Three Maltese football teams have left local fans beaming after they stormed their way to the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League on the same night.
It was a night to remember as Hibernians, Gżira United and Ħamrun Spartans made it to the next round of one of Europe’s major tournaments.
Last week, all three sides still had qualification in their crosshairs. Hibernians went into the second leg of the tournament holding a 3-2 lead over Levadia Tallinn (Estonia) while Gżira were held to a 2-2 draw with Radnicki Nis (Serbia), both on home soil.
Ħamrun Spartans started off in a really strong position after having secured a massive win of 1-0 over Velez Mostar (Bosnia) in Sarajevo.
In the second leg, Malta Premier League champions Hibernians held their opponents to a 1-1 draw in the second leg, easing their way with a win on aggregate.
Ħamrun Spartans, conversely, doubled up with a 1-0 win on home soil, moving through to the next round with a cool 2-0 aggregate score.
An exciting showdown ensued with Gżira United, after a late, extra-time goal from Maxuell had the game end at 3-3, only to be decided on a penalty shootout.
A nerve-wracking moment followed as fans remained on the edge of their seats to see the final outcome of the match. But Gżira ended the night with a penalty shootout win of 3-1.
Maltese football fans can now look forward to a historic third-round showing against the next set of formidable teams:
- RFS (Latvia) vs Hibernians
- Wolfsberger (Austria) vs Gżira United
- Levski Sofia (Bulgaria) vs Ħamrun Spartans
Their performance garnered high praise, with the Prime Minister himself taking to social media to congratulate the teams.
Well done Hibernians, Gżira United and Ħamrun Spartans