Newly-promoted Sirens earned their first point in the BOV Premier League thanks to a 1-1 draw with Senglea Athletic at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
Sirens could consider themselves unlucky not to take home the three points after taking the lead late in the first half. However Senglea fought back to rescue a point.
Both sides had several new faces in squad. Senglea, led by Mario Muscat and Steven Vella, had Matthew Farrugia, Connor Zammit, Manolito Micallef, Sean Cipriott, Karl Pulo, David Xuereb and foreigners Sigitas Olberkis, Elvis Sakyi, Jose Wilkson Teixeira, Mirko Todorovic and Marcelo Dias making their debut. Another two new signings Jan Tanti and Wilfried Zamble were included as substitutes.
On the other hand, new Sirens coach Steve D’Amato named eight new players in the starting line-up, namely goalkeeper David Cassar, Adrian Borg, Siraj Arab Eddin and foreigners Wellington Petinha, Flavio Carioca, Emmanuel Okoye, Sergio Raphael and Romeu Romao. Thiaguinho, who also joined the club this summer, was included as a substitute.
The St. Paul’s Bay side took the lead five minutes from the end of the first half thanks to Emmanuel Okaye who managed to beat goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia with a fine curling shot from outside the area.
Senglea had the chance to level matters on 78 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Ryan Grech floored Jan Tanti inside the area. However Jose Wilkson Teixeira’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by the Sirens goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Senglea managed to equalise when Jose Wilkson Teixeira’s conclusion from the right was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper David Cassar.
SIRENS David Cassar, Ryan Grech, Wellington de Oliveira, Flavio Cheveresan, Emmanuel Okoye, Siraj Arab Eddin (76′ Thiago Espindola de Paula), Angel Manuel Bustos, Adrian Borg, Abdullahi Ige Adeshina, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos Raphael, Romeu Pericles Romao.
Subs not used: Miguel Montfort, Jacques Muscat, Karl Mario Borg, Daniel Sant, Luke Sciberras, Russell Fenech.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Eamon Bugeja
SENGLEA Matthew Farrugia, Connor Zammit, Sigitas Olberkis, Elvis Sakyi, Manolito Micallef (75′ Wilfried Zamble), Taisei Marukawa, Jose Wilkson Teixeira, Sean Cipriott (46′ Jan Tanti), Karl Pulo (58′ Leighton Grech), Mirko Todorovic, David Xuereb, Marcelo Mariano Dias.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Andrei Spiteri, Connor Zammit, Justin Martin Micallef.
Coach: Steven Vella
Goalkeepers Coach: Mario Muscat
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Theodore Zammit
Fourth Official: Alex Johnson
Yellow Cards: Okoye, Adeshina, Xuereb, Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Sergio Raphael