BOV Premier League | Valletta 1 – Hibernians 0

A goal scored by Steve Borg in the dying minutes of the match gave Valletta a vital 1-0 win over Hibernians as the race for Premier League glory remains wide open.

Leandro Aguirre of Valletta trying to play the ball. Photo:Dominic Borg
Leandro Aguirre of Valletta trying to play the ball. Photo:Dominic Borg

In the early stages of the match, both teams were reluctant to risk a lot and the majority of play was in the centre of the pitch.

In fact, the first chance on goal was created by Valletta on the 25th minute. Claudio Pani delivered a long ball that was met by Maximiliano Velasco who sent a header that was neutralised by Andrew Hogg.

Hibernians suffered a setback on the 42nd minute when they lost Jorge Da Silva Pereira due to an injury. Jurgen Degabriele took his place.

Valletta had an excellent chance to break the deadlock four minutes into the second half. Micahel Mifsud went inside the penalty area and hit a powerful drive that forced an excellent save from Hogg.

Knowing that nothing less than the three points will satisfy them, Valletta kept on insisting and had another shot on goal on the 57th minute. Valdo Congalves Alhino fired a low shot from just inside the penalty area that was once more saved by Hogg.

Hogg was on the alert again on the 70th minute. Following a clearance by the Hibs defenders, the ball fell for Leandro Aguirre who sent a strong shot which the Hibernians goalkeeper parried for a corner.

On the 81st minute, it was again Hogg who kept Hibs level. Luke Montebello sent a volley from outside the penalty area that was saved by the Maltese goalkeeper who tipped the ball behind him.

The Paolites responded a minutes later. Gilmar Da Silva Ribeiro went on a good run and fired a strong shot that went off target.

Valletta scored the all-important on the 90th minute. Following a free kick, Borg had his initial shot blocked by Andrei Agius, but from the rebound, the Valletta defender finished home from close range.

A minute later, goal scorer Borg was sent off by Fyodor Zammit after being shown his second yellow card.

This result means that Valletta and Balzan are now only two points behind Hibernians as the race for glory remains wide open.

Valletta starting line-up: Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Jean Borg, Leandro Aguirre, Claudio Pani, Umeh Uchenna Calistus, Valdo Congalves Alihno, Michael Mifsud, Santiago Malano, Maximiliano Velasco

Hibernians starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Johann Bezzina, Andrei Agius, Montell Moore, Dejan Boljevic, Bjorn Kristensen, Jorge Da Silva Pereira, Gilmar Da Silva Ribeiro, Jackson Lima Siqueira

Referee: Fyodor Zammit

BOV Player of the Match: Michael Mifsud (Valletta)