Newly-promoted duo Gzira United and Hamrun Spartans maintained their unbeaten record in the BOV Premier League as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday.
The Spartans therefore move fifth on four points, two behind the four teams who claimed maximum points from the first two matches. For Gzira, this was the second consecutive 1-1 draw.
Both coaches opted to make no changes from their first outing when Hamrun defeated Hibernians 3-1 and Gzira held Tarxien. However the Spartans had three new Brazilian players on the bench – Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Leandro Motta and Sergio Raphael – all making their debut when they were included as substitutes.
The Maroons showed better ideas in the opening minutes, going close on the 13th thanks to Rafael Ledesma whose attempt from the right was deflected by David Cassar onto the post and into a corner.
Gzira took the lead seven minutes from the end of the first half when off a corner from the left by Rafael Ledesma, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto flicked the ball past goalkeeper David Cassar.
Early in the second half, the Spartans went on the offensive and Jurgen Borg was prominent with a number of fine saves.
Hamrun equalised on the 66th when off a freekick from the right by Leandro Motta from the right, Jorge Mesqueu Neto headed the ball home past goalkeeper Jurgen Borg.
HAMRUN David Cassar, Philip Chircop (87′ Sergio Raphael dos Anjos Raphael), Glenn Azzopardi, Mark Anthony Borg, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Luke Sciberras, Luke Grech, Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia (42′ Jorge Mesqueu Neto), Jake Grech, Ryan Spiteri (56′ Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos), Saturday Nanapere.
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Luis Miguel Vergara Rodriguez, Rodney Refalo, Daren Falzon.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
GZIRA Jurgen Borg, Joceano da Silva Santos, Joceano da Silva Santos (79′ Dyson Falzon), Gianmarco Conti, Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Moises Avila Perez, Jacob Borg, Souleymane Diamoutene, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto ‘Tony’, Yanis Tonna (58′ Karl Pulo), Robert de Pinho Souza (68′ John Nwoba).
Subs not used: Jamie Azzopardi, Kyle Gerada, Andre White, Jonathan Bondin.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Gatt Baldacchino, Patrick Teixeira, Tony, J. Borg, Jorginho, Sciberras, Avila Perez
Scorers: 38′ Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto, 66′ Jorge Mesqueu Neto
BOV Player of the Match: Jorge Mesqueu Neto