MFA FA Trophy / Round 4
Nadur Youngsters   Hibernians
Nadur Youngsters : 1   3 : Hibernians

(C. Anutnes 55’pen.)


(E. Dos Santos 78’, B. Kristensen 88’, J. Bezzina 90+4’)

M. Grima, F. Camilleri, S. Attard, L.R. Dos Santos, J. Buttigieg, C. Mercieca, B. Meilak (M.Hyzler), M. Stoyanovic, C. Hili, J. Vella, C. Antunes.


J. Borg, T. Tabone Desira (J. E Mbong), R. Soares, J. Lima, A. Cohen (J. Degabriele), B. Kristensen, C. Failla, A. Agius, E.L. Dos Santos, J. Da Silva Pereira (J. Bezzina), J. Pearson.

The match between Nadur Youngsters and Hibernians was a clash between the two teams who are leading the respective tables in Gozo and Malta.  The two sides are also the only undefeated sides in the Gozitan championship and in the national Primer League respectively.  Despite the fact that Hibernians were hot favourites to earn an easy qualification due to their undisputed supremacy and the quality of their players, the match turned out into a well contested encounter where the hosts were minutes away from obtaining a surprise result and force the match into extra time.  Hibernians’ coach Branko Nisevic made just two changes from their typical formation of the Premiere League matches while Nadur’s coach Gotthard Conti deployed the regular formation on the field with the exception of an extra player in the midfield to add protection to the defensive department.  The Youngsters not only managed to resists to Hibernians’ play but also opened the score from a penalty scored during the early stages of the second period.  Hibernians, who were reduced to ten players in the action that led to the penalty managed to produce a good reaction and scored three goal in the last twelve minutes of the encounter to turn a defeat into a victory and won the place with the last eight teams in the competition.  With this result Hibernians may continue to aim of a memorable season by winning the double.

In the fourth minute of play Hibernians could have opened the score but a header by Edison dos Santos Tarabai ended high.  Hibernians continued to find it difficult to convert their superiority into goal scoring opportunities and their next dangerous action only arrived on 16 minutes through a free kick by skipper Andrew Cohen that was saved by goalie Mark Grima.  Nadur replied on 24 minutes with a free kick by Ramon dos Santos that was saved by goalie Jurgen Borg and on 32 minutes Tarabai had another attempt that was neutralised by goalie Mark Grima.  The same striker had another attempt two minutes later but his header form a free kick by Jackson Lima ended wide and on 44 minutes Rodolfo Soares headed over Nadur’s goal a corner kick by Clayton Failla.  Seconds from half time Nadur’s keeper was well placed and saved without much difficulty a low shot by Jorge Pereira.

After the resumption Nadur continued to be well deployed at their defence as Hibs tried to increase their pressure.  Hibs went closest to scoring on 51 minutes when Jorge Pereira released Clayton Failla but the latter saw his shot ending high.  On 53 minutes Nadur produced a good move where Claudio Antunes passed towards Joseph Vella inside Hibernians’ area.  The latter had his shot blocked to a corner and from the corner kick by Joseph Vella, goalie Jurgen Borg punched badly, the ball arrived to Ramon dos Santos who headed towards goal and defender Andrei Agius tried to clear the danger off the line gave.  The movement by Agius led Nadur’s players and the officials to the impression that there was handling and the referee awarded a penalty among protests and some minutes of confusion until Andrei Agius was eventually sent off and the area was cleared for the penalty to be taken.  Claudio Antunes converted the penalty kick followed by the celebrations of Nadur’s players and supporters.  Hibernians went all out to recover the deficit and in the following action they also protested for a penalty following a contact in Nadur’s area. 

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