A four-goal thriller between Pietà Hotspurs FC and Sliema Wanderers FC opened the new Maltese Premier League season with a bang at the weekend.
Pietà were just only denied maximum points against their more illustrious opponents when an injury-time goal saved Sliema's blushes.
Pietà almost went ahead when Digger Okonkwo's header from a Jurilj free-kick beat Murphy Akanji in the Sliema goal and on 67 minutes they gained the lead their efforts deserved when Akanji brought down Malcolm Licari in the penalty box and Ivan Woods converted the spot-kick.
Sliema draw level
Barely nine minutes later though Sliema were level. Danilo Doncic provided his compatriot Nenad Veselji with a perfect assist and his neat flick over the onrushing Saviour Darmanin found the back of the net.
On 90 minutes Pietà regained the lead when a smart move between Jamie Pace and Ivan Woods paved the way for Malcolm Licari to stroll his way past Akanji and roll the ball into an empty net. However in stoppage time Darmanin fumbled a cross, allowing Massimo Grima to collect the loose ball and chip an equaliser.
Elsewhere, Birkirkara FC hit Marsa FC for six in the second Saturday game at the National Stadium. An early own goal from Christian Sylvester opened the scoring and further goals from Clint Micallef, Matthew Calascione, Lucien Dronca, Roderick Briffa and Chucks Nwoko completed the rout.
Champions on song
A four-goal burst against newcomers Marsaxlokk FC secured three points for champions Hibernians FC as they began their title defence on Sunday. Adrian Mifsud with and Terence Scerri both scored twice although the dismissal of Kevin Cassar marred Hibernians' day somewhat.
The second Sunday game saw Hamrun Spartans FC edge past Floriana FC 1-0 thanks to a goal from Charlo Bonnici while Valletta FC beat newcomers Mosta FC 4-0 with strikes from Renee Forace and Daniel Theuma and two goals from Chris Oretan.
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