THE Round 11 encounter of between APIA-Leichhardt Tigers and South Coast Wolves FC ended in a scoreless draw, disappointingly for the home supporters given the myriad of chances they created, but failed to convert.
However, that is not to say that the South Coast Wolves didn’t deserve a draw, because they certainly did. Their structure and composure is a credit to young coach Nahuel Arrarte who has now ensured a series of positive results for the Wollongong-based side.
In the 3’ minute Franco Parisi had the ball in the back of the net from close range but the goal was ruled out for offside by the assistant referee on the far side.
A few minutes later Daniel Fogarty pushed the ball just wide of the mark from inside the box as the Tigers had the best of the early chances.
In the 13’ minute APIA Leichhardt missed a golden chance when Blake Powell miskicked and, from point-blank range, Parisi shot wide of the target and in the 15’ minute Bradley Bartels from a corner headed just over the crossbar.
The first real chance for the Wolves arrived in the 19’ minute when Matthew Bailey pulled the trigger from close range, but the in-form Andrew Bazi made a great save with his legs.
In the 28’ minute Powell tested Collison who punched away from danger but in the 32’ minute the South Coast Wolves responded through a majestic free-kick from Ricky Zucco that moved through the air and forced Bazi into a great save. It was a free-kick of which Roberto Carlos, in his heyday, would have been proud.
On the stroke of half time a cross from the Fogarty on the right reached McDonald in the box who showed a bit of razzle-dazzle but, he shot against the bar and out of play when he really should have scored.
The first stanza of play ended scoreless even though the home side clearly had the better of chances to open the scoring.
In the second half the opening chance fell to the Tigers in the 58’ minute when the former A-League Sydney FC connection almost kicked in for the home side: a cross from Marc Warren reached Powell who headed just wide from close range.
It was not to be for the Tigers who again came close in 65’ minute when a long ball found Fogarty who got around the goalkeeper and then hit the side netting with his attempt.
The Wolves replied in the 67’ minute when a dangerous ball reached Zachary MacKenzie who headed towards Bazi who again punched away from close range.
In the 74’ minute Powell tried his luck from distance but the ball ended up just wide and in the 87’ minute the Wolves came close when Jordan Murray danced his way into the box only to shoot just wide.
In the end the game ended scoreless and the moral of the story, especially for the Tigers, is that chances must be converted.
APIA coach Billy McColl, played a straight bat when asked if these type of games make him age significantly.
“I don’t age because if you don’t take your chances, then there are no excuses,” he said.
“You can only create so many chances but if you don’t put them in, that’s the result. It’s the final part that counts – we only count goals.
“We don’t count chances, passes, crosses or whatever. It’s about scoring goals and if you don’t score, you don’t win.
“Next week is another game and I am pleased with how the boys played. It was a good game and fair credit to the Wolves.”
On the other side was Nahuel Arrarte, who is definitely riding the crest of a wave in his short coaching career so far.
After successfully winning in 120 minutes on Wednesday night against Parramatta Eagles in the Waratah Cup, his side has produced another positive result under his reign against the Tigers.
“They had their chances and we had ours and considering that most of the boys played a 120 minutes on Wednesday, it’s a massive ask,” he said.
“It shows the character of the squad as they keep fighting to the end.
“It’s good to get a result because the boys understand the intensity of games and our planning is understood: in our structure and in the way we play, week-in and week-out.
"We are learning to get results, so it’s showing that we’ve always had it in us and we are building week by week.”
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 0
South Coast Wolves 0
Saturday 24th May, 2014
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Ricky Schneider
Assistant Referees: Craig Fisher and Karl Davies
Fourth Official: David Haslett
APIA-Leichhardt: 1.Andrew Bazi; 4.Bradley Bartels, 5.Michael West (C), 6.Marc Warren (3.Jamie Lobb 89’), 7.Stephen Kayes, 8.Bradley McDonald, 9.Blake Powell, 10.Franco Parisi (16.Jordan Simpson 81’), 11.Daniel Fogarty, 13.David D’Apuzzo, 14.Paul Galimi
Substitutes not used: 40.Stefan Giglio (GK), 20.Ali Nasreddine
Yellow Cards: Bradley McDonald 36’, Daniel Fogarty 54’
Red Cards: Nil
South Coast Wolves FC: 1.Daniel Collison; 2.Jack Keating, 4.Michael Robinson, 5.James Baldacchino, 6.Zachary Mackenzie, 7.Christopher Price (20.Ben Zucco 83’), 8.Matthew Bailey (C), 9.Peter Simonoski, 10.Ricky Zucco (25.Jordan Murray 72’), 15.Darcy Madden, 22.Samuel Matthews (16.Lachlan Reus 79’).
Substitutes not used: 3.Christopher Nathaniel, 30.Thomas Hamilton (GK)
Yellow Cards: Ricky Zucco 44’, James Baldacchino 60’, Darcy Madden 78’
Red Cards: Nil
3- Bradley McDonald (ALT)
2- Michael Robinson (SCW)
1- Paul Galimi (ALT)
– By Joe Russo, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Lambert Park