Hibernians returned to winning ways as they defeated Balzan 2-0 in Matchday 4 at the National Stadium.

This win lifted Hibernians to the sixth place as they join Mosta and Floriana on the seven-point mark. Balzan, on the other hand, suffered their second defeat and now lie in the fifth place.

Balzan started Rudy Briffa in goal instead of Jonathan Debono while Bogdan Mladenovic was handed his debut as he was preferred to Aleksa Andrejic. For Hibernians, Justin Haber started in goal instead of Ibrahim Kone while Gonzalo Llerena and Thaylor Aldama made way for Zachary Grech and Dunstan Vella.

Jurgen Degabriele was undoubtedly Hibernians’ hero as his striking power eased the pressure off their coach and enabled them to play some flowing football which forced Balzan to defend for long stretches.

Hibernians came out determined to get the three points, In their first attempt to goal, a cross by Jurgen Degabriele which was headed by Rodolfo Soares finished high.

In the 7th minute, Jake Grech advanced from the right to see his attempt turned into corner by the goalkeeper.

Hibernians could not have a better start as they took the lead in the 14th minute when Bjorn Kristensen sent a cross from the right into the penalty area for JURGEN DEGABRIEL to nip in and slot the ball past goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.

Two minutes later, Hibernians doubled the score with a direct freekick by JURGEN DEGABRIELE from the left, which surprised the Balzan goalkeeper.

The first half ended with Hibernians in the lead with two goals in front.

In the second half, Balzan replaced Bogdan Mladenovic and Benjamin Hili with Bojan Kaljevic and Samir Arab.

Balzan soon created a chance in front of goal. Some lovely triangulation between Angel Torres and Bojan Kaljevic down the inside right produced an opening in the box for Alexander Satariano whose shot low was deflected into a corner.

In the 50th minute, a direct free kick by Jurgen Degabriele finished just wide.

Two minutes later, Angel Torres failed to score from an ideal position with no obstructions to deal with.

In the 67th minute, Hibernians nearly increased the score. Jake Grech crossed the ball towards Dunstan Vella but goalkeeper Rudy Briffa palmed the ball into a corner.

At death, Matheus Nogureira de Sousa  nearly pulled a goal back for Balzan but his close-range shot was blocked by Justin Haber.

BALZAN: Rudy Briffa, Ivan Bozovic, Marcus Grima (Matheus Nogureira Albuguerque de Sousa 63’), Mladenovic Bogdan (Bojan Kaljevic 46’), Paul Fenech, Angel Yesid Torres Quinones, Benjamin Hili (Samir Arab 46), Ljubomirac Uros (Nikola Braunovic 74), Alex Satariano Alexander (Adam Bradshaw 84’)

HIBERNIANS: Justin Haber, Ferdinando Apap, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Bjorn Kristensen (Andre’ Agius 74), Dunstan Vella, Zachary Grech (Aldama Thaylor), Joseph Zerafa (Gabriel Artiles 61’), Yunusa Owolabi Muritala (Jairo Morillas Rivero 74’), Ali Diakite, Rodolfo Soares

Referee Darryl Agius

BOV player of the match Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians)