The Young Reds have defeated the Brisbane Roar Youth Team, 1-0 in Round 4 of the Foxtel National Youth League at the Elite Systems Football Centre on Sunday morning.
A trademark set piece delivery by Oliver Zafridis allowed forward, Antoni Trimboli, to latch onto the ball heading home and giving the Young Reds their second win of the campaign.
In relatively warm conditions, the match started at a frantic pace, either side holding a fair amount of possession, but limited in the chances they were able to create.
In the 22nd minute, however, and against the run of play, United were awarded a free-kick 27 yards out. Zafridis stepped up and sent in an out swinging delivery that Trimboli dispatched following his darting run towards the back post.
The remaining 25 minutes of the half saw no clear-cut chances for either side, with play largely disrupted by numerous fouls.
After the restart, the game’s physicality and stop-start nature continued, but a little more than ten minutes later the Roar’s Nicholas D’Agostino smacked an effort off the crossbar from point blank range. The ball cannoned down onto the goal line with shouts from the visitors claiming the football bounced into the goal, but the referee and linesman ruled against their pleas and the match went on.
The Young Reds injected increased firepower off the bench through marksman Doni Pollock in the 65th minute and Pollock almost found the back of the net immediately when Zafridis created another chance for his team. But Pollock’s effort was saved well by Tom Bilic between the sticks for the Queensland-based outfit.
With the match fairly even heading into stoppage time, D’Agostino had another golden chance to rescue a point for the visitors, however his shot was again saved by the crossbar and eventually cleared to safety.
But for Brisbane’s strong endeavour, they were unable to find an equalising goal, the Reds running out deserved winners.
Following the match, Head Coach of the Young Reds, Michael Valkanis, stated that he was pleased with the way his side continued to fight under pressure, but added that improvements need to be made in front of goal.
“It’s a really pleasing result against a very good Brisbane Roar side who are a very good Youth Team,” said Valkanis.
“What I’m pleased about is the mentality of the boys, as they did whatever it took to win the game and to take the three points.
“It’s very encouraging, however at times, we got into very good areas but lacked that final pass and ultimately our decision making wasn’t overly good.
“But we got the result against a very good team and it’s fantastic for the club. Now we’ll continue our work so we keep playing well.”