Lewis Moss proved vital as West Torrens Birkalla and West Adelaide played out a 0-0 draw in Round 8 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Jack Smith Park on Saturday.
The Blue and Whites goalkeeper made a number of crucial second half saves to deny the home side, who also struck the woodwork through Fumiya Suzuki.
Birkalla coach Steve De Giovanniello said his side should have scored.
“West Adelaide had the better of the play in the first half, without creating too many opportunities. In the second we got on top, had chances and should have scored at least one,” he stated.
“On balance a draw is ok. They could have snatched it at the end too, but we didn’t take our chances.
“It was a good performance overall. In the first half I thought we sat quite deep, with the wind a factor. It invited West Adelaide to come at us.
“In the second half we were much higher up the field, won the ball higher up and created chances.”
West Adelaide coach Paul Pezos was left disappointed by the result.
“It was an even game and both sides had chances. It wasn’t pretty football, it’s always tough at Birkalla, especially with the wind,” he said.
“I’m a little bit disappointed as we went there to win three points.
“The performance wasn’t bad. Defensively we did ok, perhaps being a bit open in transitions. We had a few good chances and didn’t take them.
“I thought we didn’t overload in wide areas and there was a lack of combinations in the middle. That’s something to look at for next week.”
West Adelaide’s Tom Briscoe had one of the few opportunities of the first half, heading captain Ricardo Da Silva’s free kick over the top of Julian Torrensan’s goal.
Birkalla hit their stride after the interval, with Ian Kamau finding Suzuki in the 58th minute, who could only strike the side netting.
John-Paul Cirillo’s goal-bound attempt a minute later was superbly tipped away by Moss, who then denied Paul Radice with another smart save from the resulting corner.
Suzuki came close to breaking the deadlock in the 66th minute as he turned and fired a shot on to the crossbar, with Moss beaten.
Kamau was played through on goal six minutes later yet could not get the better of the outstanding Moss.
Yiannis Nestoras missed a gilt-edged opportunity at the other end with injury time lurking, shooting wide when all alone inside the penalty area.
West Adelaide forced late pressure as Briscoe’s header was tipped away by Torresan and then Ryan James headed the following corner wide of the far post.
Written by Luca Cetta – @l_cetta