BOV Premier League | Hibernians 2 – Senglea Athletic 1

Two first half goals were enough for ten men Hibernians as they secured a 2-1 win over Senglea Athletic.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Hibernians came into this match looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing result against Sirens. So far, the Paolites struggled to gain consistency as they registered only a win out of three matches.

On the other end, Senglea made a bright start to their campaign. The Cottonera side won two games and drew the one against Sirens. Mario Muscat’s men were coming from a 2-1 win over Mosta.

The Paolites made a great start to the match and broke the deadlock after 9 minutes. Jake Grech’s delivery from a free-kick went into the path of Leonardo Nanni who slotted the ball past Anthony Curmi from close range.

Senglea hit back immediately and were unlucky not to score on the 12th minute. Marcelo Dias delivered a cross in the direction of the unmarked Jan Tanti whose header stamped off the upright.

Hibernians threatened Senglea again on the 26th minute. Terence Groothunsen fired a powerful shot from distance that forced a good save from Anthony Curmi.

However, Groothusen managed to score a minute later. David Xuereb lost possession inside the centre of the pitch. The ball was immediately delivered in the direction of the Dutch forward whose shot gave Curmi no chance.

Hibs remained in control during the remaining minutes as the first half ended 2-0 in favour of Sanderra’s men.

Senglea started the second half on the attack in their attempts to get back into the game.

They were close to pull one back on the 53rd minute. Jose Texeira went on a good run down the left flank before drilling a low shot that sailed slightly off target.

Hibernians suffered a setback on the 56th minute as they were reduced to ten men. Marko Jovicic rushed forward in order to block Wilfried Zamble who was going through. However, he ended up fouling him and the referee showed the Hibs goalkeeper a straight red card.

Senglea made the most out of the situation immediately as they scored from the resulting free-kick. Teixeira hit a low shot that ended up inside the bottom corner.

The post denied Senglea from equalising seconds later. Leighton Grech’s cross from the right fell for Taisei Marukawa and the latter fired a powerful shot from inside the penalty area that was diverted by Calleja Cremona towards the upright.

Calleja Cremona denied Senglea again on the 77th minute. Elvis Sakyi fired a strong shot from outside the penalty area that forced a very good save from the Maltese goalkeeper.

Senglea kept on insisting as Hibernians remained inside their own half. However, the Paolites managed to defend the result as they took home the three points.

Hibernians starting line-up: Marko Jovicic, Timothy Tabone Desira, Ferdinando Apap, Joseph Mbong, Jake Grech (Matthew Calleja Cremona-60), Terence Groothunsen (Charles Atsina-67), Bjorn Kristensen, Dunstan Vella, Gabri Iziquier Artiles, Andrei Agius, Leonardo Nanni (Marcio Barbosa-73),

Senglea Athletic starting line-up: Anthony Curmi, Sigitas Olberkis, Elvis Sakyi, Leighton Grech, Manolito Micallef, Taisei Marukawa, Jose Teixeira Wilkson, Jan Tanti (Wilfried Zamble-46), Mirko Todorovic (Andrei Spiteri-79), David Xuereb (Sean Cipriott-86), Marcelo Dias

Referee: Stefan Pace

Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, Duncan Spencer

Fourth Official: Daniel Portelli

BOV Player of the Match: Taisei Marukawa (Senglea)