Grand Final Shoot-out heartbreak for 18’s

Grand Final Shoot-out heartbreak for 18’s

Posted on October 11, 2013 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup suffered Top Five Series Grand Final heartbreak, after losing 4-2 on penalties against Perth SC, after the game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.  

The win gave Perth an Under 18’s league and Top Five double in an exciting game at Litis Stadium. Joondalup had taken the lead on 69 minutes when Luka Ninkovic scored and they were three minutes away from victory before Joel Bayubahe equalised. In the shoot-out a ten men Perth held their nerve to win it. Despite the defeat Joondalup Coach Mark Windeatt was proud of his young players, and said they will learn from it. “I thought we were the better team on the day, but mistakes cost in the end,” he said. “We were 1-0 up and our players were chasing a second instead of killing off the game. But they will learn from that, and that’s the most important thing for such a young side.”

Perth went close to the opener midway through the first half; Gabriel Kieswetter’s point blank header was superbly saved by 14-year-old keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer, who was called late into the squad after regular keeper Joel Driscoll is away at trails with Arsenal.  Moments later Matthew Milenkovic’s corner fell to Daniel Tait, whose goal bound shot was blocked on the line by Cian Hirrell on the post. ECU went close in the first half when Damian Simic, spotted Perth keeper Hudson Herron off his line and tried an audacious shot from the half way line that drifted inches over the bar. Both sides pressed late in the half but at the break it was scoreless.

After the break Perth pressed again, Milenkovic made space down the right and cut inside his marker, his shot whistled inches past the post and into the side netting, most of the crowd thought it had gone in. But on 69 minutes Joondalup hit the front, Jack Cairns shot was well saved by Herron, but Simic was quickest to react to score from close-range. Perth continued to press, but they found Maynard in fine form. The youngster denying Jordan De Leo curling shot with 10 minutes remaining. Perth then lost skipper Adrian Pizzata, who was sent off by referee Elliot Cirkovic for a late tackle in the 86th minute.

It looked like Joondalup would prevail but sixty seconds later Perth levelled, a superb finish from Bayubahe sent the game to penalties. Perth held their nerve the better running out 4-2 winners, and Coach Gavin Tait was delighted. “The boys have had that team spirit all the way through the year and have played all the way to the end and today we got a break” he said. “Joel’s been the top goalscorer in the league all season, so it was fitting that he got the equaliser.”

Perth SC: GK Hudson Herron, 3 Ahmed Naser, (21 Jordan Doropoulos 66’), 4 Jordan De Leo, 7 Matthew Milenkovic,  8 Daniel Tait, 11 Gabriel Kieswetter,  (14 Joel Bayubahe 51’), 13 Alex Silla, 15 Daniel Henry , 17 Jonas Dorling (18 Saul Healy 77’), 20 Conner Becsi, 22 Adrian Pizzata – Substitutes not used: 6. Tristan Colli, 16 Brody Walker

Yellow cards: Pizzata 63’, Kieswetter 87’ – Red cards: Pizzata 86’

ECU Joondalup: GK Ashley Maynard-Brewer, 2 Jack McMaster, 3 Kye Douglas, 5. Scott Robertson, 6 Cian Hirrell, 7 Yatin Panar, (9 Jake Davies  45’), 8 Jack Cairns, 10 Paul David 11 Damien Simic, 13 Nick Maynard (18 Jack Hailstones  46’), 15 Luka Ninkovic – Substitutes not used: 12 Eli Nkinoi, 14 Harry Gent,  17 Elliott Banks

Yellow cards:  Ninkovic 69’ – Red cards: nil

Referee: Elliot Cirkovic