|Round 20 Match Report|
|Saturday, 23 August 2008|
Goal Scorers: Peter Koutsoupias, Craig Sweeney.
Sunshine George Cross Line up: M. John, S Romein, F. Richards, L. Shin (a. Nabbout 69), D. Cameron, B. Cogger, T Apostolikas (J. Blackburn 68), E. Christodoulou, B. Devlin, A. Bourakis (P. Koutsoupias 75) Craig Sweeney.
Sunshine George Cross kept their Premier League chances very much alive with this come from behind 2-1 win over final's aspirant Oakleigh Cannons. The Georgies appeared heading for the drop after Ricky Diaco scored a sensational goal from 25 metres at the 68 minute mark that gave Martin John no chance what so ever. Georgie coach Theo Constantinou emptied out his bench after this goal bringing on three forwards in a desperate attempt to get a result. Substitute Peter Koutsoupias first involvement in the game saw him get cautioned, but the little striker repaid his coach when he got on the end of a James Blackburn header at the 87 minutes mark to blast home the equalising goal. In the excitement of scoring Koutsoupias took his shirt off briefly, for which he was cautioned again and shown the red card. It was a very sweet and bitter moment for Koutsoupias who had only been on the pitch for 12 minutes. The drama continued to the end, with the 10 men Georgies still pushing forward in search for a most unlikely win. This came in the 92 minute when Referee Matthew Evans awarded a penalty kick after he judged James Blackburn had been dragged in the penalty area. Young sweeper Craig Sweeney stepped up to the plate and managed to get his shot past Griffin McMaster who despite getting plenty on the ball, could not prevent the winning goal. Sunshine George Cross fans could not believe their eyes at the turn around and their team's never say die attitude. The strong winds affected the quality of the play in the first half with many high balls being played by both teams. Sunshine looked good going forward with good inter play on the right wing between Fidell Richards and Leo Shin that ended with a shot over the cross-bar. Martin John was forced to dive at the feet of Oakleigh's Michael Curcija to clear the danger after Andrew Bourakis gave the ball away in a dangerous position. Bill Damianos' free kick kick saw Karpeh's flick header go narrowly past the post. Not long after Jerry Karpeh had another close range header go over the bar after the ball bobbed all over the penalty area. Ricky Diaco brought off a great save from Martin John following a well taken free kick. Ben Cogger and Leo Shin were in the heart of the action for the Cross and provided plenty of drive in midfield. Oakleigh's best scoring chance came after 38 minutes when a good centre by Ashley Savanah found Ricky Diaco inside the penalty area. Despite Diaco's strong drive on target, Martin John produced another trade mark save, to send the teams on equal terms at the break. Though Sunshine had a lot of possession their attempts on goal were few and caused Griffin McMaster very few problems. Jerry Karpeh continued to pose a threat for the Cross and had a very good opportunity early in the second half when he got behind the Georgie defence, but his effort on gaol was poor by his standard. Goal scoring chances were limited with Fidell Richards having a close range shot blocked by a packed Oakleigh defence. At the other end Michale Curcija's deep cross found his strike partner Jerry Karpeh, but once again Martin John denied him by deflecting his header for a corner. It was a finely balanced match with the Georgies fans sensing a change in of fortunes. The home fans were stunned into silence and their hopes appeared to be dashed following Ricky Diaco wonder strike to give Oakleigh the lead. What was to follow thrilled the small crowd at the Knights Stadium as the Georgies struck back with 2 goals in the final 5 minutes to end a 9 game losing streak. This result has thrown a spanner in the works, as to which two teams will be relegated in two weeks time. In round 21 Sunshine travels to The George Andrews Reserve to play Dandenong Thunder.
UNDER 21: Sunshine George Cross 1 Oakleigh Cannons 2. Goal Scorer:
Our under 21 produced a great second half but could not overcome a 2 goal first half deficit goinf down 2-1 to Oakleigh Cannons. Two very soft first half goals made life easy for the Oaks before the Georgies realized they were in a match. Great goal scoring opportunities were created but to the disappointment of the georgie camp only one goal was scored.
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