Primed for cup finals

Port Lincoln soccer

Sekol Master drew with Lincoln Knights 1-1

THIS game was always going to be a showdown with a cup final spot on the line.

Sekol were in the box seat with the Knights needing to win by three goals to progress.

The Knights jumped out of the blocks early and applied good pressure on the Masters’ defence for the first 10 minutes or so.

The Knights midfield led by Inti Aburto made great speedy forays forward particularly from turnovers from the Sekol players.

Eventually Knights’ goal came when a play from the right wing and fine shot from a tight angle rebounded off the post and Bradley Harkness was on the spot to nicely header the ball between Parthenis and the post.

After the goal, both teams seemed to be in lock down with good defence. A second goal eluded the Knights with a few cracking long range shots narrowly missing.

Sekol started to settle and gain more possession toward half time but were not really able to get past the Knights’ last line of defence.

Going into the break 1-0, the scene was set for an interesting second half.

It started like the first half, with both teams playing a great brand of rebound soccer.

The Sekol midfield were setting up better forward plays and some great efforts by the junior players from both teams helped create chances.

An equaliser for Sekol finally came from a corner when Kapnistas delivered a strong penetrating cross with Hestbeak in position to confidently header into the back of the net.

This set up a thrilling finish, with all players passionately attacking and defending.

Neither team was able to convert chances in the dying moments and the game ended in a fitting draw – two goals from two headers.

South Coast FC def Lincoln City Raiders 5-0

South Coast secured their place in the cup final with a big win over the undermanned Lincoln City.

Raiders were missing several key players including Mallard, Joosten, Foster and Gale while the Coasters were without Murray, Jensen and Gunn. 

South Coast needed to win by at least three to jump ahead of Raiders to qualify in the top two spots while a narrow defeat would have been enough for Raiders to get to the final.

It was South Coast who went on the attack early and got the breakthrough on 10 minutes when Anthony Duns broke through the Raiders’ backline and fired across the keeper into the far corner. 

The Coasters were dominating possession but Raiders were counter-attacking with pace through Pennington in the midfield and Blacker in the forward line but the South Coast defence held firm. 

The key moment of the match came on the half-hour mark when Raiders’ reserve keeper Dennis was shown a red card for dissent.

With Raiders down to 10 men, third-choice keeper Spinks was handed the gloves and his first task was to pick the ball out of the net as Leon Duns ran through a vacant midfield area to chip home from just outside the penalty box.

Leon Duns had a second shortly after as he met a cutback from his brother perfectly to make it 3-0. 

There was more misery for Raiders before half time when confusion in the box led to an own goal. 

The second half was looking like it was going to be a case of how many goals would South Coast score, but they did not count on Spinks having a blinder in the Raiders goal.

Time and time again he got a hand to the ball or put his body on the line to smother the ball to keep Raiders in with a chance of snatching a goal or two at the other end to get to the cup final. 

In the end South Coast could only score one second half goal late on as Anthony Duns scored from an acute angle to make it five and book a cup final spot against Sekol Masters.

Cup final previews

This Sunday sees the final weekend of Port Lincoln Soccer Association action.

The league premiers have already been decided and now it is time to see who will be crowned cup champions. 

The teams have been decided based on results from the last three rounds with points still counting toward overall league position as well. Free entry all day with sausage sizzle and canteen facilities available.

Trophy presentation for under 11 and under 15 players will be after the under 15 cup final.

Seniors, 2pm

Sekol Masters v South Coast

This is a repeat of last season’s cup final that saw the Masters comfortable 4-1 winners.

The last meeting between the two sides also saw the Masters come out on top with a hard fought 2-1 win while playing with only 10 men for the majority of the game.

Sekol hold a 3-1 record over the Coasters this season with the fifth game being abandoned.

A poor season for both teams as Sekol and South Coast finished the season third and fourth respectively.

Sekol have been more consistent, helped by the fact their squad remains largely unchanged over the years.

They will however be without Ben Kos and Hiroaki Mori who played early in the season to devastating effect before unfortunately departing the association, leaving a hole in the midfield that has been adequately filled by man of the match performances and crucial goals by the evergreen Kristos Kolega.

South Coast’s squad has been largely overhauled from last year losing a lot of experience with juniors moving up and new faces coming in.

It has taken time for the new squad to gel but they are just starting to hit form at the right time.

Players to watch for South Coast are of course the Duns brothers. Leon and Anthony are great technical players and capable of beating opposition players with the ball at their feet as well as exhibiting great passing range and accuracy.

Both also have a keen eye for goal and can make the difficult look all so easy.

Leon is the team’s top scorer moving into attacking positions from his deeper lying roles of central midfield or even from centre back. While Anthony, who is a mid season inclusion, leads the line for the Red and Whites with his experience helping the younger attacking players.

One of whom is Travis Wells who offers great pace and exceptional trickery as he drives at defenders from either wing.

The ever-present Pascal Hess will look to keep it tight at the back and marshal the defence and could pose a threat to the opposition’s goal.

Sekol Masters have a good mix of wily veterans with their knowledge of how the game should be played and the energy and enthusiasm that young legs bring.

Their goals this season have come though the likes of the powerful Chester Wilkes, Hakan Turkmen, with his bag of tricks and flicks is the playmaker in the attacking third, and the tenacious Kosta Kapnistis.

Isaac Betsias can be a handful for defenders with his pace and direct running down the wings.

Their young Danish import Ask Hestbaek has definitely bolstered their midfield since arriving mid way through the season.

Tim Partlow is a rock at the back as he reads and sweeps the play better than anyone in the league.

An interesting subplot is the family rivalry as Masters’ goalkeeper Johnis Parthenis will be trying to keep out his son and South Coast attacker Naish Parthenis who started the season with Sekol before making the switch in search of greater playing time.

Under 15, 12.30pm

Sekol Masters v Lincoln City Raiders

These are clearly the best two teams in the age group with Sekol Masters finishing the regular season on top, three wins ahead of the Raiders with a big margin back to third.

Sekol’s only loss in a stellar season came at the hands of the Raiders back in round 11.

Sekol will be the hot favourites but Raiders have undoubtedly the best player in Dannen Blacker who has scored goals for fun this season.

They also have a lot of quality through the likes of Max Rogalski and Indra Pantiyasa.

Sekol’s team is solid all over the park with regular goalkeeper Isaac Perone and his defence only conceding a miserly nine goals all year.

While at the other end of the park the goals have flowed freely and been shared around.

Their two standout players are the big bodied athletic Jackson Jamieson and Deven Canty, who from their midfield position can dominate the whole field.

Under 11, 11am

South Coast v Lincoln City Raiders

South Coast have been the dominant team all year with the Raiders fighting it out to be the best of the rest.

South Coast will go into this game expecting the win but Raiders know they have it in them, beating South Coast once already this season.

South Coast’s main threat is Tiarnan Cochrane who plays along side three of his siblings and identical twins Lachlan and Riley Lang.

Raiders very much rely upon the duo of Bradley Jacob and Brandon Pettitt to work together to cause the opposition problems.