Gzira United were held in a 2-2 draw by Glentoran FC of Northern Ireland in the first leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.
A result which leaves qualification wide open ahead of the second leg which willl be played at The BetMcLean Oval on Thursday, kick-off at 20:30. The winner would be facing the winner of the clash between F91 Diddeleng of Luxembourg and Saint Patrick’s Athletic FC of Ireland.
Hardly thirty seconds had passed that Glentoran were awarded a penalty after Thiaguinho handled the ball inside the area but Chukwuemeka Uzokwe hit high from the penalty spot.
Gzira replied with an assist by Ewertton for Lucas Macula whose powerful shot was turned into a corner on the 9th minute.
However, a few seconds later, Glentoran forged ahead when off a cross from the right, Chukwuemka Uzokwe headed home from close range
The Maroons fought back and equalised on the 29th minute when Brooklyn Borg delivered a cross from the right and Lucas Macula headed the ball in the direction of Jose Wilkson who hit home from close range.
Five minutes from time, the Maroons went ahead when Brooklyn Borg, served on the right by Lucas Macula, beat goalkeeper with a low shot from outside the area.
However, three minutes in the second half, the visitors levelled matters when off a quickly-taken freekick, there was a cross from a left and Daire O’Conchubhair headed the ball past goalkeeper David Cassar.
A great volley by the same player a minute later just missed the target.
GZIRA David Cassar, Carlos Chaba, Andy Borg, Marcelo Dias, Lucas Macula, Farid Romero, Ewertton, Brooklyn Borg, Wilkson (73′ Ryan Essaka), Thiaguinho, Jackson Mendoza.
GLENTORAN Aaron McCarey, Luke McCullough, Aidan Wilson, Robert Burns, Seamus McCartan (90+4′ Joshua Kelly), Rhys Marshall, Daire O’Conchubhair (80′ Rory Donnelly), James Singleton, Aaron Wightman (46’ Fuad Sule), Niall McGinn, Chukwuemka Uzokwe (68′ Jay Donnelly).
Referee: Stefan Ebner AUT
Assistant Referees: Roland Brandner, Manuel Undesser AUT
Fourth Official: Achim Untergasser AUT