R22 Wrap: Adelaide Blue Eagles vs. Campbelltown City
Adelaide Blue Eagles secured a home elimination final in the upcoming playoffs after defeating Campbelltown City 1-0 in the final round of the PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues South Australia at Marden Sports Complex.
Scorer of the solitary goal was Chris Christofilos in the first half.
Both teams started spritely with a lot of activity in the midfield.
Campbelltown controlled possession, spreading the ball well, whilst the Blue Eagles stayed solid in defence, waiting for the quick counter.
Campbelltown threatened first with a free kick by Jake Monaco in the ninth minute, which went well over the bar.
The visitors came closer seven minutes later. Vas Parhas collected a stray ball in the midfield and quickly initiated a counter attack. Parhas’ pass was dummied by Kristos Stefanopoulos, and arrived at the feet of Jacob Williams, whose shot went just wide of the right post.
Campbelltown were going to rue those missed opportunities three minutes later.
Another loss of possession – this time by Campbelltown – initiated a counter attack via the right wing with Yvan Boyokino and Matthew Charalambous combining to set up Evan Kounavelis. His shot was blocked, but poorly cleared, with the ball landing just outside the box, where Alemayo Kebede collected the ball and spread it across to the left wing to an oncoming Christofilos, whose unstoppable first time shot landed in the top right hand corner.
Despite this setback, Campbelltown remained positive and continued to press for a goal, with Blue Eagles goalkeeper Pedro Sourjani denying a Williams header in the 21st minute.
At the other end, the Blue Eagles came close to extending their lead in the 25th minute with Mattia Perrotti's header cleared off the line after a free kick from the right wing.
Williams narrowly missed the goal yet again in the 33rd minute, after a neatly worked combination on the left wing found its way to the attacking midfielder.
Campbelltown returned from the break the stronger of the two, moving and spreading the ball even quicker than in the first half.
Blue Eagles managed to contain Campbelltown, but were penned back, and therefore struggled to create opportunities of their own.
Goal opportunities in the second half were few and far between with one highlight being Jake Monaco’s long distance attempt in the 71st minute.
The constant pressure and intensity of Campbelltown got to the Blue Eagles with Damian Crettenden shown the red card in the 74th minute for a high foot.
Despite being a man down, the Blue Eagles almost extended their lead, when stand-in captain, Alemayo Kebede tested Nick Harpas with a long distance shot in the 79th minute.
Boyokino had a glimpse on goal in the 83rd minute, but his shot was off the mark.
The Blue Eagles managed to hold on to get the three points and set up a home elimination final against Adelaide Comets, which Yvan Boyokino is confident about.
“It’s the first week of the finals and everyone is focused, everyone is ready,” he said.
“Even if we come in from two really good games, where we had two good results, it is really important for us to get into the competition with two good results, but it doesn’t mean much because now it’s another story.
“A final (elimination) – one game, it’s harder.
“We’re confident; of course, we’re coming off a really good result.
“We’ve been struggling a little playing against them (Comets), so we have to fix a bit of stuff in training – make sure everything comes back to us and take advantage of the game.”
Campbelltown City will host Adelaide City in the First Leg of the Major Semi-Final at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday 20th August at 3pm.
Written by Christopher Munker
Photo by Renee Vassallo