Penalty helps Hibs beat Birkirkara

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

In a match that lacked in ac­tions and spec­tac­u­lar play, con­tro­versy dom­i­nated as Hiber­ni­ans won their sixth game of the sea­son with a penalty that stirred ar­gu­ments as re­plays showed that the ref­eree made the wrong call.

This win meant that Hiber­ni­ans are in sec­ond place, three points only be­hind Balzan.

Both teams started with shirts show­ing sol­i­dar­ity with Bjorn For­mosa and his cam­paign in favour ALS.

Drazen Be­sek made only one change from the big win against Gżira as An­delkovic was miss­ing, while Mark Miller had Joseph Mbong and Jonathan Pear­son miss­ing through sus­pen­sion.

The first ac­tion came from Hiber­ni­ans on the 8th minute as Birkirkara goal­keeper Ko­pric had to in­ter­vene to clear the ball be­fore young­ster Jurgen De­gabriele.

Birkirkara had the best chance of the half on the 24th minute as from a cor­ner by Dim­itrov, the header by Bubalovic was cleared on the line by Jack­son Lima. After the half hour mark, Ko­pric had to save a header by Jorginho.

The pace stayed the same in the sec­ond half, as Mark Miller in­cluded An­drew Co­hen in­stead of Varea who had a neg­a­tive game. On the other hand, Bezek in­cluded Shaun Ba­jada.

The ac­tion that de­cided the game came on the 78th minute.

A con­tact was made be­tween Nikola Vukanac and Jorginho, and the ref­eree Trustin Far­ru­gia Cann or­dered a penalty de­spite harsh protests by Birkirkara play­ers that the pre­sumed foul had oc­curred out­side the box.

But Far­ru­gia Cann stayed with his de­ci­sion that re­plays showed that wasn’t cor­rect. From the penalty spot, cap­tain Clay­ton Failla fired past Ko­pric to de­cide the match as de­spite the last ef­forts of Birkirkara were in vain to suf­fer the third de­feat of the league.

An­drei Agius of Hiber­ni­ans (cen­tre) clears his lines ahead of Vito Plut of Birkirkara (right) Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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