Werribee steals point from Avondale after 97 minutes
By ALEN DELIC (@AlenDelic)
Werribee City has snatched a point from Avondale FC at the death, after an astounding seven and a half minutes of injury time on cold Sunday afternoon at Galvin Park.
Avondale took an early lead through Anthony Fallone, before two penalties – a saved penalty by Aleksiy Khrapko and a scored penalty by Chris Cristaldo – brought the first half to a close.
The hosts came out strong in the second half and took the lead through Khrapko; they went on to dominate the second half, only to drop two points after a 97th minute equaliser by Milan Savic.
The visitors came out of the blocks strong, taking the lead after just six minutes.
A driven corner was met at the near post by a flying Fallone, who connected with a powered header into the net to give Avondale a 0-1 lead.
The game settled into a lull shortly after, with the visitors occasionally putting together some fluid football, but ultimately both teams looked static going forward.
Avondale had a chance to double its lead just two minutes before half time when Burakhan Koca had his heels clipped in the box.
Khrapko stepped up to take the penalty; but his shot that was low to the right was saved well by Frano Saric who tipped it wide for a corner.
Just a minute later, Werribee won a penalty of its own in controversial circumstances.
A quick break down the right led to a cross that was cleared by Julien Cannizzaro, only for the referee to blow for a penalty, ruling Cannizzaro’s high foot connected with forward Simon Zappia before the ball.
Avondale came out in the second half just as strongly as in the first, with Koca squaring a ball to Khrapko at the top of the box, who finished calmly into the bottom left.
From that point on, the visitors dominated proceedings.
Chris Irwin had a chance on the edge of the area, while Michele Crazia had an open header at the far post, but neither could direct their opportunities onto the target.
Werribee had a rare opportunity when Cristaldo’s danced past Avondale’s defence, but his shot was destined for the post.
Minutes later, Khrapko had a golden chance of his own, getting on the end of an early cross but directing his header onto the post.
Werribee pushed forward in search of the equaliser, but doing so left them exposed at the back.
Khrapko again had a golden chance courtesy of a quick Crazia break, but his shot was off target.
Deep into injury time – seven and a half minutes – Savic’s header at the near post from a corner earned a point for the hosts.
Two more minutes of injury time were played - nine in total - before the referee called time, and Avondale made the trip back north with a draw.
Werribee City 2 (Cristaldo 45+1’, Savic 90+7’) drew with Avondale FC 2 (Fallone 9’, Khrapko 47’) at Galvin Park, Werribee
Werribee City: 1. Frano SARIC, 2. Michael SIMS (4. Simon COLOSIMO 52’), 3. Ryan FILIPOVIC, 6. Anthony RAGUSA, 7. Simon ZAPPIA (8. Daniel CHAABANI 46’), 9. Evan BATSIS, 10. Chris CRISTALDO, 13. Milan SAVIC, 15. Nicola CAROFIGLIO, 19. Rob NAUMOSKI (14. Julian CASSANO 75’), 23. Steve CUDRIG
Unused substitutes: 11. Bobby VIDANOVSKI, 16. Angus MARTIN
Yellow card(s): None
Red card(s): None
Avondale FC: 20. Frazer SIDDAL, 4. Chris IRWIN, 5. Jeff FLEMING, 9. Aleksiy KHRAPKO, 10. Burakhan KOCA (16. Jungho KIM 80’), 13. Michele CRAZIA, 17. Phil RICCOBENE, 18. Jonathan MUNOZ, 19. Jason PRINCIPATO (31. Omar AMMACHE 60’), 27. Julien CANNIZZARO (15. Zoran PAJIC 65’), 28. Anthony FALLONE
Unused substitutes: 1. Anthony SARIC, 24. Resit CULCULOGLU
Yellow card(s): Cannizzaro 45’
Red card(s): None