Hibs vs Qormi- Gol Jackson LIma
to: Ian Pace
Spiteri 59, 85;
Soares 17; Cohen 33; Dias 38; Lima 69;
A three-goal burst midway through the first half was enough for Hibernians to see off the challenge of Qormi in a goal-filled encounter last night.
There was never any doubt on who would take maximum spoils from this match as the Paolites were clearly the better side.
Hibernians, who beat Mosta in their opening match of the league trek, exposed Qormi’s defensive frailties in set-piece situations when netting their opening two goals from identical Jackson Lima free-kicks before the industrious Marcelo Dias capped up an impressive performance with a fine strike just before half-time.
After the break Jackson Lima scored a superb fourth for the Paolites with Qormi managing to make the final scoreline look more respectable through a brace from substitute Gaetan Spiteri.
Certainly much more was expected from Qormi who were boosted by the inclusion of new overseas players Sebastian Siritto, an Argentine striker, and Italian forward Vincenzo Pisani. However, these two new acquisitions struggled to leave their mark on the match
Hibs coach Michael Woods reconfirmed the same starting XI that starred in the 3-2 victory over Mosta as Jason Vandelannoitte and Edward Herrera, both reportedly seeking a move away from the club, were omitted from the 18-man squad.
As expected, it was Hibs who made all the early running and after only two minutes Marcelo Dias showed great footwork to avoid his marker before sending an inviting ball into the path of Steve Pisani who was denied by Qormi goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.
The Paolites kept pushing forward and on 15 minutes Jackson Lima let fly a stinging drive that was pushed away by the well-positioned Farrugia.
Hibs’ pressure finally yielded a breakthrough two minutes later. The referee awarded them a free-kick on the left flank and Lima’s delivery sailed into the path of Rodolfo Soares who stabbed the ball past Farrugia.
Qormi tried to get back into the match but they seemed short in ideas up front with the result that Hibernians goalkeeper Mario Muscat was rarely tested.
Instead it was Hibs who struck again on 33 minutes. The goal came from another set-piece situation when Lima sent in another dangerous ball that was met by Cohen who headed past a stranded Farrugia.
The match was all over as a contest five minutes later when Marcelo Dias moved past his marker before shooting into the top corner of the net from well outside the box.
Stephen Azzopardi, the Qormi coach, was clearly unhappy with his team’s display and at the change of ends he withdrew the disappointing Siritto and Leighton Grech and roped in Spiteri and Luke Sciberras as he looked to see more fighting spirit from his lads.
The Yellow-Blacks protested for a penalty on 55 minutes when Aboubaker Bello Osagie was challenged in the area by Rodolfo Soares but the referee saw nothing untoward.
Qormi were handed a lifeline on 59 minutes when Joseph Chetcuti released Spiteri in the area and the former Ħamrun Spartans striker beat goalkeeper Muscat with a shot at the near post.
Woods’s response to Qormi’s goal was to withdraw the tiring Steve Pisani and bring on John Nwoba as he looked to add fresh impetus to his attack.
Nwoba was only minutes on the pitch when Hibs struck again.
In a quick break, Lima sped forward before hitting a powerful drive from 30 metres out that beat the diving Farrugia hands down.
Nwoba came close to putting his name on the scoresheet soon after.
Substitute Anderson Ribeiro launched a quick break and released Cohen on the right. The Hibs midfielder directed a cross towards Ribeiro who nodded the ball into the path of Nwoba whose overhead kick finished just over.
At the other end, Qormi pulled a goal back five minutes from time when Chetcuti sent in a dipping cross into the path of Bello Osagie who saw his header partially blocked by Muscat and Spiteri was on hand to push the ball home.
But that goal came too late as Hibs eased to their second successive victory.
M. Farrugia-5, K. Thackray-5, R. Sammut-6, M. Bartolo-6, V. Pisani-5 (76 A. Cassar), J. Chetcuti-6, A. Bello-Osagie-5, M. Gauci-5.5, S. Siritto-5 (46 L. Sciberras-6), J. Bondin-5, L. Grech-5 (46 G. Spiteri-7).
M. Muscat-6, R. Camilleri-6, J. Pearson-6 (46 A. Pulis-6), S. Pisani-6 (66 J. Nwoba-6), R. Soares-7, M. Dias-7.5 (79 A. Ribeiro), A. Cohen-6.5, B. Kristensen-6.5, J. Bezzina-6, Z. Levnaic-6, J. Lima-7.5