Hibs are through to the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League after a comeback 2-1 win over Andorran minnows Santa Coloma.
Guillaume Lopez handed the hosts – who were trailing 3-0 from the first leg at Easter Road – a surprise lead. Jamie Murphy and Daniel Mackay responded quickly for Hibs to ensure a comfortable 5-1 aggregate scoreline for head coach Jack Ross. The cinch Premiership team face Rijeka or Gzira United in the next round.
Well, we can’t add much analysis to the first half, we’ll be honest. Santa Coloma’s wonky stream combined with Covid-19 restrictions means only those inside the Comunal d’Andorra la Vella witnessed football during a tight 45 minutes.
We think they kicked the ball about and stuff. The second half picked up and digital eyes were upon Hibs, winning after a scare. Lope threatened to cause a shock on the night with a good effort outside the box 20 minutes from time, but Jamie Murphy’s curling effort three minutes later restored Hibs’ advantage.
Mackay added his first competitive Hibs goal moments later after some great play from Josh Campbell in midfield. Hibs begin their Premiership campaign against Motherwell on Sunday. Here are three things we learned.
Hibs showed in a fiery first leg that brought three red cards their superiority. They coasted past Santa Coloma to set up an easier tie in the second. While it was tight, Hibs didn’t need to get out of first gear to secure the win, Ross beginning to rest players in the second half ahead of a trip to Fir Park in less than 72 hours time.
The 21-year-old midfielder has had to be patient for a chance at Hibs. He’s had three loans away from Easter Road, this being his third appearance for the club. Campbell’s last was against Stirling Albion in the League Cup over two years ago. But he shone in midfield for Ross and played a key part in the winner.
As we write this, Hibs’ third round opponents have not been decided, but they might have been by the time you read this. It will likely be Rijeka of Croatia, who hold a 2-0 lead over Maltese outfit Gzira from the first leg away from home.
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