Zebras fall to Lions in opening NPL1 game
Moreland Zebras have suffered a 2-0 defeat to arch rivals Bulleen Lions at the Veneto Club on Monday night in the first round of NPL1.
On 21 minutes the Lions took the lead as Gianni De Nittis sweetly converted a lovely cutback from Japanese forward Takanori Nishimoto.
Zebras coach Dannh Gnjidic tried changing things up at half time with James Papadimitriou moving up front with Moreland debutant Evan Batsis, who showed some promising signs in the first half.
The lively Batsis had the Zebras best chance of equalising but fired into the side netting just when the 900 strong crowd thought it hit the back of the net.
With 15 minutes left Bulleen doubled their lead with Joey Katabian swerving in from the right before driving a fantastic effort into the top corner.
Despite solid performances from Scott Robson and Robert Armellini in midfield the Zebras couldn't get back into the game and suffered defeat in the first game of the season.
Meanwhile in the Under 20's the Zebras went down 2-1.
Next week we enter the Dockerty cup with details still to be released regarding the fixture before playing Kingston City at De Chene Reserve in round two of NPL1.
Pictured: Nick Symeoy of Moreland Zebras and Takanori Nishimote of Bulleen Lions (image credit: Aleksandar Jason)