2 - 1Full Time
Hibernians cancelled a one-goal deficit to clinch a vital 2-1 victory over Gudja United.
The hero for the reigning champions was clinical forward Jurgen Degabriele who scored a goal in each half to hand the three points to Andrea Pisanu’s side.
Hibernians have now pipped Gudja into fourth place with 16 points as they continue their revival.
The Paolites sit six points behind leaders Ħamrun Spartans after eight matches.
Gudja, on their part, succumbed to their second defeat of the season as they remain on 14 points.
Led by Andrea Agostinelli, the Blues had drew first blood through Matias Muchardi who put on a commanding showing, a testament to his rich experience in the Maltese game.
Degabriele threatened first with a close-range freekick that finished inches wide before Samuel Gomes tried his luck for Gudja United with a curling effort but Ibrahim Kone was alert to avert the danger.
The Blues forged ahead inside the first 10 minutes through Muchardi.
A well-engineered transition led to Gomes firing straight into Kone from inside the penalty area before the rebound dropped onto the feet of Matias Muchardi who slotted into an empty net.
The Paolites replied through another Degabriele freekick but Glenn Zammit managed to block his effort.
Gudja tried to double their lead through Vito Plut but his long-range effort sailed over the bar.
Hibernians, though, managed to level terms through Degabriele who received a well-weighted throughball from Bjorn Kristensen to beat Zammit.
Jake Grech squandered a glorious chance to put Hibernians ahead when he struck a low drive straight into Glen Zammit from the edge of the area.
Five minutes from half-time, Muchardi forced Kone into a brilliant save to deny him his second goal of the match.
After the change of ends, goalscoring chances were at a premium with Degabriele testing Zammit from long range on 68 minutes.
Moments later, an Apap header was blocked by Zammit on the goal line as the Paolites were looking to snatch a late winner.
That duly arrived in the 79th minute when Dunstan Vella flicked the ball toward an unmarked Degabriele who slotted past Zammit.
In the closing stages of the game, forward Muritala tried a thumping volley that went wide over the bar.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara
BOV PLAYER OF THE MATCH
|#||Player||Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Second Yellows||Red Cards|
|17||Karl Micallef||Defender||0||0||1 (16')||0||0|
|5||Andre Prates Rodrigues||Defender||0||0||1 (86')||0||0|
|7||John Mintoff 77||Defender||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||Ayrton Azzopardi 19||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Ahinga Bienvenu Selemani 39||Forward||0||0||0||0||0|
|13||James Arthur||Midfielder||0||0||1 (91')||0||0|
|14||Neil Micallef||Defender||0||0||1 (5')||0||0|
|19||Johann Bezzina 10||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|30||Matias Muchardi||Midfielder||1 (10')||0||0||0||0|
|39||Samuel Gomes 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|77||Nicolas Navarrete 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|3||Juan Andres Bolanos||Defender||0||0||0||0||0|