Hamrun Spartans missed out on the opportunity to take sole leadership in the BOV Premier League as they were held in a 2-2 draw by Lija Athletic at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
This third 2-2 draw in four matches puts the Spartans on level points with leaders Sliema Wanderers. Lija, on the other hand, earn their first point after six consecutive defeats. However, they still remain second from bottom.
Lija took the lead on the 45th minute when off a cross by Carlos Flores from the right, Erjon Beu controlled the ball before hitting past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
But within a minute, Hamrun levelled matters when Emerson Marcelina sent Joseph Mbong through on the left and the latter served Predrag Djodjevic whose fine shot from the edge of the area beat goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.
Three minutes in the second half, Hamrun made it 2-1 thanks to a first-time effort by Joseph Mbong who slammed the ball home following a cross by Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares from the left.
However on the 63rd minute, Lija restored equilibrium courtesy of Erjon Beu who took the ball off a short clearance by Manuel Bartolo, beating him with a long-distance shot from the left.
LIJA Luke Bonnici, Carl Joseph Cassar (72′ Clayton Giordmaina), Leon
Micallef, Ishmael Borg, Daniel Scerri, Erjon Beu, Carlos Flores (67′ Valdo Goncalves Alhinho), Fernando Javier Brandan, Harry Wood (87′ Neil Micallef), Miguel Perez Jimenez, Juan Cruz Gill.
Coach: Joseph Galea
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Darko Gojkovic, Matthew Guillaumier, Joseph
Essien Mbong, Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares, Franklin Sasere (60′ Marcelo Barbosa), Elkin Serrano Valero, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Predrag Djordjevic, Karl Micallef, Emerson Marcelina (69′ Ige Abdullahi Adeshina).
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
Referee: Slobodan Petrovic
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, James Muscat
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: M. Jimenez, C. J. Attard, L. Muscat, L. Bonnici, D. Scerri (L), M. Guillaumier (H)
BOV Player of the Match: Erjon Beu (L)