Day 02: Hibernians 2 Valletta 2 Published on: 17-09-2010

Valletta and Hibernians shared spoils in a 2-2 result

A late goal from Terrence Scerri salvaged a point for Valletta after their encounter with Hibs ended two-all. The Paolites looked set to cause an upset when moving 2-1 up with two quick goals late in the first half but Valletta's second-half rally was rewarded 10 minutes from time when Scerri headed the ball home.

There was little of note in the opening exchanges as both teams took their time to find their touch. On 17 minutes, Valletta protested for a penalty after Scerri looked to have been tripped by Hibs defender Matt Clarke but referee Clayton Pisani waved play on. Just past the half-hour mark, Andrew Cohen hit a long-range drive but Andrew Hogg, the Valletta goalkeeper, saved in two attempts.

Valletta were forced to make their first substitution six minutes from half-time after defender Jonathan Caruana suffered a head injury following an aerial collision with Aaron Xuereb. Gilbert Agius, the Valletta captain, replaced Caruana, who was facing his former Hibs team-mates for the first time since his summer move to Valletta.

With three minutes remaining for the end of the first half, Valletta were given a penalty after Clarke was adjudged to have pushed Scerri who was trying to reach Dyson Falzon's pass. Denni scored from the penalty spot to put Valletta ahead but their lead was short-lived.

Hibs equalised in the first two minutes of stoppage time, Clarke nodding past Hogg after Valletta had failed to deal with Cohen's excellent cross from a free-kick. Clarke was booked for making gestures towards the City fans as he celebrated his goal but his yellow card was soon forgotten as Hibs went 2-1 up.

Once again, Cohen was the provider as another teasing cross from a right-wing free-kick sailed tantalisingly towards the goalmouth. Hogg tried to push the ball away but his poor clearance dropped to Edward Herrera who curled the ball home after his initial shot had been blocked by the City defenders.

Valletta pressed forward in search of an equaliser as the second half got underway. Scerri missed two opportunities to put his team on level terms. The City striker first headed wide from Omonigo Temile's cross and, seconds later, lost his balance in the area after being sent clear by Agius.

The Citizens continued to attack but Hibs defended well. Cohen came close to scoring a third goal for Hibs but his angled drive flashed just wide. The Citizens made it two-all 10 minutes from the end, Scerri heading home from Kevin Sammut's corner.

However, Valletta's satisfaction was tarnished by the loss of Agius who was carried off on a stretcher after picking up an injury. As coach Jesmond Zerafa had already exhausted his three substitutions, Valletta had to play the last 10 minutes with a man short.

Herrera, the Hibs winger, was voted BOV player of the match.

Source: Times of Malta

VALLETTA: A. Hogg, R. Briffa, R. Dos Santos (K. Sammut), J. Caruana (G. Agius), I. Azzopardi, G. Agius, O. Temile, J. Pace, D. Rocha Dos Santos, D. Falzon (62' I. Zammit), T. Scerri

HIBERNIANS: M.Muscat, R. Camilleri, E. Herrera (M.Tabone), A. Pulis (J. Pearson), A. Xuereb, M. Clarke, Z. Levniac, A. Cohen, R. Hart, T. Caruana, P. McManus (W. Chircop).

BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 17-09-10     Time: 19:30    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 43' D. Rocha Dos Santos (V), 47' M. Clarke (H), 50' E. Herrea (H), 80' Terence Scerri (V).

Yellow Cards: D. Falzon

Man of match: Edward Herrera (Hibernians)

Referee: Clayton Pisani