FA Trophy | Hibernians 0 – Sliema Wanderers 0

Sliema Wanderers needed a penalty shoot-out to register a 4-1 win over Hibernians as the game remained goalless for 120 minutes.

Clayton Failla of Hibernians attempting to go past John Mintoff. Photo: Dominic Borg
Clayton Failla of Hibernians attempting to go past John Mintoff. Photo: Dominic Borg

The second match at the National Stadium saw Hibernians and Sliema Wanderers facing off each other for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. This game was very important for both sides if they are going to win an honour this season as their chances of lifting the Premier League trophy are quite remote.

To make it to the quarter-finals, Hibernians eliminated Victoria Hotspurs and Xewkija Tigers of Gozo. On the other hand, Sliema secured wins against St Andrews and Ħamrun Spartans.

The two teams shared possession during the first half with neither team risking too much. In addition, the tempo of the game was very slow as the game had to stop various times due to injuries.

Hibernians were also forced to make an early substitution on the 25th minute since Joseph Mbong suffered an injury. Marcelo Dias took his place.

In fact, supporters had to wait for the half hour mark to witness a chance on goal. Ricardo Calixto Correa sent a cross in the direction of Nikolae Milinceanu who in front of Rudy Briffa failed to make contact with the ball.

Hibernians hit back on the 35th minute. Jorge Pereira Da Silva received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was neutralised by Glenn Zammit.

The game remained quite balanced during the remaining minutes as the first half ended in a goalless draw.

Sliema went close one minute into the second half. Milinceanu served Frank Temile and the latter hit a close range shot that failed to hit the target.

The Paolites replied on the 49th minute. Clayton Failla fired a shot from a free-kick that was saved by Zammit.

Mark Miller was forced to make another substitution on the 65th minute since Bjorn Kristensen suffered an injury and was replaced by Arlindo Oliveira Neto.

Neto nearly scored a minute after replacing Kristensen. The Hibs substitute received a wonderful through ball from Failla before firing a shot that went centimetres wide.

On the 82nd minute, Failla hit a shot from distance that sailed wide.

Sliema replied through Temile. The twenty-seven year old midfielder sent a shot from inside the penalty area that was saved by Briffa.

Hibernians suffered a huge set-back on the 90th minute when the referee sent off Rodolfo Soares after showing him his second yellow card.

Few minutes later, the referee whistled the end of the normal time and the match went into extra-time.

Zammit was on the alert to deny Hibernians on the 92nd minute. Neto hit a powerful drive that forced a good save from Sliema’s goalkeeper.

Four minutes later, Jackson Lima tried his luck from distance, but his effort went wide.

Despite playing with ten men, Hibs kept on insisting and went close again on the 99th minute. Johann Bezzina found space and fired a shot from outside the penalty area that was once more saved by Zammit.

Sliema responded on the 108th minute. Following a corner, Jonathan Pearson headed the ball high.

In the remaining time, both teams remained cautious not to concede as the game went into a penalty shoot-out.

Following the penalty shoot-out, Sliema emerged as winners. Temile, Matias Muchardi, Peter Xuereb and Michele Sansone scored for the Wanderers, while Bezzina scored for Hibs. Jackson Lima and Jorginho missed their kicks for the Paolites.

Hibernians starting line-up: Rudy Briffa, Dunstan Vella, Martin Kreuzriegler, Jackson De Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Bjorn Kristensen (Arlindo Oliveira Neto – 65), Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Joseph Mbong (Marcelo Dias- 25), Jorge Pereira Da Silva, Georgi Gorozia (Johann Bezzina – 60)

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Glenn Zammit, Goran Adamovic (Jonathan Pearson – 104), Frank Temile, Matias Muchardi, Edmond Agius (Michele Sansone – 84), John Mintoff, Ricardo Calixto Correa, Peter Xuereb, Nikolae Milinceanu, Kurt Shaw, Ashong Ni Nortey (Kilan Ameli – 79)

Referee: Matthew Degabriele

Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Alan Camilleri

Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit

Yellow Cards: Rodolfo Soares (Hibs), Ashing Ni Nortey (Sliema), Frank Temile (Sliema), Dunstan Vella (Hibs), Rodolfo Soares (Hibs), Jackson Lima (Hibs), Johann Bezzina (Hibs), John Mintoff (Sliema)

Red Cards: Rodolfo Soares (Hibs)