BOV Premier League | Hibernians 2 - Gżira United 0

A goal in each half gave Hibernians a deserved 2-0 win over Gżira United.

Jurgen Degabriele congatulating Clayton Failla after scoring for Hibernians. Photo: Christine Borg
Jurgen Degabriele congatulating Clayton Failla after scoring for Hibernians. Photo: Christine Borg

The Maroons were conscious that a win would put them just one point behind Valletta, while a defeat will make their title challenge more difficult. On the other hand, this match was a must win for the Paolites in order to remain on track with the top sides.

Hibernians made a flying start to the match as they went ahead after just six minutes. Clayton Failla received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a low shot that gave Justin Haber no chance.

Gżira hit back on the 24th minute. Following a congestion inside the penalty area, Ndubisi Emmanuel Okoye fired wide.

A minute later, Haruna Zambuk Garba of Gżira sent a shot from distance that was neutralised by Hogg.

Darren Abdilla’s side kept on insisting and went close again on the 29th minute. Garba served Okoye on the left and the latter saw his shot hitting the side netting.

Gżira lost a good opportunity one minute from half time. Following a header towards goal by Okoye, Garba managed to make contact with the ball, but saw his effort going over.

Hibs doubled their advantage on the 53rd minute. From a free-kick, Giorgi Garozia delivered an excellent ball towards Joao Moreira who headed the ball past Haber.

On the 66th minute, Johann Bezzina of Hibernians fired a shot from outside the penalty area that was saved by Haber.

Three minutes later, Hibernians nearly sealed the issue. Following a fine piece of skill between Jorge Da Silva Pereira and Jurgen Degabriele, the latter saw his low shot going centimetres wide.

Gżira responded on the 77th minute. Samb received a long ball inside the penalty area and finished high.

Degabriele lost a golden opportunity on the 84th minute. Jorginho showed great skill to go past a defender on the right side before delivering a cross towards the unmarked striker who in front of Haber finished wide.

Gżira had a chance to score a consolation goal in the additional time given by the referee. Following a corner, Okoye attempted an acrobatic finish that ended up off target.

Hibernians starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Timothy Tabone Desira, Martin Kreuzriegler, Rodolfo Soares, Jurgen Degabriele (David Xuereb – 90), Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Joao Moreira (Jorge Da Silva Pereira – 68), Johann Bezzina, Andrei Agius, Giorgi Gorozia (Dunstan Vella – 75)

Gżira United starting line-up: Justin Haber, Roderick Briffa, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Juan Corbolan – 60), Kris Thackray (Luca Brincat – 85), Destin Price-Loic Mambouana, Moises Avila Perez, Edison David Zarate Bilbao, Andrew Cohen (Nikolai Muscat – 85), Ndubisi Emmanuel Okoye, Amadou Samb, Haruna Zambuk Garba

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann

Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Dusan Petrovic

Additional Assistant Referees: Etienne Mangion, Eman Grech

Fourth Official: Chris Francalanza

Yellow Cards: Rodolfo Soares (Hibs), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Gżira), Amadou Samb (Gżira), Kris Thackray (Hibs)

BOV Player of the  Match: Clayton Failla (Hibs)