R5 Wrap: West Torrens Birkalla v Port Adelaide Pirates

Port Pirates moved into 8th position with a stirring come from behind victory over West Torrens Birkalla in round 5 of South Australian Playstation4 National Premier League.

Pirates enjoyed some early chances but it was Birkalla’s Paul Radice who scored first just after the half hour mark. He showed all his football nous to pounce on a through ball to get in between the keeper and defender before coolly slotting the ball into the back of the net. 

But not even ten minutes later, Pirates were back on level terms after their Japanese offseason recruit, Hikaru Tanaka, blasted a venomous shot from outside the box into the top right hand corner of the net. Both sides enjoyed good spells of possession before Port substitute Josh Giles latched onto a looping header to head it into the net.

Pirates Senior Coach Derek Hall spoke in high terms after the match about his side’s character.

“We missed quite a few chances in the first half and that sometimes comes back to bite you doesn’t it? They scored a goal but the boys fully believe in what we’re doing and we kept going right to the end.”

He was also impressed with his team sticking true to their system of play, which has reaped many rewards.

“We like to go and pressure teams and win the ball of them and then transition into attack very quickly and see if we can score goals. The one thing I’m pleased about it is we’ve scored goals in every game.”

Nobody likes to finish off a double header with a loss. However, there was one more disappointing aspect of the game for Birkalla’s Scott Nagel.

“To be honest I don’t think we did create enough chances and the chances we did have were only half chances. I think the better team won on the day.”

In a long afternoon, Nagel spoke about other key problems his side endured.

“We were giving them way too much time in the midfield, their forward line was dropping and we just letting them drop. I think for the next game we can’t let that happen.”

He remained confident though his side has what it takes to move on and improve as the season goes on.

“We need to be a lot more switched on, stick with runners if they move around, we need to talk or follow them around. Even going forward we took too long to make decisions so we need to improve that aspect as well and I’m confident we can learn from this.”

Article by Matthew Carcich - @MattCarcich



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