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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 JULY 2019 25 SPORT Cannons set their sights on Avondale GEORGE STOGIANNOU There's plenty at stake in every game of the NPL Round 23 this weekend. One match that will probably attract more interest than most is the Saturday evening match at Jack Edwards Reserve when Oakleigh Cannons host league leaders Avondale, the result of which could have a bearing on the race for the premiership and the race to secure a spot in the top six. But more of that later. Kingston City's battle for survival took a turn for the worse last week when it lost 5-2 away to Green Gully despite leading 2-1 at half time courtesy of a Damian Iaconis brace. However Gully sharpshooter Alex Salmon shot down Kingston's hopes of a positive result by firing a second half hat trick. This week, Kingston's battle for survival continued with a Friday night local Greek derby away to Bentleigh Greens. The Greens too slipped last week, relinquishing second spot on the table to fierce rivals Heidelberg United after suffering a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Bergers. That win revived the Berger's hopes of challenging league leader Avondale United for top spot on the table. In Rd 23, the Bergers were to face another Kingston City forward Damian Iaconis ( L) celebrates after scoring last week in the loss against Green Gully. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM tough challenge on the road away on Friday to in-form Dandenong City, a team laden with former A-League veterans. The Berger's chances of overtaking Avondale in the premiership race will increase dramatically if Oakleigh Cannons can manage to take points off the league leader in their Saturday evening clash at Jack Edwards Reserve. Last week the Cannons extended its unbeaten run to 11 games, when Englishman Joe Guest scored a second half equalizer in the 1-1 home draw to Port Melbourne Sharks. But despite the excellent unbeaten run, the Cannons still have plenty to do to secure their spot in the top six for the finals. Breathing down its neck, just outside the top six, are Melbourne Knights and Port Melbourne Sharks. The Sharks host Altona Magic on Saturday with just one point separating both sides. It will be a tough battle with both teams desperate for the win to stay in finals contention. The Sharks face a challenging run home with matches against Heidelberg United, Bentleigh Greens and Dandenong City to follow. South Melbourne's ordinary recent form has yielded just one win and three goals in its last six matches, putting it out of finals contention this season. In fact, South Melbourne has the lowest goal tally of all the NPL clubs and together with NPL 2 club Springvale White Eagles, it is the only NPL or NPL 2 club which averages less than a goal a game this season. How South fans must wish they had a striker of the calibre of Brandon Barnes at their services. The Thunder sharpshooter will be threatening South's defence in Sunday's fixture between the two teams at Lakeside. A point to South should allay any lingering relegation fears amongst its fans, but it won't be easy against a 12th placed Thunder side caught up in a desperate relegation battle. In NPL 2 East action at the Veneto club on Monday night, Northcote City faces Bulleen Lions in a match crucial for both teams' chances of finishing in second spot. Third placed City trails Bulleen by just three points, with a game in hand, as both teams vie for the all-important second spot on the table behind league leaders Eastern Lions. Northcote City fans will be hoping their team can take advantage of any possible weariness on the part of their opponents Bulleen Lions, who are recovering from a midweek FFA Cup loss to Moreland Zebras which went to extra time. In NPL 2 West action on Saturday, Brunswick City visits Whittlesea Ranges. Adelaide Olympic overcomes Floreat to march into FFA Cup Rd of 16 GEORGE STOGIANNOU It was a match that will live long in the memories of Adelaide Olympic fans who were at the Park Football Centre in Adelaide on Wednesday night to watch Olympic's debut appearance on the national stage in the FFA Cup Round of 32. The Greek derby against visiting WA side Floreat Athena exceeded all expectations producing a thrilling goal fest in which Adelaide Olympic eventually triumphed 4-3 but not before trailing 2-0 at the break to goals from Floreat's Ludovic Boi and skipper Dean Evans. However Olympic turned the match on its head in a dramatic 10-minute spell soon after the restart, scoring three unanswered goals to reverse the lead. Forward Fausto Erba scored Olympic's first in the 54th minute in what was to be the start of an eventful second half for him. Olympic sub Ioannis Simosis then scored the equaliser just minutes af- Adelaide Olympic players celebrate their passage into the FFA CUP Rd of 16. PHOTO: ADELAIDE OLYMPIC TWITTER ter coming on, and then