Finals Week 1 Wrap: West Torrens Birkalla v Campbelltown City

Julian Torresan put in an exceptional captains performance as West Torrens Birkalla edged Campbelltown City 5-4 on penalties in Friday night’s elimination semi final at Adelaide Shores Football Centre.

Both sides didn’t shy away from their attacking nature when the match commenced. They also took an attacking mindset to their defence with both pressing up high.

It was a case of who could force the other side into a long ball and both sides enjoyed spells of dominance. At the half hour mark City’s Anthony Ture had a golden chance when he found himself one on one on the edge of the box but Torresan pulled out a tremendous save.

Just minutes later at the other end, Scott Nagel’s blaster from a corner clearance went agonisingly close.
The remaining time of the first half saw both sides attempt to do too much with both guilty of applying one too many passes in and around the box.

The match would be won with a piece of individual brilliance or a costly error and both sides had plenty of both but didn’t result in a goal.

There was a goal mouth scramble for City and a Michael Matricciani shot that went agonisingly close. Ryan Kitto’s brilliant individual run proved to be the best chance for Birkalla.

Two halves of extra time produced no goals and the resulting penalties saw Torresan pull of a brilliant save to let Birkalla fight another day.

The captain gave his thoughts on his side winning a tense battle.

“Yeah I think the game was pretty much deadlocked. It’s one of those games where you could’ve played another half hour of football and no one would’ve scored. Unfortunately penalties were the only way to separate the two teams on the night and we were lucky enough to get the win.”

As a keeper, he couldn’t have been happier after coming through with the pressure on.

“It’s a big thing, what do you say? It’s one of those moments where you got to take one step at a time and you pick a side and hopefully the bloke goes to the side you’re going to. It’s a real thrill, it’s a good rush.”

Torresan also spoke about the impact the result will have on the young Birkalla squad.

“I think it gives them a lot of belief that they know they can go through and win and get something out of the finals series and I think on Friday night a lot of them after the game were starting to realise we can do this, we’re a good enough team.”

“It’s important to get your first win in finals and it’s been a long time for Birkalla since finals so it’s a big confidence boost for the boys.”

The performance was pleasing too after the typically high scoring Birkalla dug deep.

“That was a really big thing for us. It was something we talked about during the week and we went a full 120 minutes without conceding a goal and we got really put under the pump in certain circumstances and we came out without a clean sheet.”

If one team advances to the next stage it means the other’s season is over and City Captain Vas Parhas opened up about one of his side’s tougher losses to swallow.

“I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game by any stretch. I thought going forward we were the more dangerous side. Unfortunately a couple of chances we had didn’t go in and looking back at the game Julian Torresan in goals had an outstanding game and I think he kept them in it.”

“And when a game goes through to a penalty shootout it becomes a lottery thereafter and we’re bitterly disappointed.”

While the season may be over for City, Parhas said this isn’t the last you’ll see of them.

“Absolutely. I’m exceptionally proud of the boys and of the whole club. The club as a whole is moving forward in leaps and bounds and I’m really proud to be associated with the club and I think the boys did the club proud with the performance on Friday night.”

“It could have easily gone our way but I can sense a lot of hunger in this group and I believe that if we can keep the core of this group together the future of Campbelltown is really bright.”

Part of the drive that can ensure that is Motivation and Parhas said City won’t be lacking any of that.

“I think you’ve got to be able to use it as motivation and I think we will. I could see the boys already talk about next year and wanting to make amends and I think this group has something special in it and we can’t wait for the opportunity to show that.”

Article by Matthew Carcich - @Matt_Carcich


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