Conference League Southern Round 4 Review
Gazy Lansvale made it two wins from as many matches with a 4-0 thumping of Greenisland SFC. Derbass scored the opener right on half time, before two goals in seven minutes from Burnic wrapped up the points. Raya grabbed an 85th minute goal to complete the scoring for Gazy.
At the synthetic Seymour Shaw Park on Sunday afternoon, Lilli Pilli and Camden Tigers played out an entertaining 1-1 draw. Karim put the home side in front after just 12 minutes, before Matayolo?s 21st minute equalizer gave the Tigers a share of the points.
In the final match of the round, Colo Colo Wanderers hammered Fairfield Bulls to the tune of 5 goals to 1, moving up to six points and equal second spot on the ladder.
Sydney Cedars had the rest this week with the bye.
Match of the Round
Hakoah v White City
E.S. Marks Field looked a pale shadow of it?s former great self as it played host to a Southern Conference League match between the equally famous Hakoah, and visitors White City.
Rugby goalposts behind the football goals and a near empty grandstand witnessed a dour struggle which favoured the home side, initially at least, before White City came from behind to snatch all three points, and outright leadership of the competition.
The playing surface was very bumpy and uneven, often being the culprit as many shots on goal sailed high over the posts due to a bobbling ball.
Big White City striker Kabbara made his intentions known early when he raced onto a long through ball, but his lob over Sonnabend was high and ended up on the adjacent running track.
Hakoah tried valiantly to take control of the match, attempting to play football on a difficult surface, and should?ve been rewarded for their efforts with a goal on 16 minutes. Evergreen veteran Jon Pillemer, who turned 40 years old recently, slipped a ball through for Aschner to run onto, and he steadied himself before blasting a half volley well over Karabetsos? crossbar.
White City went close on 18 minutes when Richards took one of his many long throw-ins, and Kabbara held the ball up well before turning and hitting a low shot into the side netting from 5 yards.
Meltz then had two good chances for Hakoah within a minute. Firstly, he headed Pillemer?s firm corner over the bar in the 24th minute, a combination which was to prove fruitful later in the second half. Then he fell foul to the bumpy surface, as his shot also sailed over the goalpost after Mundell sliced open the White City defence with a beautifully weighted through ball.
On 28 minutes Mundell had a dig himself, hitting a low hard shot from 20 yards which was gathered at the second attempt by Karabetsos, after Kacen had won two successive challenges in the middle of the park.
White City came back into the match and almost scored in the 33rd minute when Youkhana (James) headed a cross down to Kabbara on the edge of the six-yard box, and he protected the ball with his big frame before cheekily back heeling a shot that trickled inches past the post.
White City?s midfielder Robinson then skipped past two opponents before slipping a ball into Kabbara?s path. He raced past young Kettler, who was sound on his first grade debut for Hakoah, and his angled shot was well saved by Sonnabend before being cleared.
Half time came with the match evenly poised at 0-0.
Hakoah took the ascendancy early in the second half, and scored just 5 minutes into the period. That man again, Pillemer, weaved in and out on the left touchline before floating a swerving cross towards the far post.
Meltz couldn?t believe the amount of space he had as the White City defence remained static, and he duly angled his header downwards and past a helpless Karabetsos in the White City goal.
This goal merely sparked White City into gear and they equalized just 4 minutes later.
Palumbo played a short ball to Kabbara just inside the box, and he bumped off a challenge before turning and calmly pushing the ball from 12 yards past an onrushing Sonnabend.
Two minutes later and Alavanja turned inside an opponent before crossing deep into the box, only for Filips to head straight at Sonnabend.
In the 59th minute, White City defender Manojlovic did well to dispossess Meltz near his goal line, but dangerously cleared diagonally across the penalty box. Pillemer pounced onto it like a cat on a mouse, but his well struck volley whistled just past the post.
In the 70th minute, White City scored what turned out to be the winning goal with an opportunist finish. In a repeat of the first goal, Palumbo played a pass into Kabarra just inside the box. This time, however, the ball ricocheted back to Palumbo, who continued his run into the box and hit a sweet volley with the outside of his left foot high into the roof of the net.
Hakoah displayed some urgency in the final minutes as they tried valiantly to salvage something from the game. On 72 minutes Meltz crossed for Pozniak, who let the ball go past him for the onrushing Pillemer, who collided with Karabetsos. Mundell picked up the loose ball and was dispossessed when it seemed easier to hit it first time.
From an Hakoah corner a minute later, White City almost scored the clincher via a counter attack, as Kabarra played substitute Stivala through but his one-on-one was brilliantly parried by Sonnabend.
Then Kabarra almost finished it off himself minutes from full time, flicking a header over the advancing Kacen on yet another counter attack, before his 30 yard lob was again superbly deflected by Sonnabend.
Hakoah?s final chance came in the 87th minute when substitute Morgenstern weaved inside Youkhana before crossing, but Meltz just couldn?t reach it this time and his stretching header went wide.
White City captain and goalkeeper, Karabetsos, said it was an unexpected but thrilling win for his side.
?We only trained once this week because of the rain, and with three of our regulars out, before the game we probably would have been happy with a draw today. But we took our chances, and got the win? said Karabetsos.
Best for the home side were central defenders, Bloch and Kacen, who were tough and uncompromising in the tackle, veteran Pillemer who was effective almost every time he had the ball, right midfielder Meltz, who made in roads all day on the flank, and Mundell, who worked hard in central midfield, both defensively and moving forward.
For the winners, (Joe) Youkhana worked tirelessly across the midfield, Palumbo was instrumental in both goals, scoring a ripper of a winner himself, and the other scorer, big striker Kabarra, held the ball up well in a Viduka-like performance.
HAKOAH 1 (Meltz 50?)
WHITE CITY 2 (Kabarra 54?, Palumbo 70?)
Hakoah ; 1. Sonnabend, 2. Bloch, 4. Kacen, 5. Meltz, 6. Joseph, 7. Pillemer ?, 8. Rabie, 9. Pozniak, 10. Aschner, 17. Kettler (11. Morgenstern 73?), 23. Mundell.
Subs not used; 14.Tow, 15.Filler, 16. Gordon, RGK.Sherman.
White City ; 1. Karabetsos ?, 4. Youkhana (Joe), 17. Youkhana (James) (13. Lim 83?), 8. Palumbo, 15. Alavanja (6. Stivala 69?), 18. Richards, 9. Filips, 2. Manojlovic, 7. Robinson, 12. Maric, 10. Kabarra.
Subs not used; 3. Bencun, RGK. Salawaga.
-By Frank Speranza