Hibs 1, Willem II 3: Murray scores; Gray off injured in Algarve
Simon Murray put Hibs ahead as they rounded off their winter training camp in the Algarve with a match against Willem II but the side from the Dutch Eredevise ran out 3-1 winners.
All the goals came in the second half, Murray netting three minutes after the interval but Willem II hit back with three goals in a ten-minute spell.
Mo El Hankouri struck twice before substitute Ismail Assaoui wrapped up their win 12 minutes from time with Ben Riensta having also hit the post for the club from Tilburg.
The 100 or so Hibs fans who had made the journey to Vila Real De Santo Antonio on the Portuguese/Spanish border were denied a first look at new signing Jamie Maclaren, the Australian striker one of a few missing through minor knocks, the others being Anthony Stokes, Danny Swanson, Martin Boyle, Steven Whittaker and Brandon Barker.
Hibs were dealt an early blow when skipper David Gray went down clutching his Achilles and was helped from the field in obvious distress, his place taken by teenager Ryan Porteous.
Willem II went closest to scoring in the opening 15 minutes, El Hankouri wriggling his way into the Hibs penalty area only to see his shot blocked by Darren McGregor.
Hibs hit back with John McGinn finding Murray in space inside the box but his shot sailed high over the bar.
Murray used his chest superbly to direct the ball into the path of Vykintas Slivka to allow the Lithuanian internationalist to deliver a cross into the danger area only for Oli Shaw to have wandered offside.
A perfectly-weighted through ball from Dylan McGeouch split the Willem II defence to leave Shaw one-on-one with Mattijs Branderhorst but the goalkeeper saved with his legs.
Hibs did have the ball in the net in the 38th minute, Shaw turning McGinn’s pass across the face of goal for Murray to slide home – but offside flag had already gone up against his teenage team-mate.
The Easter Road outfit were seeing plenty of the ball with the movement of Murray and Shaw causing the opposition more than a few problems, Willem II defender Darryl Lachman denying both in quick succession before the legs of Branderhorst again coming to his side’s rescue a minute before the interval as Murray tried his luck from a tight angle.
But it took Hibs just three minutes of the second half to get their noses in front, McGinn turning Dylan McGeouch’s superb cross-field pass back across the face of Branderhorst’s goal for Murray to slide home.
Fran Sol had a chance to equalise but Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano was more than equal to his effort before Murray attempted a curling shot which Branderhorst managed to hold high to his left.
But the Dutch side were level after 68 minutes when El Hankouri left Marciano with no chance with a smart finish into the bottom corner.
Riensta went close to putting the Dutch side ahead with 19 minutes remaining, his shot beating Marciano but cracking back off the goalkeeper’s right-hand post.
But El Hankouri took his opportunity, blasting the ball beyond Marciano to put Willem II ahead as Hibs found themselves falling out of the match.
A measure of how much on top the Dutch outfit had found themselves quickly followed as Azzaoui followed up to knock the ball home after Marciano had got down to get a strong left hand to Riensta’s powerful shot.
Hibs (4-4-2): Marciano; Gray (Porteous 7), McGregor (Stirling 65), Hanlon, Stevenson; Slivka, Bartley, McGeouch (F Murray 62), McGinn; Shaw, S Murray (Matulevicius 65). Substitutes not used: Bain, Dabrowski, Fontaine.
Willem II (4-2-3-1): Branderhorst; Dakerlui, Lachman, Heerkins, Wijnaldum; Tsimikas, Chirivella; Rienstra, Haye, El Hankouri; Sol. Substitutes: Wellenreuther, van der Lei, Ogenia, Crowley, Lieftink, van den Bogert, Urbanksi, Boagers, Kristinsson, Coulibaly, Croux, Assaoui.