R19 Wrap: West Adelaide v WT Birkalla
West Torrens Birkalla downed West Adelaide 4-2 in what was a thrilling game of football for the spectator during Round 19 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues South Australia.
The score line doesn’t tell the full story of the contest, as Nathan Andijanto twice hit the back of the net only seconds after Birkalla hit the lead to keep the visitors under pressure.
A late goal from Fumiya Suzuki though ensured the three points for Birkalla.
Birkalla’s Chris Skull was happy to get the win against a tough West Adelaide outfit, despite conceding twice.
“It was always going to be a tough game against West Adelaide,” he said.
“But we have gotten accustomed to playing at the Shores recently and didn’t feel the pressure of playing away from home which gave us the confidence to play freely and get the win.
“We knew that West Adelaide have quality all over the pitch and that they have players that can score goals, so as long as we ended up scoring more we weren’t too bothered about our defensive record.
“In saying that, we will be looking to adjust things defensively on the training track this week leading into an important game against a great Adelaide City side.”
On the other hand, West Adelaide’s Perry Mitris was disappointed not to have taken a point but still remained positive about achieving finals football.
“Obviously quite a disappointing result given the importance of the game, I still think we played some good football – but that’s been the story of our season I guess.
“Any loss is hard to take, I think that we were coming back really strong towards the end of the game and probably should have got a point at the end, but that’s football unfortunately.
“As long as it’s mathematically possible to make finals – we will not give up.”
Birkalla started the afternoon in control with all the early possession going their way and looking dangerous in the final third.
The visitors were building towards the opener with a few early chances just a fraction off, giving the sense that Birkalla would soon hit the back of the net.
Will Plush broke the deadlock on 20 minutes with a beautifully placed shot across the face of goal and into the back post.
The first 45 was dominated by the visitors, but Captain Ricardo Da Silva and Tom Briscoe began to put an influence on the match and work the home side into the contest.
Andijanto nearly had things evened up after the restart, as West started the second half the way they finished the first, but his shot went just wide of the post.
A misplaced pass by Robby Lippett allowed Suzuki to work his way on goal with a brilliant run but his shot was pushed out for a corner.
Birkalla quickly found themselves two goals up as a textbook header from centre back Tom Dittmar nestled nicely in the back of the net just before the hour mark.
West proved that you are most vulnerable after you’ve scored, as the home side were quickly down the other end and in front of goal.
Da Silva forced a save out of Julian Torresan, but the rebound only went as far as Andijanto who easily finished into an open net to make it 2-1.
Just past the hour mark, Birkalla found themselves two goals up once again after a deft touch by Ian Kamau to Lawrence D’Arrigo allowed him through on goal.
D’Arrigo faked past Toshihiro Hara and easily finished, but just West’s first, the home side were in front of goal through Da Silva.
A through ball from the Captain looked to be a little too heavy, but Andijanto managed to get a foot onto it just before Torresan arrived, guiding it past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Both sides had their chances as the game headed towards the final whistle, with West pushing hard for an equalizer and Birkalla desperate to hold onto their lead.
Free kicks from Briscoe and substitute Perry Mitris forced the best out of Torresan, but it would be Suzuki who sealed the win with an expertly placed free kick into the top corner in the last minute of regular time.
Written by Brendan Simpkins - @RealSimpkins