to Jefferson de Assis just outside the area and the Brazilian striker pulled to the left before beating Kone with a diagonal shot.

Hibs were shocked and tried their luck with a Degabriele effort from the edge of the area which ended over the bar on 80 minutes but Gżira went close once again with two attempts by Maxuell Maia in a minute which were both neutralised by Kone.

Deep into stoppage-time, in a desperate attempt for the Paolites, goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone, who went to assist the forward-line, went close to equalising with a header which ended just over the bar following a corner from the right.

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