SIRENS: S. Mintoff-6, R. Tachikawa-7, A. Effiong-6, D. Albanese-7, A. Borg-6, J. Walker-5.5, F. Brandan-7, C. Zammit Lonardelli-6.5 (78 B. Govrila), K. Jackson-6, C. Riascos-, K. Reid-6.5.
MOSTA: C. Mafoumbi-6, D. Debono-5, C. Failla-5, J. Nsumoh-4 (36 Z.Brincat-6.5), J. Bezzina-6, O. Edhere-5.5 (71 W. Donkin), T. Farrugia-5.5, I. Doric-6, L. Riascos-4 (46 G. Sciberras-6), I. Igbineweka-5 (62 C. Meme-), J. Ekani-5.
Referee: Darryl Agius
Yellow cards: Reid, Jackson, Tachikawa, L. Riascos, Edhere, Bezzina, Ekani, Brandan.
BOV Player of the match: Rei Tachikawa (Sirens)
If this encounter were a boxing match, Sirens would have won on points. Yet, Winston Muscat’s side were left frustrated by a battling Mosta, who held on for a point.
Substitute Zachary Brincat put Mosta ahead against the run of play when he beat Sean Mintoff with a close-range shot. Kemar Reid quickly levelled for Sirens, expertly rounding two defenders before slotting the ball into the net.
Sirens enjoyed most of the possession and the closest they came to a winner was when Fernando Brandan lobbed the ball over Chris Mafoumbi, only to hit the crossbar.
The Mosta defence looked uncomfortable in the early stages and they were soon exposed when Jacob Walker made space for a cross from the right and Brandan shot wide when he should really have found the target.
Sirens, in contrast, were full of confidence after having beating Gudja a week ago, and they could have taken the lead past the quarter of the hour mark when Degran Jackson hit a low ball that fizzed across the face of goal.
After just half an hour, Mosta coach Mario Muscat brought on Gianluca Sciberras to try and shore up the middle and gain possession. And while the Blues eventually managed to plug those gaps at the back, they took a great deal longer to threaten at the other end.
Mosta’s first meaningful effort came just after half-time and saw substitute Gianluca Sciberras head Clayton Failla’s free-kick behind Sirens goalkeeper Sean Mintoff. But their effort was ruled out for offside.
Sirens were still playing the neater football and went close to taking the lead when Alfred Effiong saw his shot blocked by Henri Mafoumbi after being played in by the quick-thinking Rei Tachikawa.
Having had their best spell of the match, Sirens still found themselves behind. Johann Bezzina forced Mintoff into a low save, as Brincat, who was following up, prodded the ball home.
Mosta’s lead lasted only five minutes before Sirens drew level, courtesy of Kemar Reid’s solo strike. The Jamaican striker weaved past two challenges in the box and, after a glance at the goalkeeper, fired home.
Minutes later, Brandan’s lofted finish drifted over Mafoumbi but his effort crashed against the crossbar.
Sirens finished the game the strongest but Mosta held on for their first point of the season.