West Torrens Birkalla played hosts to Adelaide Blue Eagles at Jack Smith Park in their PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia Round 3 encounter. The 2-2 drawn match was worthy of the old football cliché “a game of two halves.”
It was Birkalla out of the blocks early creating numerous attacking raids, putting Blue Eagles defence under early pressure; Chris Skull, Lawrence D’Arrigo and Fumiya Suzuki having early control of the midfield.
Pedram Sourjani in Blue Eagles goals was being tested early by Birkalla forward Taro Kawamura who had two golden opportunities to open the scoring only to be denied by some excellent glove work by the Blue Eagles goalkeeper.
Kawamura’s cohorts Paul Radice and Ian Kamau started to get their share of the ball in the forward half stretching the Blue Eagles defence.
Birkalla eventually caught the Blue Eagles defence napping in the 9’ when Kawamura, making good forward position, got onto a free header which found the back of the net to open the scoring.
Blue Eagles had their opportunities to get on level terms but failed to convert their chances, going into the halftime break 2-1 down.
It only took 5’ into the second half for Blue Eagles to get back on level term. A glancing header by Trimboli from an Alemayo cross, found Filletti free, and from close range blasted a shot past a stranded Torresan for the equaliser.
Both coaches used their respective bench to get added run. Legati released Mathew Dawber into the game with his pace, and it nearly paid dividends in the 80’ when he combined well with Trimboli to setup Filletti for a chance on goal, but Torresan was equal to the challenge
John Paul Cirillo, Scot Nagel and Adam LeCornu were outstanding in the Birkalla defence, halting numerous Blue Eagles attacking drives.
Birkalla had the chance to steal the game in the shades of full time with two late corners. The first of two Radice corners found a leaping Kawamura who headed wide. The second corner was desperately cleared only to land at the feet of Vuckic whose shot was cleared off the line to the sound of the final whistle.
Birkalla defender and “Man of the Match” John Paul Cirillo said after the game that Birklla failed to make the most of their early dominance and allowed Blue Eagles to get back into the contest.
“We came into the game knowing that we had to control their runners, and that we had to put early score board pressure. We got the score on the board early in the first half, but they hit back,” Cirillo said.
Cirillo could sense the game was slipping away early in the second half, but paid tribute to his co-defenders for being solid.
“We could have easily let them run over us, but you have to give a lot of credit to Julian (Torresan) Tom (Dittmar). Scot (Nagel) for holding Blue Eagles out.” He said
Written by: Joe Pangallo 5RTI Sports 531am