Andrei Agius keeps Hibernians unbeaten run intact

Birkirkara looked to be on their way to collect all three points against Hibernians, but a late goal by Andrei Agius denied them a victory and kept Hibernians’ unbeaten run intact.

Andrei Agius saved Hibernians from their first defeat of the season against Birkirkara. Photo by Ray Attard
Andrei Agius saved Hibernians from their first defeat of the season against Birkirkara. Photo by Ray Attard

Both teams started the first half playing a very defensive match.

Birkirkara protested for a penalty when Shola Shodiya appeared to bring Rodolfo down inside the area, but the referee ordered play to continue.

The first half continued to produce very few chances for both sides and it remained 0-0.

Edison Luis dos Santos went close to scoring for Hibernians when his shot from just outside the area scraped past the post 15 minutes into the second half.

On the 69th minute, Haruna Shola Shodiya served Ryan Camenzuli who had his shot blocked.

Moments later, a freekick by Clayton Failla bounced off the defensive wall and a header by Jorge Pereira da Silva was blocked by Birkirkara’s goalkeeper Justin Haber.

Birkirkara immediately went on the counter attack and Rafael Ledesma made it into the area, but Joseph Essien Mbong made sure the ball was cleared to safety on the 75th minute.

From the resulting corner, Birkirkara managed to take the lead. Off a corner by Rafael Ledesma, Nikola Vukanac managed to slot the ball past goalkeeper Henry Bonello.

Andrew Cohen went close to scoring the equaliser three minutes from time when he hit the crossbar with a freekick.

Birkirkara were reduced to 10 men three minutes into stoppage time when Alejandro Mendoza received his second yellow card for punching the ball away from Jorginho.

As Andrew Cohen stepped up for the freekick, goalkeeper Henry Bonello made his way into the area. Off the freekick, Andrei Agius headed the ball past Justin Haber to make the score 1-1.

This result extends Hibernians’ unbeaten run to 22 matches.

BIRKIRKARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera (74′ Eliandro dos Santos Gonzaga), Nikola Vukanac, Haruna Shola Shodiya (80′ Edmond Agius), Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma (83′ Matheus Bissi da Silva), Gareth Sciberras, Zach Muscat, Paul Fenech, Ryan Camenzuli, Ryan Scicluna, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo.

Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Antoine Borg, Andrea Curmi, Kurt Zammit.

Coach: Paul Zammit

HIBERNIANS Henry Bonello, Jonathan Pearson, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Johann Bezzina (80′ Jackson di Lima Siqueira), Andrei Agius, Edison Luis dos Santos, Joseph Essien Mbong (80′ Jurgen Degabriele), Jorge da Silva Pereira.

Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Keith Tanti, Timothy Tabone Desira, Dunstan Vella, Kurt Cutajar.

Coach: Branko Nisevic

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard

Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Adrian Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Thomas Debono
Yellow Cards: Shodiya, Mendoza, Failla, Fenech, Z. Muscat
Red Cards: Alejandro Mendoza

BOV Player of the Match: Nikola Vukanac

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