SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS
( OPAZO 84', TRPCEVSKI 93' )
( KOCE DELEV 89', KOLE DELEV 91')
LINE UP: John,Cini,Azzopardi,Tsoumerkas,Napoli,Salley,Kalmar,Magnacca,Husanovic(Falzon 70),Opazo(Zilic 86),Simsek(Trpcevski 60)
The Georgies entered the match with an unchanged winning starting eleven from the win away at Fawkner 6 days prior, as the only changes were made on the bench with Stanko Zilic stepping in for Nana Addo to bolster the defensive options and Michael Fiorenza replacing Brian Maher as number 2 keeper. Looking to improve on a couple of lack lustre home performances the Georgies again looked unsettled in front of the expectant home fans as the Magic laid siege to the Cross goal early with an early shot on target and placing the Georgie defence under immense pressure and causing errors and turnovers as well as two bookings inside the first 20 minutes to Cini and John.
The wide men of Magic in Talevski and ex -Georgie Richards were causing havoc for the Georgie midfield as the spaces out wide were exploited by the visitors early and if it wasn't for some desperate saves by John and aerial heroics of Ilia Tsoumerkas, the home side so easily could have found itself 1 or 2-0 down.
However after the half hour mark the midfield of Salley, Magnacca and Kalmar, started to dictate terms and Fikret Husanovic began to find his own spaces out wide. A thunderous strike from Kalmar outside the Magic area was a warning to the visitors that all would not be one way traffic in this encounter.
With the half time whistle signalling a 0-0 score, there was a growing confidence amongst the Georgie players and coaching staff, that the match was more than winnable providing the threat of the Magic'c wide players was arrested.
A quality long ball found Kam Simsek with ample space and time and on-side within the area, and one on one with the keeper from close range, Simsek could only manage to hit the ball into the frame of the keeper Bojo Jevdevic. The rebound fell to Opazo a mere couple of metres from the gaping net but his rebound header could only find the woodwork.
At the other end shortly after Richards struck from distance only to find the woodwork himself as Altona made a concerted effort to get back into the game.
And so to the dying minutes of the game, after Trpcevski and Falzon were brought on to inject drive in the midfield, Opazo finally found space in the crowded Altona area after a rasping left drive from Nick Kalmar was parried into his path by Jevdevic to slot the ball past the keeper into the net.
Then, controversially, from a corner kick it was the Magic's Koce Delev, unmarked in the 6 yard box, who headed downwards with Matt Cini on far post duty seemingly knocking the ball off the line. The assistant referee was convinced that the ball had crossed the line. The goal was awarded, 1-1 the score....the drama was by no means finished as two minutes later and a minute into stoppage time, it was the other Delev twin in Kole Delev who took advantage of some hesitant defending with some great skill and awareness in the Cross area and headed home an unlikely shock winner, or so it seemed.
With the match deep in stoppage time and with Altona Magic holding a 2-1 lead, the Cross attacked the Magic goal in numbers and won a series of corners, the first two of which were barely cleared by the last line Magic defence with some desperate goal line clearances. However the third corner fell to the feet of super sub Trpcevski, who, in a crowded penalty area managed to find the gaps in a forest of legs and slammed a ground level strike into the net to...on this occasion for a change...reward the Georgies with a late equaliser.
94th minute. 2-2 the score. In the space of 8 minutes, the game was won, then lost and then salvaged as for the first time in 3 years of attempts, the Georgies have finally managed a result against a quality Altona Magic team.
|SHOTS ON TARGET:
|SHOTS OFF TARGET:
YELLOW CARDS: CINI 10', JOHN 17', NAPOLI 89'