Europa Conference League - Qualifying Second Round - 2nd Leg
FC Santa ColomaFC Santa Coloma1HibernianHibernian2

FC Santa Coloma 1-2 Hibernian (1-5 agg): Youngsters impress as Hibs progress in Europe

By Matthew ReedBBC Sport Scotland
Jamie Murphy
Jamie Murphy equalised within three minutes of Lopez's opener

Jack Ross was impressed by his young players as Hibernian recovered from a shock deficit against Santa Coloma to comfortably reach the Europa Conference League third qualifying round.

Guillaume Lopez gave the Andorran part-timers a second-leg lead, but Jamie Murphy soon levelled for the visitors.

Daniel Mackay, 20, then followed up 21-year-old Josh Campbell's shot off the post to net his first Hibs goal.

"Josh can be pleased with his performance," said head coach Ross.

"He hasn't really had an opportunity at Hibs so had to go on loan, but he's had an impressive pre-season and played a big part in the second goal.

"There were a lot of young players in the team tonight - five under 22 - and they all did well."

Hibs, now two ties from the group stage after progressing 5-1 on aggregate, will face Croatian outfit Rijeka with the first leg at Easter Road next Thursday.

Ross' men began brightly and dominated play throughout but were wasteful with their numerous opportunities.

Kevin Nisbet rattled the crossbar with a 20-yard strike while Paul McGinn and Kyle Magennis forced good saves from Ramos Prada in the opening half.

Debutant Jake Doyle-Hayes should have done better when he was found by the impressive winger Campbell.

Paul Hanlon also ought have put the away side ahead, blazing his volley over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Hibs' spurned chances allowed the home side to grow in confidence and they began to gain a foothold.

Goalkeeper Matt Macey pulled off two superb saves from Lopez but could not prevent the Frenchman opening the scoring. The lively forward picked up the ball on the left before firing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.

Poor goalkeeping at the other end helped Hibs to quickly level as Murphy latched on to a long ball before neatly curling over the out-of-position Prada to quell any Edinburgh anxiety.

Mackay's close-range finish then finally gave the away side the lead they deserved and a timely confidence boost for the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle winger.

Hibs threatened time and again in the closing stages but were unable to add to their tally.

Man of the Match - Josh Campbell

Josh Campbell
The winger spent last season on loan at Edinburgh City but impressed on a rare Hibs start

What did we learn?

A mixed Hibs performance but one that won't count for too much this early in the season, particularly given the job had largely been done in the first leg.

The biggest positives, besides being in the hat for the next round, were the performances of the young Campbell and Mackay who have both given themselves a chance of turning out in the league this weekend.

What did they say?

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: "When you go behind it's not ideal but before that we had much more control of the game, we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half in particular.

"The reaction to going behind was good and the bulk of what we did tonight was pleasing."

What's next?

After safely progressing in Europe, Hibs begin their Scottish Premiership campaign away to Motherwell on Sunday (16:30 BST).

Line-ups

FC Santa Coloma

  • 1Ramos Prada
  • 3Miranda Rodríguez
  • 8Cisteró SernaBooked at 35minsSubstituted forTizónat 80'minutes
  • 5Rebés Ruiz
  • 21Virgili FernandezSubstituted forMuxellaat 80'minutes
  • 22Rodríguez López
  • 10Santos Escolano
  • 20Blanco CotoBooked at 77mins
  • 14Puerto
  • 23Torres TenaSubstituted forPi Soláat 79'minutes
  • 7Lopez

Substitutes

  • 11Pi Solá
  • 13Benítez
  • 17Muxella
  • 24Tizón

Hibernian

  • 1Macey
  • 3Doig
  • 6McGinnBooked at 40mins
  • 5Porteous
  • 7MagennisSubstituted forWrightat 81'minutes
  • 4HanlonSubstituted forMcGregorat 72'minutes
  • 15NisbetSubstituted forMurphyat 60'minutes
  • 22Doyle-HayesSubstituted forMacKayat 72'minutes
  • 13Gogic
  • 10BoyleSubstituted forDoidgeat 60'minutes
  • 32Campbell

Substitutes

  • 8Wright
  • 9Doidge
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17MacKay
  • 18Murphy
  • 19Gullan
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 24McGregor
  • 30Samson
  • 35Brydon
Referee:
Alex Troleis
Attendance:
80