Hibee History: Konte and Sproule on target in Latvia
Hibs booked a place in the third round of the Intertoto cup with an easy win in Latvia against Dinaburg.
A double from Amadou Konte and a third from Ivan Sproule sealed an 8-0 aggregate victory amid hot conditions.
Konte opened the scoring taking advantage of Dinaburg slackness with a simple first-half shot, and added another mid-way through the second.
Sproule crowned a fine team display with a superb strike to set up a likely tie against Odense BK of Denmark.
The visitors arrived in Daugavpils, Latvia’s second largest city, already overwhelming favourites to progress.
Hibs boss Tony Mowbray elected to leave out Scott Brown who was one more yellow card away from suspension, and striker Chris Killen.
In blistering hot conditions at the Tseltnieks Stadium, Dinaburg tried to put together a passing game on a bumpy pitch, in front of a tiny crowd.
And in the early stages they were already much-improved from the weak side who were routed 5-0 in the first leg at Easter Road.
But the Latvian minnows gifted a sloppy goal after 20 minutes. It was an embarrassing error by goalkeeper Vadims Fjodorovs, as he fumbled an easy loose pass. And with his defence totally static the ball bobbled to Konte who had the easiest of tasks to roll the ball into the corner of the net.
Dinaburg lacked impetus as the first-half came to a close and with the Hibs rearguard comfortable an equaliser was looking unlikely.
However, after the restart, Hibs goalkeeper Simon Brown swung into action for the first time when he had to react quickly against a shot from Dinaburg substitute Kozlov.
Mowbray’s side subsequently punished the Latvians thereafter, with Konte grabbing his second of the evening.
It was inspired by Sproule, speeding to the byline and his precise cross found Konte who flashed a shot from six yards into the net for a tidy finish.
It was no surprise when Sproule slammed in the third in the 76th minute. Paul Dalglish laid the ball off to the winger and his angled drive was perfect, capping a fine display from the Ulsterman.
Hibs were on cruise control and Dalglish was unlucky to see his curling shot strike the woodwork.
Hibs: Brown, Murphy, Hogg, Jones, Whittaker, McCluskey, Sproule, Thomson, Stewart, Konte, Fletcher. Subs: Malkowski, Dalglish, Glass, Konde, Shiels, McDonald, Shields.