Strong second half earns Port the points
By Matt McNamara
A strong second half showing was enough for Port Melbourne to get over the line tonight with a 2-0 victory giving the home side a 100 per cent record to start the season.
After being on the back foot for most of the first half, goals to Kamal Ibrahim and Ryan Opperman sealed the points for Eric Vassiliadis’ side.
Pascoe Vale, fresh from its 3-0 loss to Heidelberg last week, came out strongly against the fancied Port Melbourne side.
Regularly pressing high up the park, the visitors appeared to have a renewed confidence, with Michael Ferrante a welcome inclusion into the starting 11.
Port Melbourne was keen to absorb the pressure throughout the first half, and had Stjepan Gal to thank on numerous occasions as the shot stopper made some crucial saves early on from Nakic brothers, Adam and Jake.
As half time drew closer, Ferrante had a great opportunity for the visitors when his free kick was plucked out of the top corner by Gal.
The second half however began with a bang when Kamal Ibrahim drifted inside and hit an absolute rocket into the top corner leaving Stefaan Sardelic with no chance in the Pascoe Vale goal.
Pascoe Vale was furious as the side argued that James Riccobene had committed a foul just prior to the goal, but the referee awarded it regardless.
Pascoe Vale captain Joseph Youseff almost pulled the visitors level when his turn and strike just sailed wide of the post after 63 minutes.
However it was not to be for the visitors when new signing Ryan Oppermann sealed the points for the home side, with his header finding its way into the back of the net.
Pascoe Vale threw on Tom Black and Adrian Talarico in response but the hosts held on to secure another valuable three points, leaving Pascoe Vale still searching for their first points of the 2015 NPL Season.
Port Melbourne 2 (Ibrahim 48’, Oppermann 69’) defeated Pascoe Vale 0 at JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne
Port Melbourne: 1. Stjepan GAL, 19, Shaun KELLY, 23. Connor REDDAN, 3. James RICCOBENE, 16. Alan KEARNEY, 2. Andrew VIOLA, 5. Nick TZOULIS (20. Julius DAVIES 46’), 11. Nick KROUSOURATIS (Ryan OPPERMANN 58’), 10. Andrew MILICEVIC, 14. Kamal IBRAHIM, 9. Trent RIXON (17. Erhan YALAZ 90’)
Yellow Cards: Kelly 30’, Rixon 31’, Kearney 56’, Davies 86’
Pascoe Vale: 1. Stefaan SARDELIC, 3. Nathan MEGIC, 4. Adam NAKIC (11. Connor KASS), 8. Joseph YOUSSEF, 9. Jake NAKIC (22. Tom BLACK 70’), 15. Mark PISTINIZI, 17. Luca SANTILI (12. Adrian TALARICO 70’), 19. Davey VAN’ T SCHIP, 21. Michael FERRANTE, 23. Jake HALLIDAY, 16. Tomislav MILARDOVIC