Round 3 Match Report - Whittlesea snatches 98th minute draw
Whittlesea snatches 98th minute draw
By Chris Hearn (_ChrisHearn)
Whittlesea Ranges have snatched a dramatic late 2-2 draw against Moreland Zebras at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Joshua McConagle-Ihasz and Danny Charalambous twice had the hosts leading, but Whittlesea answered back, firstly through Matthew Iuliano before a 98th minute equaliser to substitute Sami Nour.
In a hard-fought attacking encounter, the hosts set from the first minute, as Bale Micovski dispossessed Ranges full-back Mohamed Mohamed and delivered a dangerous cross, only for defender Andrew Taylor to clear.
Joshua McMonagle-Ihasz lit up CB Smith Reserve soon after with an effort befitting the dazzling new facilities.
James Papadimitriou's initial strike was denied by the crossbar, and as the ball rebounded outside of the box, McMonagle-Ihasz fired an unstoppable effort in off the upright.
Whittlesea's intensity level lifted, as Matthew Cundari and Matthew Iuliano earning themselves yellow cards with just half an hour on the click.
Cundari soon had a chance to equalise, but sprayed his effort wide despite Daniel Peluso offering a better option on the right channel.
The heat in the contest soon got the better of the players, with Johnny Crivelli's stray arm angering Iuliano, but the pair escpaed with a stern talking to.
Whittlesea were then given a lifeline back into the contest, as Brad Murray hauled down Cundari in the box.
Iuliano assumed responsibility and made no mistake to even the game.
The visitors were buoyed by the goal, and started the second half in far more composed fashion, disrupting the hosts’ fluency in attack.
Iuliano continued to cause problems on Moreland's right; his inventiveness allowing defender Mohamed to test Kostadinovski.
Danny Gnjidic's men remained resilient in the face of the Ranges’ onslaught, eventually going ahead from a set piece.
A whipped corner forced a scramble in the box, allowing Charalambous to fire home from close range.
Moreland almost doubled its lead soon after as Papadimitriou broke the defence, passed to Yousef who squared for McMonagle-Ihasz, on to have his effort spectacularly blocked by Whittlesea defender Daniel Sotiropoulos.
The pace of the game drastically slowed in the final stages as the hosts took a more cautious approach, substituting Charalambous for defender Simon Symeoy.
A head injury to Petrov saw the game reach eight minutes of stoppage time, only for Whittlesea's Mohamed to launch one last attack.
Super-sub Sami Nour was on hand to convert a poor clearance from Moreland past the hapless Kostadinovski with the final kick of the match.
Moreland Zebras 2 (McMonagle-Ihasz 15', Charalambous 69') drew with Whittlesea Ranges 2 (Iuliano 40', Nour 90+8) at CB Smith Reserve (HT 1-1)
Moreland Zebras: 1. Nikola KOSTADINOVSKI, 12. Bradley MURRAY, 3. Johnny CRIVELLI, 5. Daniel PETROV, 6. Adam CENTOFANTI, 8. Joshua MCMONAGLE-IHASZ, 10. Danny CHARALAMBOUS (2. Simon SYMEOY 84'), 14. James PAPADIMITRIOU (22. Ryan MURRAY 90'), 16. Mile MEDJEDEVIC, 19. James KELLY, 11. Bale MICOVSKI (20. Baggio YOUSEF 57')
Unused Subs: 17. Chris TRANTAFILOPOULOS, 21. Alex STOJANOVSKI (GK)
Yellow Cards: Brad MURRAY 40', James PAPADIMITRIOU 42, Danny CHARALAMBOUS 56', Daniel PETROV 88
WHITTLESEA RANGES: 1. Gian TAPIA, 3. Mohamed MOHAMED, 4. Mario PIRANIA (11. Sami NOUR 76'), 5. Daniel SOTIROPOULOS, 6. Andrew TAYLOR, 7. Matthew CUNDARI (20. Tobias HAEGELE 88'), 9. Daniel PELUSO, 10. Matthew IULIANO, 16. Ridvan SAGLAM (23. Giosue TOLOMEO 67') , 17. Stefan BARICEVIC, 19. Adem MUSTADANGIC
Unused substitutes: 8. John REALE, 27. Jarrod HILL (GK)
Yellow Cards: Matthew IULIANO 23' Matthew CUNDARI 29', Mario PIRANIA 58', Daniel PELUSO 90+5'
PHOTO | Aleksandar Jason / The Turf