R14 Wrap: Adelaide Blue Eagles v West Torrens Birkalla
West Torrens Birkalla has cemented its hold on third position with a 2-0 victory over Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 14 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.
Paul Radice put the visitors ahead just before half-time and Fumiya Suzuki rounded out a convincing win for the Eagles just shy of the hour mark.
Birkalla coach Steve De Giovanniello praised an all-round team performance which puts his team four points clear in third.
“It was a great win and a really good performance. Sometimes you scrap wins, but I thought we dominated and deserved the three points,” he said.
“It was hard to pick a best player as it was a complete team performance. Everybody played well. That’s a difference to last year, where we may have relied on Ryan Kitto. Now, the responsibility is shared across the team.
“I try not to look at the table, but individual games. If we perform each week as we did here, the rest will take care of itself.”
Blue Eagles midfielder Matthew Dawber said his team failed to capitalise on its start, as it remains in fifth place.
“It was a game of two halves for us. We had more of the ball and the chances in the first, but in the second half we created nothing,” he stated.
“Birkalla were a well-structured unit, whereas we were a bit too individual. We need to work on improving our shape.
“We always want to finish in a top-three spot and we will try and get that position.”
Birkalla forced the first save of the match from Blue Eagles custodian John Solari in the 24th minute. Radice played the ball through for Taro Kawamura, who shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The home side responded as Adam Harris’ cross was met by a firm Alemayo Kebede header which ended the wrong side of the post.
Birkalla took the lead as Radice found himself clear on goal in the 40th minute. He rounded Solari and slotted into an empty net from a tight angle.
Marco Balsamo’s cutback early in the second half was deflected into the path of the onrushing Dawber, who put his shot over the top of captain Julian Torresan’s goal.
Kawamura centred the ball for Suzuki in the 59th minute and the winger converted a sweeping Birkalla move to extend the lead.
Kawamura almost applied the icing on Birkalla’s cake, only for a Harris intervention to divert the ball past the near post with Solari out of position.
Written by Luca Cetta - @l_cetta