ArchiSoccer Cup
News Report

Semi Final Match reports

18/03/19

Finals Series 2019

We take a look at last weeks Semi finals and give a full run down of all the action.

Results:

Bates Smart                 0 - 4     Gray Puksand +

MAP Architecture +       4 - 1     Plus Architecture +


Bates Smart V. Gray Puksand +
Bates Smart, runners up in Division 1 faced the winners of Division 2 in the first of our semi-finals. Bates, though bolstered by a big squad, have been hindered by the loss of their co-captain Louisa Watts through the finals series and were dealt a further blow by losing their main striker Jacek Urbanowicz to a corked thigh in the Quarter Finals.

It was evident from the sidelines how much both teams wanted the win. The game was played with a palpable intensity from the off. It might not have been the prettiest of games, but it was certainly entertaining. No player was given the luxury of time on the ball and/or the ability to compose themselves. It was end to end for much of the first half with neither being able to break the deadlock, despite a number of chances for both teams. The highlight of which was Adam Dwyer’s retrieval of the ball on the sideline, the defence were left flat footed in the anticipation of a throw in, that never came. He then launched a bullet of a shot across the face of goal that rattled the upright. Neither the defence or the keeper knew much about it and had it of been few centimetres to the right it would have been a certain goal.
 
The Bates Captain, Sergio Sotello led the charge and had a brilliant first half between the posts keeping Gray Puksand at bay. In a surprising turn of events, he subbed himself out at half time and handed over the goalkeeping reins off to Bryan Fan who had a tough act to follow. Gray Puksand did not give him any opportunity to find his feet. They were quick to pile on the pressure and it wasn’t long before it paid off. A great cross found Rhys Allen open on the back post who coolly converted to open the account. Before Bates could even take stock Gray Puksand netted a second. From a seemingly impossible angle Tiago Luxton rifled one across the goal into the top corner. The Bates players were stunned, and understandably dejected resulting in a drop in the intensity.

Bates did manage to recollect themselves and threw everything they had at Gray Puksand for the final 10 minutes. In their desperation to get back into the game they were over hitting passes and over committing up front. They had to go for it, but it opened the door for Gray Puksand to close the game out. Rhys Allen stepped up for his second, nutmegging the Bates keeper from close range. Adam Dwyer finally put his name on the scoresheet with a great shot into the bottom corner from 15m out.

And so it finished 4-0. It was certainly not the one-sided game that the score line may indicate. Bates bow out of the competition one step further than they managed last year. Gray Puksand on the other hand are in unchartered territory and will need to be firing on all cylinders next week in the Final to overcome MAP.

 

MAP Architecture + V. Plus Architecture +
MAP Architecture amassed an impressive 64 goals so far this season, 20 alone in the last three weeks of finals. Plus on the other hand have only conceded five for the entire year. An intriguing battle of the best attack against the best defence, a clash of wits and patience. There was never any doubt that the majority of the game would be played in Plus’s defensive half, they seem so comfortable absorbing that pressure and looking for the fast-paced counter attack.
 
Plus did exactly that mid-way through the first half with the fast paced Lionel Lim taking the opportunity to slot one past Josh Muyambo in the MAP goals. Plus are the kings of defending a lead and were happy to retreat and again absorb that pressure. That may be well and good against most teams but you cannot give a player the calibre of MAP’s Mo Kuruco any sniff at the goals. With five minutes left in the half he received a pass with his back to goal three metres out. Still needing to beat a defender and the goal keeper he pirouetted on the spot and punched one through the gap, leaving both defender and keeper scratching their heads at what just happened.
 
Before the half could end the game took a fatal twist. In seemingly innocuous circumstances, Marco Sartori from Plus appeared to roll his ankle in a bid to clear his lines. After a few minutes it became clear that it wasn’t one of those quick twists that you run off and that it was more serious. He hobbled through to half time with the scores all tied at one a piece.
 
Despite Marco’s will to play on his body was telling him otherwise, no longer able to put any weight on his foot he had to retreat to the sidelines and leave the fate of Plus to his remaining teammates. From that point on Plus were up against it. They are a very competent team in their own right, but there is no denying that Marco brings the x factor, the main reason for their water tight defence and he is also their top goal scorer for the season.  

Plus however dug deep and did manage to hold off the onslaught of MAP for some time, that was until Alfred John bust down the wing in a signature sprint that saw him get to the ball ahead of the keeper. He stretched out his boot and slipped one through the posts. In doing so he overextended and twisted his knee,  becoming the second casualty for the night.
 
2-1 to MAP and it was difficult to see where Plus were going to conjure a goal from. MAP just kept doing their thing and kept peppering the goals, Mo Kuruco bagged a further two bringing up his hat trick for the night and his 28th Goal for the season. That is more than most teams have cumulatively scored and Gray Puksand will have their work cut out for them trying to contain him in the Grand Final.

MAP thoroughly deserved the win but Plus will certainly wonder what if Marco hadn’t rolled his ankle…we’ll never know.

Facebook

YouTube

YouTube

Our Sponsors...