A goal early in the second half by Kemar Reid handed Sirens a narrow win over Gudja United at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Friday.
Sirens, who had no less than nine new players in the starting line-up named by new coach Winston Muscat, had an edge over their opponents and all in all deserved to take home the three points. Making their debut were Sean Mintoff, Ismael Borg, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Alfred Effiong, Rei Tachikawa, Diego Albanese, Fernando Brandan, Carlos Castillo, Kemar Reid and substitutes Kemmu Degran Jackson and Bogdan Gavrila.
On the other hand, Gudja had Rodolfo Soares, Ito Yasukaze, Ruslan Kisil, Neil Tabone, Junior Dibola and Igor Dudarev together with substitutes Abdeen Temitope Abdul and Leighton Grech making their first appearance for the team now led by coach Thane Micallef.
After just three minutes, Sirens almost forged ahead with a lob by Kemar Reid which scraped past the post and towards the end of the first half, threatened again through Rei Tachikawa.
The St. Paul’s Bay scored the all-important goal on the 50th minute when Fernando Javier Brandan released Kemar Reid on the left and the latter rounded a defender before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
Gudja replied with attempts by Filip Pankarican and Justin Grioli but goalkeeper Sean Mintoff neutralised their attempts.
GUDJA Glenn Zammit, Rodolfo Soares, Filip Pankarican, Ito Yasukaze (46′ Abdeen Temitope Abdul), Gabriel Mensah (82′ Tensior Gusman), Ruslan Kisil, Hubert Vella (53′ Llywelyn Cremona), Neil Tabone, Junior Dibola (75′ Leighton Grech), Justin Grioli, Igor Dudarev.
Coach: Thane Micallef
SIRENS Sean Mintoff, Ismael Borg, Rei Tachikawa, Alfred Effiong (90+3′ Andrej Nakov), Diego Albanese, Adrian Borg, Jacob Walker, Fernando Javier Brandan (83′ Bogdan Gavrila), Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Carlos Andres Castillo Riascos, Kemar Reid (76′ Kemmu Degran Jackson).
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Vasil Vasilev
Fourth Officials: Daniel Casha
Yellow Cards: I. Borg, J. Walker, C. Castillo (S); J. Grioli, A. Abdul, L. Grech (G)
BOV Player of the Match: Fernando Brandan