The match started with high intensity. FCN was threatening the opponent full backs with high pressure, and Hibs was going for effective counter attacks. It was Hibs that broke the silence and scored the first and only goal of the match. A fine through-ball was passed from the crowded 50-50 situation and the shot seemed to have been cleared on the line, but it was allowed in. Throughout the second half, FCN kept attacking from both sides and also from the middle. A fair number of shots closely missed the target or were saved by the opponent. The goalie had a solid performance. Despite the team wide effort and a number of individual attempts, the match finished as it was. Congrats on finishing the well-deserved first half of the season with a win! Looking forward to playing you guys in the second half of the season.
Hibs ended the year with a win and satisfying one at that as Nippon pushed all the way to the end, so to get a clean-sheet win felt good. Nippon’s wingers were the main threat as they showed electric pace, but Knotty and Lippy did a great job playing out of position and the away side failed to create clear chances. Hibs were happy at the water break with the way it was going. Jerome and Tiago were playing well and the former danced through brilliantly but couldn’t finish and the latter cracked the inside of the post from just inside the area and the ball somehow stayed out. Thorin gave the left-back a torrid time and he got behind him at will, but Nippon recovered very well to block and intercept at crucial moments. Doni came on for his debut in midfield and he scored the opening goal after great work to get him one-on-one. His initial shot was saved well but the rebound crept over the line and Hibs got a deserved lead and took that into the break. The home side struggled for fluency in the second half and Nippon sprung quick attacks down the flanks and narrowly missed the target with Col at full-stretch. Panda and Nick were dealing pretty comfortably with the crosses and blocked several shots. Hibs were poor in possession but as Nippon pushed forward they left big holes and Hibs really should have got the second goal. Good goal-keeping and sloppy passes meant that goal never came, so it was the clean-sheet that ensured the 3 points were safe and the team celebrated in style at the Christmas party which was a belter. Nippon’s man of the match was their left-winger who was flying all game and their main threat.