Valletta and Hibernians shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Sunday.
Both goals came in the second half, Shaun Dimech firing Valletta in front against the run of play only for Gonzalo Llerena to level for Hibernians minutes later with a perfect lob over the head of keeper Guarnone.
There was a new look to Valletta with six new signings lining up against the reigning champions.
The game got off to a lively start with Clive Gauci shooting over from close range.
Hibernians came close to going in front when Muritala blocked a goalmouth clearance but his pass to the unmarked Degabriele was cut off.
A concern for both teams was a pitch which appeared to be cutting up bad ly.
Degabriele had the ball in the net just after half an hour but his strike was ruled out for an offside. He went close again moments later but his shot hit the side netting.
Thaylor was tormenting the Valletta defenders with his powerful runs down the right wing and shortly after the restart picked out Kristensen in the box but the Hibs captain dragged his shot well wide.
Shortly before the hour, Valletta took the lead when Shaun Dimech fired past Kone.
City supporters were singing the praises of their heroes but moments later were silenced when Llerena lobbed the ball over Guarnone to level for Hibernians.
Both sides carved out decent chance later in the game, Llerena firing over in front of goal and Ruiz’s header just smothered by Kone.
A draw a fair result for an entertaining season opener.
Man of the Match: Bravo Gonzalo Llerena, Hibernians.
Photo: Andrew Grima