Malta Football Association
Agius last-gasp header caps Hibs fightback
Apr 9, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League

Hibernians were the biggest winners on a weekend of fluctuating drama in the BOV Premier League title race as rivals Valletta and Balzan both dropped points to lose ground to the Paolites with only four games remaining.

Keen to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Valletta in midweek, Hibernians’ hopes looked to have suffered a double blow as Ignacio Varela and Mario Fontanella gave Floriana a 2-0 lead inside the opening eight minutes of their clash on Sunday.


Slowly but surely, Hibernians upped their game and Clayton Failla’s brilliant free-kick three minutes from half-time inspired their fightback.


Hibernians dictated matters for most of the second half but had to wait until eight minutes from the end when Jackson Lima poked the ball home from Marcelo Dias’s right-wing cross.


In stoppage time, Hibs completed their comeback when defender Andrei Agius headed home from Gilmar’s free-kick.


The win, which had the Hibs faithful in raptures, lifted Mark Miller’s team four points clear at the top after Valletta were held to a 1-1 draw by Gżira United and Balzan went down 3-1 to neighbours Birkirkara.


In Saturday’s opening game, Valletta looked jaded for most of their game against Gżira who produced a spirited performance to confirm their remarkable improvement in the second half of the season.


Luke Montebello put Valletta ahead on 27 minutes, hitting home from close range after Maximiliano Velasco’s mishit shot fell in his path.


The Maroons equalised before half-time thanks to midfielder Gianmarco Conti who turned before rifling home after getting on the end of Jacob Borg’s cross.


Balzan failed to capitalise on Valletta’s partial slip-up as they slipped to their third defeat in four games, losing 3-1 to Birkirkara.


Birkirkara took the lead eight minutes from half-time when Serbian midfielder Srdjan Dimitrov curled a wonderful shot past Ivan Janjusevic after pouncing on an erratic Balzan clearance.


Balzan equalised 12 minutes into the second half when, from a cross by Anderson De Barros, Bojan Kaljevic slotted the ball home.


This goal failed to shackle Birkirkara who regained their lead on 64 minutes. Dimitrov was brought down inside the area and Gonzalo Malan scored from the penalty spot.


Birkirkara sealed the issue seven minutes from the end when Edward Herrera released substitute Vito Plut who slotted the ball past Janjusevic.


With this win, Birkirkara moved to within three points of Balzan as the battle for a top-three finish remains as open as the race for the championship.


In other games, Sliema Wanderers beat Ħamrun Spartans 2-0 with second-half goals from Matias Muchardi and Ricardo Correa.



St Andrews secured their BOV Premier League status in style after a 6-0 drubbing of neighbouring rivals Pembroke Athleta who had Tonci Radovnikovic dismissed after 17 minutes for denying the opposition a clear scoring opportunity.


Ivan Edgardo Paz, from a penalty, and Dale Camilleri gave St Andrews a 2-0 half-time lead. Their superiority yielded four more goals in the second period through Joseph Farrugia, Aidan Friggieri, Won Bong Che and Jacob Walker.


Beleaguered Mosta ended their negative run with a 3-1 victory over Tarxien Rainbows.


Njongo Priso put Mosta ahead after only three minutes and David Fenech doubled their advantage early in the second half.

An own goal from Jonas Rodrigues Ekani 10 minutes from time cut Tarxien’s deficit but Mosta secured their win with another goal from Priso.

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