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Hibs beat Birkirkara to win Super Cup

Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

HIBERNIANS-2, BIRKIRKARA-1

Champions Hibernians signalled their intent to stay on the success trail after winning the first trophy of the 2015/16 domestic season.

Facing FA Trophy winners Birkirkara in the BOV Super Cup flash, Hibernians came back from a goal down to win 2-1.

All the three goals were scored in the first half with Hibs benefiting from a slice of good luck as they benefited from two own goals but the champions deserved their victory as they were the better team, especially in the second half when they threatened to increase their lead on a number of occasions.

The game was seven minutes old when Hibs captain Andrew Cohen cut in from the left but his cross was pushed away by Justin Haber.

Birkirkara went closer on 11 minutes as Fabrizio Miccoli's powerful free-kick flew past the far post after taking a deflection. From the ensuing corner, Miccoli's low cross-cum-shot crawled into the net after the ball appeared to have eluded goalkeeper Jurgen Borg at the near post.

One-nil to the Stripes who were now playing the better football.

Hibs looked stunned but they would have equalised were it not for a great save from Haber who soared into the air to palm away Clayton Failla's thunderbolt from a free-kick.

Birkirkara's Vito Plut dashed his way into the box from the right but his effort was hooked away by Rodolfo Soares.

At the other end, Hibs' first slick move unsettled Birkirkara as Gilmar supplied an excellent through-ball to Jorginho but the Brazilian was in offside position.

The champions levelled  a minute past the half-hour when Failla's corner sailed towards the near post and Zach Muscat, under pressure from Gilmar, looked to have nodded the ball into his own net.

Plut then headed over from Miccoli's free-kick but Hibs edged ahead four minutes from half-time.

The danger again came from the feet of Failla as his swerving cross, from a right-wing free-kick, flew into the box and, amid the ensuing melee, the ball came off Mauricio Mazzetti's back and soared over the diving Haber., Early in the second half, Hibs had a great chance to extend their lead as Gilmar, running on to Bjorn Kristensen's through-ball, came face-to-face with Haber but the Brazilian's unconvincing effort was deflected away for a corner by the Malta goalkeeper.

Hibs were all over Birkirkara at the start of the second half. They threatened to increase their advantage when Jorginho laid the ball back for Kristensen whose first-time effort was pushed away by Haber.

The Paolites remained on top as Birkirkara struggled to make a reaction.

In the closing stages, debutant Juan Querro Barraso set off on a powerful run before teeing up Miccoli but the Italian fired over.

In stoppage time, Hibs had a great chance to increase their lead as they broke on the counter after Haber went upfield when Birkirkara were awarded a corner. Johann Bezzina fed Jorginho whose effort was kept out by Paul Fenech and Jorge's follow-on shot was blocked by Nikola Vukanac.

 

 

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