three minutes later, Erba scored a wonderful go-ahead goal for Olympic when he volleyed home a Paul Espina cross. In the excitement of his goal celebration, Erba removed his shirt, forgetting he'd previously been booked. The shirt celebration earned him a second yellow forcing his team to play the remaining 25 minutes with just ten men. The match then took another couple of twists first when Floreat equalized through a Dean Evans second goal. However the final twist sent the match in Olympic's favour when it was awarded a 78th minute penalty which Simosis converted for his brace and the eventual winner. Adelaide Olympic thus progresses to the FFA Cup Round of 16, where they'll be joined by Brisbane Olympic which also enjoyed success on Wednesday evening against a WA opponent, in Bayswater City, running out convincing 5-2 winners. Brisbane Olympic striker Chris Lucas featured heavily with a hat trick of goals, becoming the first player to notch two hat tricks in the national stage of the FFA Cup, having first achieved the feat last year when he was with the Bentleigh Greens. Besides Lucas's goals, Alex Smith and Jez Lofthouse also scored for the Brisbane team whilst Gordon Smith and Brent Griffiths scored late goals for the visitors. In the Top End, Darwin Olympic were unable to replicate the feats of its more southern namesakes, succumbing 3-0 at home to Northern NSW club Edgeworth. The visitors led by two goals at the break to Oliver Smith and Aden Gardner, before Adam Cawley completed the scoring in the second half. Other winners on the night were NPL 2 club Moreland Zebras which knocked out Bulleen Lions on penalties and Manly United which also triumphed in a penalty shootout, knocking out Mt Druitt Town Ranges. The Hawthorn Spartans will look to repeat last season’s triumph and win the league as they head to the playoffs. PHOTO: GEORGE DEMETRIOU The Spartans annihilate Marcellin by 69 points ALEX ANYFANTIS It would seem first place is all but secured for the Hawthorn Spartans. With only four games remaining of the regular season, their impressive run of 10 wins and only a single loss puts all doubts to rest. Their most recent victims were Marcellin on Saturday at Rathmine Reserve, who were crushed by a margin of 69 points. The home team asserted their dominance coming out of the gates, scoring four goals in the first quarter and removing the question of who the winner would be off the table. After that, it was simply a matter of how far they were willing to go and what the scoreboard would write once the final whistle was blown. Among other things, the Spartans were happy to see the return of long-time absentees Joe Georgini and Jack Caminiti, who had both been sidelined due to injuries. The contribution of most of the outfield players once proved to be the catalyst behind the team's victory. Now, just a stone's throw away from the playoffs, all they need to do is hold on to their position and they will start the finals series with the absolute home advantage. The next game is scheduled for today, Saturday 27 July against Old Geelong at Como Park in South Yarra at 2.00 pm. QUARTER SCORES 1st: 5 1 31 to 0 5 5 2nd: 7 7 49 to 2 7 19 3rd: 12 7 79 to 3 11 29 4th: 16 14 110 to 5 11 41 Goal kickers: A. Mitropoulos 5, J. Georgini 3, N. Criticos 2, P. Makris 2, T. Barber 1, J. Farah 1, D. Korlos 1, M. Papadimitriou 1 Europa League: Greek clubs remain undefeated After the 0-0 draw of Olympiacos against Plzen in the Champions League, it was time for the Greek representatives in the second qualifying round of the Europa League to begin their season. Their performances left quite a bit of promise for the future, as both Aris and Atromitos displayed different qualities in their respective games against AE Limassol and Dunajska Streda. The team from Thessaloniki was dominant from kick-off, creating many opportunities and not giving their opponents much room to breathe. The goalless draw leaves the two teams with all to play for next week in Cyprus and the team that makes it through to the third round will face either Norwegian side Molde or Serbian Cucariski, with their first game also ending with no goals scored. Atromitos showed their skill on the counterattack, as they were able to hold on for a narrow 1-2 win against Dunajska Streda. The team from Peristeri was fortunate enough to find the opening goal on their first visit to their opponent’s half on the 21st minute, when man-of-the-match Javier Umbides attempted a cross from inside the area, with the ball bouncing off the defender and returning to his feet. Just two minutes before half-time Umbides made the cross from the right and found the feet of Manousos, who tapped it behind the Slovakian keeper for the second time. This was to be the final result of the game, despite the many opportunities on both ends in the second half. This win gives the Greek team a safe cushion for next week’s rematch in Peristeri.
20 July 2019
03 August 2019