Second half rally lands Hibs in Semi FinalThursday, May 24, 2012, 15:53
courtesy of Victor Ciangura – The Malta Independent
Section A Runners Up Paola Hibs played against Section C 1 Winners Zejtun who gave them a good run for their money with their fast approach and also played attractive football. They are a group of promising youngsters and if they are well-looked after they seem to have a bright future.
The early pressure came from the Paolites. Neil chetcuti was fouled outside the area and Zejtun keeper Kurt Bonnett saved the free kick shot by Jurgen De Gabriele. After a well-taken flag kick from the left flank by De Gabriele, Neil Falzon drove slightly out from outside the area and in the 19 th minute the woodwork denied Hibs as Neil Chetcuti served De gabriele in the area and the ball hit the upright from his shot with Bonnett beaten and finished out.
In the firat action by Zejtun Luca Desira served Luca Camilleri with a through ball but he failed to make contact with the ball.
Hibs forged ahead on the half hour as Zachary Scerri served Darren Sciberras with a through ball in the area and after he was tripped by the onrushing Bonnett, De Gabriele made no mistake from the resultant penalty.
In another action by Zejtun Luke Spagnol served Josvel Spiteri with a through ball on the right flank who after advancing the ball was cleared away from his cross-shot.
Three minutes before the break Hibs were again denied by the woodwork when De Degabriele pounced on a loose ball just outside the area and the ball thumped the bar from his hard drive with Bonnett completely beaten and the ball was somehow cleared away to safety.
Hibs mounted the first action after the restart as De Gabriele served Kurt Cutajar in the area but the drove slightly out.
Zejtun then had two actions. Margeith Scicluna was fouled outside the area and Hibs keeper Rudy Briffa saved the shot by the same player and Luca camilleri was then fouled outside the area and Briifa saved the free kick by Bennett Schembri.
Bonnett came to his side’s rescue once again as he was forced to dive and save in two attempts a hard drive from outside the area by Dunstan Vella after he pounced on a loose ball.
Zejtun managed to equalise in the 55th minute as Luca Camilleri served Juan Gatt with a through ball who after entering the area scored with a hard low drive to the joy of their numerous supporters.
This equaliser served as a boost for Hibs as they mounted two actions in a row.Timothy Tabone served Darren Sciberras in the area and Bonnett denied him with a diving save in two attempts and after Degabriele was fouled on the left edge of the area the ball was headed away from underneath the bar following a well-taken free kick by Scerri.
In the 76th minute Hibs re-eatablished their slender lead when substitute Dejan Farrugia dribbled past a defender and served Tabone in the area who made no mistake with a low hard drive.
Two minutes before the end of normal time Hibs put the issue beyond any doubt as they scored a third goal when De Gabriele dribbled past an opponent and after serving Sciberras on the right flank the ball hit the inner part of the base of the upright from his low cross and it rolled behind the goal line.
Referee: Jude Utulu
In the two other semi Finals, Section A Runners Up Sliema W beat Section C 2 Winners Sta Venera by a goal scored by Liam Mallia eight minutes before the end.
The game was controlled by Referee Daniel Farrugia
Section A Winners Hamrun S won against Section B Runners Up San Gwann.
San Gwann opened the score through Isaac Mc Carthy in the 6th minute.
Hamrun equalised five minutes before half time through Rodney Refalo.
Gary Hili made it 2-1 in the 58th minute and Ryan Spiteri scored a third goal in the 63rd minute.
Hamrun were reduced to ten men in the 55th minute as Angelo Sicali’ was sent off by Referee Paul Apap