Pietà Hotspurs earned their first point in the BOV Premier League as they scored a late goal to hold Qormi in a 2-2 draw in a clash between the two teams who were promoted from Division 1 last season at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday .
This was the fourth point for Qormi, who were coming from a defeat to Balzan after winning their first match against Senglea. On the other hand, the Hotspurs had lost to Hibernians and Birkirkara with an identical 1-2 score.
Making his debut for Qormi was Mexican-American striker Mario Andres Arrieta Suarez. Arrieta, Iven Zammit and Tensior Gusman replaced Alan Abela, Alessio Cassar and Michael Camilleri from the last game. Pietà, on the other hand, welcomed back goalkeeper Nicky Vella and Jalo Ishaya Irimiya. They were two of four changes from the team which lost to Birkirkara along with Neil Pace Cocks and Christian Degabriele. They replaced Jacob Chircop St John, Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa, Ayrton Mizzi and Shunsuke Nakamura who were all on the bench.
Qormi managed to take the lead on the half-hour when off a cross from the left by Iven Zammit, Manolito Micallef slotted the ball past the Pietà goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, Yannick Yankam went close once again for Qormi with a shot from close range hitting the upright.
The Hotspurs however levelled matters on the 40th minute when off a Neil Pace Cocks freekick from the left, Antonio de Queiroz Macedo Neto headed home in style past Qormi goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi.
Qormi regained the lead eight minutes in the second half thanks to Tensior Gusman whose rising shot from the edge of the area beat the Hotspurs goalkeeper.
On the 62nd minute, Qormi could have increased the lead further when they were awarded a penalty after Mario Andres Arrieta was brought down inside the area by Grech; however Arrieta’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Nicky Vella.
However one minute from time, Pietà restored equilibrium thanks to Gabriel Mensah who slotted the ball past Azzopardi from an ideal position inside the area.
QORMI Jamie Azzopardi, Mario Andres Arrieta (64′ Michael Camilleri), Davide Mansi, Yannick Yankam, Seo-In Kim (72′ Alessio Cassar), Manolito Micallef, Gaetano Gesualdi, Lubos Adamec, Kassiano Soares Mendonca, Iven Zammit, Tensior Gusman (77′ Alexsandro Ferreira).
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Alan Abela, Nick Ghio, Luke Busuttil.
Coach: Brian Spiteri
Asst. Coach: Matthew Psaila
PIETÀ Nicky Vella, Takaki Ose, Christian Degabriele (82′ Nicolas Pisani), Neil Pace Cocks (60′ Shunsuke Nakamura), Dylan Agius (60′ Ayrton Mizzi), Paul Chimezie, Jan Busuttil, Gabriel Mensah, Christian Grech, Ishaya Irimiya Jalo, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto.
Subs not used: Jacob Chircop St John, Travis Bartolo, Clyde Bouvet, Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa.
Coach: Ramon Zammit
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella
Referee: Jude Amin Utulu
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Shaun Calleja
Yellow Cards: T. Gusman, C. Grech, D. Agius, J. Busuttil, I. Jalo, M. Camilleri
BOV Player of the Match: Iven Zammit