Round 7 National Premier League Wrap - Adelaide Blue Eagles v West Torrens Birkalla
Fast-starting Adelaide Blue Eagles held on for a 2-1 victory against gallant West Torrens Birkalla in Round 7 of the South Australia Premier League at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.
The home side raced to a two-goal lead after 21 minutes of high-octane action thanks to Adam Harris and Chris Annicchiarico. Matthew Yeing pulled a goal back before the interval, but Birkalla could not salvage a draw.
Blue Eagles attacker Fortunato Filletti says the aim was to come out firing, but admits they did slow down in the second half.
“In the first 30 minutes we played really well and pushed the ball around dangerously. That’s how we wanted to start the game,” noted Filletti.
“Then we dropped off. Not sure why it happened – maybe it was the heat – but we did look tired. We didn’t play our best, but in the end we got the points.
“We’ve won two in a row and are feeling good at the moment. Now we’re looking forward to facing Adelaide City in the Federation Cup.”
Birkalla’s John Fusco lamented the opening spell which ultimately decided the game, but says they are still positive despite dropping to last place.
“We started poorly, they pummelled us for 20 minutes. After that we played well chasing the game and the guys put everything into it,” said the defender.
“I thought we were the better side after the opening period, but at the moment it’s not falling for us.
“We need to be realistic about our position and concentrate on getting some wins and momentum going. I don’t think we belong at the bottom. You don’t want to be in this position, but we remain positive.”
Blue Eagles raced out of the blocks, with Mitch Nicholson’s shot tipped over the top by Julian Torresan. Justin Bralic cleared off the line from the resulting corner.
Adam Harris crossed for Kym Harris, only to see his effort denied by Torresan. As the move continued, Kym found his brother’s head to give Blue Eagles an eighth minute lead.
Calvin Mbarga twice came up short when through on goal. His first attempt was well saved by goalkeeper Torresan, before lifting a shot over the top.
Less than 120 seconds later the advantage was doubled as Nicholson’s low cross was tucked in by defender Annicchiarico.
David Scalamera nearly brought Birkalla back in the game, only to see his header cleared off the line.
They were given a lifeline when Yeing cracked a shot from distance that snuck inside the post seven minutes before the break.
As Birkalla pressed hard for a second half equaliser, Akira Miyayama set up their best opportunity. However, his cutback was skied by David Thornton.
Elsewhere, White City stunned Adelaide City with a comprehensive 5-1 victory at Adelaide City Park on Friday.
Miroslav Petkovic and Dejan Radojicic put the Warriors two up inside the opening 10 minutes, with Robert Macdonald extending the lead before half-time. Nicholas Bucco pulled one back, but White City completed the rout with two goals in quick succession from Chad Bugeja and Macdonald.
Adelaide Comets claimed their fourth consecutive win with a 3-1 result against Campbelltown City at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday.
Captain Vas Parhas fired the Red Devils into an early lead, but John Karatzas drew the sides level. Matthew Bouraee and Elias Demourtzidis were on target after the break to continue Comets impressive run.
MetroStars missed a penalty as Western Strikers held on for a 0-0 draw at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.
Perry Mitris spurned the early spot-kick for the home side. Strikers ended the match with nine men following two second half dismissals, but secured a point.
West Adelaide regained first place with a thrilling 3-2 victory in the top-of-the-table clash with Croydon at Adelaide Shores Football Centre on Sunday.
Ross Aloisi’s side were two goals to the good, before the Kings thought they had rescued a point thanks to Shaun McGreevy’s brace. Yet a late goal gave West maximum points. Ricardo Da Silva grabbed a double, alongside Nathan Andijanto’s goal.
Raiders returned to the winners list with a 2-1 victory versus Para Hills at the Croatian Sports Centre on Sunday.
Elvis Kamsoba netted a goal in each half to put Raiders in a dominant position after successive defeats, with Jacob Williams grabbing a consolation for the visitors.
South Adelaide claimed back-to-back wins with a 2-1 triumph against Cumberland United at O’Sullivan Beach Sports Complex on Sunday.
Goals from Stephen Hoyle and Justin Davis ensured the teams were level at the interval, but a second half strike from Josh Quaynor ensures the Panthers climb to 10th spot.