Spirited GCC Fightback Downs Capalaba

BLK Silverboot

Words: Michael Flynn

A second-half brace to Rhys Saunders saw Gold Coast City fightback from a goal down to overpower Capalaba FC 3-2 in their BLK Silver Boot opener on Friday night.

Saunders struck twice in ten minutes prior to the hour to seal the win for City, adding to a first-half penalty from Roman Hofmann.

The match marked City’s second straight win of the pre-season and their first since prior to the Christmas break.

City started brightly – captain Justyn McKay headed wide in the opening exchanges – before a handball allowed Hofmann to open accounts from the penalty spot.

However, Capalaba delivered a swift reply to level terms when Andrew Thompson converted a stunning free-kick past an outstretched Shane Viitakangas shortly after.

The Bulldogs continued to prove a threat in the attacking third and edged ahead ten minutes before the break when Samuel Watt out-foxed Viitakangas to take advantage of a City turnover.

City coach Grae Piddick introduced former Atletico River Plate youth player Saunders at half-time and the impact proved immediate as he converted at the back post to level terms.

Saunders then delivered again just minutes later to return City to the lead – unleashing a stunning slalomed run to blitz the Capalaba defence before holding his nerve to with a composed finish past goalkeeper Samuel Chandler.

City continued to threaten with Troy Ruthven and Morgan Saunders coming close to sealing the win in the final half-hour as Capalaba increasingly relied on the counter-attack.

But the hard-work was nearly undone when a turnover in the closing stages offered Capalaba a half-chance only for an alert Hofmann to close down the danger with a timely tackle.

City continue their pre-season tomorrow in the Macron Cup against fellow PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues club Olympic FC.

Their next fixture in the BLK Silver Boot will also be against a league rival when they line-up against Brisbane City next Friday.

2016 BLK Silver Boot – Group C
Friday, January 22
Lions Stadium, Brisbane

Gold Coast City FC  3 (Roman HOFMANN 20’(p), Rhys SAUNDERS 50’ 59’)
Capalaba FC  2 (Andrew THOMPSON 28’, Samuel WATT 35’)


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