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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 26 September 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2015 31 SPORT Cannons’ rollercoaster season ends with FFA quarter-final loss to Hume City Hume breaks Oakleigh hearts with late winner in extra time GEORGE STOGIANNOU Oakleigh Cannons came within a whisker of forcing a penalty shoot-out in a thrilling FFA Cup quarter-final, losing instead 3-2 to a late Hume City winner deep into extra time at ABD stadium in Westmeadows on Tuesday night. A 1,500 strong crowd witnessed a pulsating game full of goalmouth incidents, played on a perfect surface made greasy by some late afternoon rains. The visiting Cannons twice took the lead in the first half, with left side attacker Sean Rooney at the heart of both Cannons' goals. Dean Piemonte's diagonal pass played Rooney in behind the City defence for the opening goal after just two minutes. But just after the quarter hour mark, Hume equalised through the buccaneering figure of Theo Markelis, whose shot from the edge of the box sailed into the net. The Cannons' Rooney then turned provider when his cross from the left created confusion in the Hume defence, allowing Piemonte to swoop and restore the Cannons' lead just after 30 minutes. In the latter part of the first half, Hume pressed forward whilst the visitors played increasingly on the counter, a pattern which was to characterise the rest of the game. Hume came out with guns blazing in the second half, with midfielder Nick Hegarty directing traffic with his passing, shooting, crossing and taking set pieces. Cannons' keeper Carlos Loaiza made a number of excellent saves to maintain the Cannons' lead, one in particular, to deny Markelis, a standout. With just six minutes remaining, Hume got its just reward when Hegarty dispossessed Cannons' sub Goran Zoric and set up Markelis, who turned neatly in the box to fire home his second. In extra time Hume pinned the Cannons back in their own half, attacking in waves. Both Soheil Azagane and Matthew Hennessey had shots on goal denied by the woodwork. The Cannons desperately tried to hold out for a penalty shoot-out and almost got there. But with two minutes to go, Hume's Hegarty found space outside the box and fired a right foot shot straight at Cannons' keeper Loaiza, who couldn't hold the slippery ball. Instead it fell at his feet and Murcus Shroen pounced to tap home the winner, sending the Hume faithful into delirium and a deserved place in the FFA Cup semi-finals. Olympia topples South Melbourne to advance to NPL semi-finals West Adelaide falls to Bayswater City GEORGE STOGIANNOU South Melbourne's claim to being the best club outside the A-League has become contentious after it fell short in the NPL national playoffs for the second year in a row. Unheralded Olympia FC, from the Apple Isle, toppled its more fancied hosts South Melbourne 2-1 in Saturday's elimination final at Lakeside. Olympia took Souths and many others by surprise when striker Lachlan Nichols netted from a diving header on the end of a free kick after just three minutes. South's defence was missing skipper Michael Eager, who was a late withdrawal after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm up. Olympia doubled its lead on 30 minutes when playmaker Gavin Hoy set off on a weaving run, beating three South players, then cutting the ball back to find the net via a deflection from South defender Tim Mala. South went close to halving the lead before the break when Chris Irwin's shot hit the post, followed by a Leigh Minopoulos shot charged down by Olympia's defence. The visitors had to dig deep in the second half after the momentum swung in South's favour following the sending off of Olympia midfielder Shae Hickey, quickly followed by a headed goal to South's Milos Lujic. The home team dominated Olympia’s Lachlan Nichols scores the opening goal against South with a diving header. the rest of the match, putting Olympia's defence under great pressure. Nicholas Epifano hit the cross bar whilst Olympia keeper Sean Lewis denied South forwards Lujic and Minopoulos with fine saves. In the end, the visitors stood firm to capture a famous victory on opposition territory. Olympia will now prepare for a long flight across the country to meet WA's Bayswater City FC, which eliminated SA NPL champion West Adelaide 2-1 in its elimination match on Sunday. Wests took a 12th minute lead in the game when City keeper Devon Spence misjudged a back pass by missing the ball with his attempted kick and watching it instead roll into the back of the net. In the second half, the tiring Wests, under increasing pressure from the visitors, held onto the lead until just under 15 minutes to go, when reserve keeper Dan Atkins misjudged a Todd Howarth cross, allowing Bayswater's Bor Bor Sam the chance to set up David Heagney for the equaliser. Just three minutes later, Heagney turned provider for sub Danny Dixon to score the matchwinner. After the final whistle, West Adelaide coach Paul Pezos, speaking to Messenger Community News, commented: "We did quite well in the first half and had a couple of chances, but in the second half we just couldn't keep the ball and string passes together. We fatigued quite hard in the second half, but in saying that, their keeper Postecoglou names squad Socceroos coach picks 23 to face Jordan in World Cup qualifier next month Oakleigh’s Sean Rooney (L) battles with Hume midfield maestro Nick Hegarty. PHOTO: FOOTBALLAUSTRALIA.COM.AU Ange Postecoglou has included James Troisi in his 23-man squad to face Jordan in Amman on 8 October . The coach also recalled the likes of Trent Sainsbury and Tomi Juric, after the trio missed the side's last qualifier - against Tajikistan - due to injury. Going out of the squad is Chris Ikonomidis, who has Olyroos commitments to fulfil, while captain Mile Jedinak is still missing from the team. Postecoglou said that he was happy with the way that the squad was developing. "It is a sign of the depth we are creating that we are bringing these three guys back into the squad for the Jordan game," Postecoglou said. Australia sits atop its group, two points ahead of Jordan. James Troisi has been recalled for Socceroos duty. PHOTO: AP PHOTO/MICHAEL PROBST. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. pulled off some good saves. We never like to lose, but we need to give credit to Bayswater. They played well, especially in the second half. As much as we're disappointed about the result today, I'm still really proud of these boys and the commitment they've put in throughout the whole year." Results of the two other NPL elimination finals on the weekend were: Blacktown City (NSW) 4 def. Canberra FC 1 Moreton Bay United (QLD) 3 def. Edgeworth FC 1 The NPL semi-final matches will be: Blacktown City v Moreton Bay United Bayswater City v Olympia FC Dates and venues to be announced.
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