Round 24 2018 v Bentleigh Greens SC

It was a second consecutive match at Avenger Park, which saw Avondale FC host Bentleigh Greens SC, in what was touted as the battle for second place in NPL Victoria for Season 2018.

Both teams came into the game with winning form after last week Avondale FC defeated Melbourne Knights FC and Bentleigh Greens SC defeating Wellington Phoenix midweek in their FFA Cup Round of 32 match.

In the first half of the season, it was Avondale FC who dominated for most of the match at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, but Bentleigh Greens SC was able to take all three points with a 1:0 win. Avondale FC was determined not to have a repeat of their last encounter.

Anthony Strano started on the substitutes bench after receiving a knock in the previous Melbourne Knights FC game, and with Dillion Jakupi the only one on the injury list, the Avondale FC selectors almost had a full squad to choose from.

As the game got underway, Bentleigh Greens SC showed no signs of fatigue after their FFA Cup match midweek, both sides started with a high tempo which gave the Avenger Park crowd a quality spectacle.

With chances at both ends, both defensive units stood firm and the game went into the halftime break 0:0.

The second half would begin to see more chances open up for the home team, as Avondale FC started to exploit the spaces and get in behind the Bentleigh Greens SC defence.

Liam Boland missed a chance on the goal line, but shortly after it was Joey Katebian who would make no mistake in the 68th minute to give Avondale FC a much-deserved 1:0 lead in the game.

Avondale FC would continue to create chances, but it was becoming an all too familiar tale where the ability to create chances isn’t equalled with finishing those chances.

Bentleigh Greens SC would go on to show just how good of a side they are, they maintained belief and were able to score in the 90th minute and 93rd minute, to shock the home crowd and snatch a victory from under the Avondale FC noses.

With history repeating after Avondale FC’s last performance against Bentleigh Greens SC, the result was difficult to take. The squad will be hoping for a chance to redeem themselves in the finals series to prove themselves against Bentleigh Greens SC.

The attention also shifts away from NPL Victoria next week as Avondale FC take on the Tasmanian outfit Devonport Strikers FC in FFA Cup’s Round of 16, Tuesday night 7:30pm at ABD Stadium. Both teams will be looking to make their first appearance in the FFA Cup quarter-finals.

STARTING XI | Oldfield (GK), P. Riccobene (C), Tavsancioglu, Archibald, J. Riccobene, Christodoulou, Fleming, Katebian (68’) Kamsoba, Sheppard, Boland

SUBS | Markogiannakis (GK), Towns, Strano, Zinni, Germano

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