De­ter­mined Gzira hold Hibs to a draw

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Hiber­ni­ans dropped two im­por­tant points yes­ter­day as a de­ter­mined Gzira side held them to a 1-1 draw.

The Pao­lites paid dearly for a dis­ap­point­ing first half per­for­mance dur­ing which they suf­fered a goal and were put se­ri­ously to the test by the Ma­roons’ fast for­wards.

At the end of the first half, the Ma­roons were sit­ting pretty lead­ing their more il­lus­tri­ous op­po­nents by a soli­tary goal from Ellinton Costa Mo­rais.

In the sec­ond half, as Co­hen took his place in the Hibs side, things ap­peared to go for the bet­ter for the Pao­lites who scored an equaliser quickly.

But Gzira de­fended stub­bornly – led by a su­perb Di­amoutene and man­aged to keep their op­po­nents at bay al­though they passed through sev­eral anx­ious mo­ments.

Gzira were first in ac­tion on the fifth minute. From a Costa Marais cross, the ball went to Gian­marco Conti whose shot at goal was blocked by a Hibs de­fender. Hibs’ first real at­tack on 17 min­utes, Kris­tensen beau­ti­fully set up Jorge Pereira in the Gzira area. Goalie Borg par­tially blocked his at­tempt, the ball went out to Jack­son Lima, but Borg again came to his side’s res­cue as he man­aged to punch the ball away to safety.

It was Gzira who broke the ice on the 28th minute. Moises Avila Perez set Costa Mo­rais in the Hibs area and the lat­ter scored with an un­stop­pable ris­ing shot, beat­ing Hogg all ends up.

Soon af­ter, at the other end, a Jack­son Lima free­kick passed across the Gzira goal, fin­ish­ing in a cor­ner, from which Jorge Pereira header went just over the cross­bar.

Four min­utes later, Gzira had an­other op­por­tu­nity, but a da Silva San­tos ef­fort went too high over the Hibs post.

In the 34th minute, Hibs went clos­est to an equaliser through a Pereira free­kick which skimmed the up­right.

In added first half time, Hibs again went close with a fine 30me­tre ef­fort from Johann Bezzina which just missed the tar­get.

Hibs men­tor Mark Miller in­tro­duced veteran An­drew Co­hen at the start of the sec­ond half and things started to im­prove for the Pao­lites.

It was no sur­prise that they quickly equalised just three min­utes into the half. It was Jorginho Pereira who passed to Jur­gen De­gabriele whose first timer gave Jur­gen Borg no chance.

In the 63rd minute, a fine move by Bezzina ended with a cross to Co­hen, who con­trolled the ball well only for his ef­fort to hit the side net­ting.

In the 78th minute, sub­sti­tute Varea found Bezzina un­marked in the area, but the shot was blocked to cor­ner.

Hibs missed a glo­ri­ous chance to take the lead on the 86th minute when Varea set Co­hen in the area. The lat­ter crossed low for the un­marked De­gabriele who flicked the ball into the grate­ful hands of goalie Borg from two me­tres out.

Two min­utes later, the same De­gabriele was un­lucky to see his ef­fort go­ing straight at goalie Borg af­ter he clev­erly went round two de­fend­ers.

On the 90th minute, from a low Lima free­kick, it was Johann Bezzina who lifted the ball just over the post. It proved to be the Pao­lites’ last chance in their ef­forts to get the win­ner.

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