Newly-promoted Senglea Athletic registered the first surprise result on match day 1 of the BOV Premier League 2017/18 after holding Sliema Wanderers in a 2-2 draw at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday.
The Blues held the initiative early in the game but against the run of play, Senglea took the lead and although the Wanderers turned the score in their favour, the newly-promoted side levelled matters to start the season on a positive note.
Goran Adamovic was the only new face for Sliema while Senglea had no less than six players making their debut, namely Jonathan Bondin, Ian Azzopardi, Ivan Edgardo Paz, Antonio Terracciano, Matias Garcia and Nicola Palmieri.
Senglea took the lead on the 26th minute thanks to a Nicola Palmieri header off a corner by Ivan Paz from the right.
Sliema equalised on the 36th minute with a goal by Gabriel Aquilina who received a cross from the right and controlled before slotting the ball past Timmy Aquilina.
Three minutes later, following an inviting cross by Ricardo Correa from the left, John Mintoff hit home from close range.
However Senglea levelled matters on the 53rd minute thanks to Matias Garzia who concluded a solo effort on the left by hitting the ball past the Sliema custodian.
SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, John Mintoff, Gabriel Aquilina (78′ Mark Scerri), Ryan Spiteri (78′ Leandro Motta), Peter Xuereb, Frank Temile, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi, Alex Muscat, Ricardo Correa, Goran Adamovic (52′ Michele Sansone).
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Luke Borg, Jonathan Pearson, Dylan Micallef.
Coach: John Buttigieg
SENGLEA Timmy Aquilina, Jonathan Bondin, Ian Azzopardi, Antonio Terracciano, Matias Garcia, Terence Vella (90+1′ Ryan Dalli), Hubert Vella, Nicola Palmieri (85′ Augusto Caseras), Beppe Muscat, Ivan Paz.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Randall Vella, Jurgen Farrugia, Mattia Del Negro, Terence Scerri.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Correa, Terracciano, Muchardi, B. Muscat, Paz, Xuereb, Bondin
BOV Player of the Match: Mathias Muchardi