Sliema Wanderers missed a penalty but still managed to leave Ta’ Qali with a draw as they shared the spoils with Hungarian side Ferencváros in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round on Tuesday.
The Blues shared the exchanges with their opponents throughout the ninety minutes and with a bit more of luck, they could have gone into the second leg with a win.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg
Sliema coach Alfonso Greco named new recruits Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Marko Potezica and Michael Mifsud in the starting line-up as he had the full squad at his disposal.
The Wanderers had an excellent opportunity to forge ahead on the 14th minute when referee Arnold Hunter awarded them a penalty after Attila Busai brought Scozzese down inside the area. However from the penalty spot, Michael Mifsud hit wide.
The visitors went close to taking the lead six minutes from the end of the first half when Attila Busai found himself just in front of Glenn Zammit after receiving an intelligent pass but the Sliema custodian managed to block the ball into a corner.
However one minute later, Sliema broke the deadlock thanks to Stanley Ohawuchi who concluded a fine solo effort with a low shot from inside the area which gave goalkeeper Dibusz no chance.
In added time, Paltemio Barbetti had a long-distance freekick ending just over the bar.
Two minutes in the second half, Stjepan Kukuruzovic tested Zammit with a shot from the edge of the area. Four minutes later, Zammit performed another good save on Philipp Bonig from the right.
On the 70th, Mifsud almost doubled the score when he rounded the goalkeeper but his conclusion from the edge of the area was headed into a corner by Ramajo.
Six minutes later, the Hungarians levelled matters when a freekick from the right by Kukuruzovic, the ball was not held by the Sliema goalkeeper and hit the crossbar and off the rebound, Michal Nalepa tapped the ball home.
Sliema replied with a fine header by Stefano Bianciardi ending just wide off a cross from the right on 82 minutes. Five minutes later, Scozzese was unlucky to hit the upright with a first-timer from close range following a freekick from midfield.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Marko Potezica, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Michael Mifsud, Stanley Ohawuchi, Paltemio Barbetti, Beppe Muscat (68′ Trevor Cilia), Stefano Bianciardi.
FERENCVAROS Denes Dibusz, Philipp Bonig, Bejnamin Lauth, Daniel Bode, Stjepan Kukuruzovic (46′ David Holman), Gabor Gyomber, Attila Busai (46′ Werlington do Rosario Calmon), Daniel Nagy (46′ Vladan Cukic), Michal Nalepa, Predrag Bosnjak, David Mateos Ramaja.
Referee: Arnold Hunter (NIR)
The second leg will be played in Budapest on Thursday 10.
The winner of the two-legged clash between Sliema Wanderers and Ferencvárosi TC will be meeting the winner of the clash between HNK Rijeka of Croatia.