Division One Review


Division One Review
Match of the Round
Inter Lions v Sydney Wanderers
With the long summer pre-season finally over, the Division One competition commenced with a cracker of a match at the picturesque Concord Oval, between two of the league?s heavyweights.
The first half was dour to say the least, as both teams started cautiously, assessing their opposition and defending stoutly.
In the 9th minute however, Bugallo of Inter Lions made a mazy run, dribbling three defenders along the goal line before cutting the ball back to Paras, who had his shot blocked.
On 12 minutes Inter Lions almost took the lead when Wright curled an inswinging free kick from near the corner flag that eluded everyone and hit the upright before being cleared.
Sydney Wanderers had a great chance in the 25th minute when a far post lob by Dwyer found an unmarked Mansueto, who controlled and fired over from close range.
A minute later and a swift interchange of passes between Wakim and Mansueto ended with Wakim sliding the ball under Papaianni in the Inter goal, but the ball rolled into the side netting.
On 40 minutes Dwyer made a great overlapping run down the left before cutting the ball back to Hurtado, who controlled the ball inside the edge of the box before skying his shot.
A couple of minutes later and Inter almost broke the deadlock when Wright went on a slalom run straight down the middle of the park, beating a couple of would-be Wanderers defenders, before slicing his shot wide of the goal.
Just when the first half seemed destined to end scoreless, in injury time Inter Lions earned a free kick a few yards outside the penalty box, and Vizzari stepped up to drill a grass cutter, low and hard into the bottom right hand corner of the net for a 1-0 half time lead to Inter Lions.
The second half produced an array of action and drama, from two penalties, to six goals, and two red cards, all which kept referee Diakos very busy, but he was spot on with each decision.
The Wanderers were level just 4 minutes into the second period when Soane played a short ball down the right flank to Wakim, and then ran inside to receive a great return pass and clip the ball over the advancing Papaianni for 1-1.
Second half substitute Miranda then fluffed a great opportunity from a couple of yards when he miss hit a cross shot from Hurtado, when it looked easier to score.
The Wanderers took the lead in the 76th minute when Mansueto picked up a loose ball in the box, swivelled and calmly crossed back towards the edge of the box for Ciampa to crack a volley downwards and into the bottom of the Inter net.
The Wanderers must?ve thought they were on track for an away win, but the Lions had other ideas and within a minute, Inter went from 1-2 down to 3-2 up with two brilliant efforts.
Firstly, Wright had Inter on level terms on 79 minutes when the Wanderers invited him to shoot from 20 yards by not closing him down, and after a couple of previous efforts which were partly blocked, he got it right this time as he responded with a low, well placed thump into the inside side netting, giving Rizzo no chance for 2-2.
The Inter Lions fans had barely finished cheering when within a minute of the restart young Paras picked up a stray ball near the left touchline, cut in and weaved between a couple of defenders before unleashing a low drive from the edge of the box into the bottom corner of the net, and  Inter were back in front 3-2.
If you thought the action was over, you would be wrong when the last five minutes of the match provided a very unexpected and drama filled ending.
In  the 86th minute a late challenge by Bugallo on Miranda earned the Inter player a yellow card, but the retaliation by Miranda meant he was off for an early shower.
From the ensuing free kick lobbed into the penalty area, the referee spotted an infringement by Wright which also earned him an early shower to even up the numbers, but more importantly gave the Wanderers the chance to equalize from the penalty spot.
Dwyer duly converted in the 88th to make the score an even 3-3.
The drama wasn?t yet finished, when in the 3rd  minute of injury time, Paras attempted to turn in the box with a high ball, and Vella brought him down in a rash challenge.
Captain Vizzari stepped up cool as you like to send the ball high into the roof of the net, giving the home side Inter Lions a dramatic, last gasp 4-3 victory.
Inter Lions coach, Ernesto Meduri, coach of successful U/20s teams of recent seasons, got his deserved win on debut in the top grade, but would be hopeful of less heart stopping matches in weeks to come.
Best for Inter Lions were ; captain, Vizzari, calm and composed at the back and scorer of two set piece goals; Wright, who tried many a time to bring the game to life; and young striker Paras, who worked tirelessly and grabbed a goal and an assist for his efforts.
For Sydney Wanderers, Dwyer was effective and strong at left back, and Hurtado made something happen whenever he touched the ball.
Match Stats
INTER LIONS 4 (Vizzari 45? + 3, 90 + 3 pen, Wright 79?, Paras 81?)
SYDNEY WANDERERS 3 (Soane 49?, Ciampa 76?, Dwyer 88? pen)
Inter Lions ; 1.Papaianni, 2.Skufris, 3.Vizzari ?, 4.Ianni (Storey 39?), 5.Sansone, 6.Fragrassi, 7.Cole, 8.Bugallo, 9.Cklamouski, 10.Wright, 11.Paras
Subs; 12.Dimitropoulos, 13.Storey, 14.Burgess, 15.Dimento, 16.Perri.
Sydney Wanderers ; 20.Rizzo, 3.Vella ?, 4.Soane, 15.Elrich (Miranda 49?), 6.Ciampa, 8.Ongee, 11.Dwyer, 13.Booke, 17.Wakim (Watters 61?), 18.Mansueto, 19.Hurtado (Pineda 78?).
Subs; 14.Miranda, 2.Watters, 5.Pineda, RGK.Berger.
Other Matches
In other first round results over the weekend, on Saturday evening, Schofields Scorpions accounted for Blacktown Spartans 4-2 at CSI Sports Ground, with two goals from Eddy, and one apiece from Borg and Farrar. McPherson grabbed both goals for the Spartans in the 9th and 89th minutes.
There was late drama at Christie Park where Spirit FC beat Dulwich Hill 3-2 with a late injury time winner from DeKelly, whilst Hills Brumbies and Mounties FC produced a scoreless draw at Second Ponds Oval.
On Sunday afternoon at Arlington Oval, Stanmore Hawks scored via Chavez just before half time, but could not hold on against Hurstville ZFC, who equalized in the 85th minute through Kostanic, whilst Hurstville City Minotaurs picked up a valuable three away points with a crushing 5-0 victory over UNSW, including a second half brace of goals from DiMeglio.
-By Frank Speranza