SLIEMA WANDERERS 0
Sliema Wanderers and Sirens gave life to a fascinating duel that, however, failed to produce a goal as the stalemate prevailed at the Centenary Stadium.
Both teams came into the match after a contrasting start to the championship. Sliema beat Hibernians 3-1 while Sirens suffered a 5-1 defeat to Ħamrun Spartans.
However, one has to say that both teams gave everything to return home with the three points in the bag as they created several scoring opportunities at either end but lacked the much-needed sharpness upfront to grab the breakthrough.
In the end, both teams had to settle for a point that saw Sliema taking sole leadership with four points while Sirens remained at the lower end with just one point to show.
Sliema coach Andrea Pisanu effected one change to the team that beat Hibernians in their league opener. Young wing back Alex Satariano was preferred to Riki Kakinuma.
Sirens, on the other hand, brought in Terence Agius to their starting XI to fill the void left by the suspended Ryan Scicluna while Jonathan Pearson and Romeo Romao started ahead of Adrian Borg and Jacob Walker.
It was Sliema who looked the brighter side in the opening stages and after eight minutes Juri Cisotti hit a thumping drive that flashed wide.
Seven minutes later, Jean Paul Farrugia fed the sprinting Satariano who, however, was closed down by Raphael.
Sirens finally threatened just past th ehalf hour when Samba Tounkara sped clear but his final touch was too heavy and goalkeeper Jake Galea could clear the danger
However, the best chance of the half came Sliema’s way on 39 minutes when Myles Beerman let fly a stinging drive that beat David Cassar but the ball came off the upright.
After the break, Sirens started brightly and on 51 minutes Maxuell initiated a swift raid and the Brazilian released Wellington who with only Galea to beat shot straight at the Sliema shot-stopper.
The St Paul’s Bay side continued to press forward and six minutes later Wellington was brought down by Linton just before entering into the area.
From the resultant free-kick Thiago Espindola’s curler was pushed away by Galea.
Just past the hour, Sirens were reduced to ten men when Espindola picked up a second booking. From the resultant free-kick Danny Holla’s inswinger was pushed away by Cassar.
Numerical parity was restored on 67 minutes when Linton also picked his second yellow card and was dismissed.
Both teams went for broke in the final stages with Sliema coming the nearest to a winner on 88 minutes when Cisotti tried an overhead kick with the ball just missing the target.