Hamrun Spartans held Gzira United in a goalless draw at the National Stadium on Friday.
For the Maroons, this was a disappointing result as they were hoping for a winning start. Hamrun, on the other hand, were definitely happy to start with a positive result as they faced their former coach Giovanni Tedesco.
For Gzira, Tedesco named his typical formation with the exception of Juan Carlos Corbalan who started on the bench.
Hamrun, on the other hand, had Clayton Failla, Ailton Jorge Soares, Nicola Leone, Soufaine Lagzir and Mattia Cinquini making their debut along with coach Manuele Blasi.
The Maroons created the better chances, going close with a fine effort by Jefferson de Assis which was saved in two attempts by Manuel Bartolo. The Hamrun goalkeeper then failed to hold an Andrew Cohen effort but Hamed Kone hit wide. Jefferson then headed high off a cross by Cohen and later, off a cross by Samb, the Brazilian’s header was cleared into safety by a defender.
In the second half, Manuel Bartolo performed a good save on Hamed Kone. Amadou Samb was unlucky to hit the upright on 68 minutes but on the 85th minute, Clayton Failla went close for Hamrun with a free kick.
GZIRA Justin Haber, Fernando Barbosa, Gianmarco Conti, Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen (83′ Sacha Borg), Hamed Kone, Amadou Samb, Arthur Henrique Oyama, Jefferson de Assis.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Luca Brincat, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Christian Sammut, Romario Camilleri.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Triston Caruana, Ailton Jorge Soares (72′ Bradley Schembri), Wilfried Domoraud, Clayton Failla, Nicola Leone, Soufiane Lagzir, Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Mattia Cinquini.
Subs not used: Jean Claude Debattista, Karl Lee Schembri, Christopher Galea, Darren Borg, Miguel Tabone, Ryan Darmanin.
Coach: Manuele Blasi
Asst. Coach: Fabrizio Antonini
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Conti, Leone, Micallef, Jefferson, Lagzir, Barbosa, Criaco
BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson de Assis