Posted on 23 November, 2015

Hibernians join Valletta in top place after beating Balzan in their first match of the second round.

Balzan registered their third defeat in four matches, leaving them in second place together with Birkirkara and Floriana, two points behind Hibernians and Valletta.

Valerio Senatore, replaced Christian Cassar between the goalposts of Balzan while Justin Grioli was preferred to Steve Bezzina.

Hibernians managed to take the lead on the 32nd minute when, off an Andrew Cohen free-kick from the left, BJORN KRISTENSEN headed the ball over Balzan goalkeeper Valerio Senatore from an acute angled position. Three minutes later, in a swift counter ­attack, Balzan managed to equalize. Aleksandar Vujacic served ALFRED EFFIONG who after beating goalkeeper Jurgen Borg placed the ball into the back of the net. On the 43rd minute, Hibernians regained the lead thanks to another BJORN KRISTENSEN header off another free-kick by Andrew Cohen.

Two minutes in the second half, Hibernians were unlucky not to increase the score when the shot from a direct free-kick by Jackson Lima hit the crossbar. On the 49th minute, Hibernians increased the score to 3­ – 1 when, off a corner taken by Andrew Cohen, JONATHAN PERSON headed the ball home past goalkeeper Senatore. Clayton Failla could have added another goal on the 80th minute but his shot from a direct free-kick hit the upright with the goalkeeper beaten. Four minutes from time, off a free-kick by substitute Godwin Mensha, Zarate headed the ball in the direction of ELKIN SERRANO VALERO who in turn headed the ball home from close range.