1997 National Soccer League results
1996/1997 Season Round 19 Results
written by Thomas Esamie

Played (1/11/1996) Bruce Stadium
Referee : M Breeze, Crowd : 9421
Canberra Cosmos
Anthony Giannasca, Paul Dee, Richard Watson, Michael Garcia, Norman Kelly, Lachlan Armstrong, Lindsay Wilson, James Baxter, Vince Grella (Peter Buljan 78), John Koch, Peter Mazis
Goal : Paul Dee 90
1 - 1 Newcastle Breakers
Liam Baker, Shane Pryce, Glen Sprod, Robert Ironside, Scott Thomas, Clayton Zane, Troy Halpin, Todd McManus, Jason Bennett (David Lowe 79), Mark Wilson (Craig Sharpley 48), Matt Austin
Goal : Zane 74
The Cosmos earned the first point of their season in this game by virtue of moving it forward to act as a curtain raiser to the Australia v Tahiti match. As a result I witnessed the first NSL game in many years and while my previous visit was marred by the crowd this match was marred by the players. This game was an exercise in midfield pinball and was illuminated only by the steady defence of Robbie Ironside, the skill of young Vincent Grella and the overhead kick attempt at goal by Lachlan Armstrong just before halftime. It was more by luck than by good management that the two sides scored. Newcastle on a very close offside call not being called and Canberra for keeping one of their shots below the height of the crossbar.

Played (28/2/1997) Lakeside Stadium
Referee : E Brazzale, Crowd : 5000
South Melbourne
Michael Petkovic, Nick Orlic, Jason Polak (Tansel Baser 71), Steve Panopoulos, Vaughan Coveny (Ivan Kelic 59), Paul Trimboli, Steve Iosifidis, Bill Damianos, David Clarkson, Michael Curcija (Warren Spink 59), Fausto DeAmicis
Goals : Panopoulos 15pk, Coveny 22, Spink 85
3 - 0 Wollongong City
Adam Brodbeck, Alvin Ceccoli, Stephen Laybutt, Matthew Horsley, Michael Reda (Sasho Dimoski 51), Neil Harlock, Nick Joseski (Colin Luff 56), Richard Lloyd (Martin Bourke 56), Anthony Surjan, Scott Chipperfield, Jason Connolly
Jason Polak was felled barely inside the penalty area wide out on the right but it was enough to have Panopoulos send Brodbeck the wrong way for the penalty to be converted. Then Clarkson was released down the left flank and pulled the ball across the face of goal to allow Coveny to slide in and steer the ball into the net. Warren Spink ended the scoring with a purposeful surge down the middle and he wrongfooted some of the backtracking defenders before pausing to pick his spot and strike home.

Played (1/3/1997) Marconi Stadium
Referee : B Hugo, Crowd : 4996
Leslie Pogliacomi, Robert Stanton, Matthew Bingley, Aaron Holst, Mark Robertson (Darren McDonald 88), Craig Foster, Bradley Maloney, Vlado Zoric, Francis Awaritefe (Eris Hristodoulou 88), Andrew Harper, Sean Babic (Nick Bosevski 74)
Goals : Gibson 3og, Maloney 19, Babic 71
3 - 1 Adelaide City
Jason Petkovic, Mark Yates, Alex Tobin, Milan Ivanovic, Bradley Armour, Bradley Hassell, John Gibson, Dino Mennillo, Mark Brazzale, Michael Brooks (Travis Dodd 82), Sergei Vaskin (Kosta Salapasidis 64)
Goal : Hassell 38
When Brad Maloney received a Mark Robertson pass and ran down the touchline he crossed hoping an Adelaide City head wouldn't get in the way. John Gibson made Maloney see things in a different light when he lunged for the ball at the near post and found the gap between the aforementioned post and the less than pleased Petkovic, any forward would have been proud. Maloney then grabbed a goal entirely to himself when a cross (this time from the left) from Robertson was nodded on to Maloney by Babic and the former volleyed the ball past Petkovic. Marconi had the run of play and the closest Adelaide had come was a disallowed goal for a cut and dried offside. Dino Mennillo deserves mention for a fantastic run which required a leaping save by Pogliacomi to stop it appearing as goal of the week. Francis Awaritefe also distinguished himself by doing some lovely Greg Louganis impersonations, one of which earnt him a yellow card. Funnily enough on that occasion he was hard done by. Adelaide did pull back a goal when Bradley Hassell, all alone and outside the penalty area decided he'd try for a shot at the near post. It was all done so casually the goalkeeper, no doubt expecting a cross, was slow to react, ill-positioned and it went in. Gibson hit the crossbar trying to get Adelaide level and Brooks scored another, less clear, offside goal. Sean Babic on the other hand scored a more acceptable goal heading inside the far post from an Awaritefe cross to seal the Marconi win.

Played (2/3/1997) Perth Oval
Referee : B Danella, Crowd : 10964
Perth Glory
Vincent Matassa, Craig Naven, Gavin Wilkinson (Alan Mackenzie 68), Vinko Buljubasic, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller, Paul McVittie, Paul Strudwick, Vasili Kalogeracos, Dale Wingell, Anthony Carbone
0 - 2 Collingwood Warriors
Frank Juric, Joe Vrkic, Paul Della Rocca, Alan Davidson, Goran Lozanovski, Ernie Tapai, Con Bousianis, Andrew Vlahos, Brian MacNicol, Peter Di Iorio, Frank Catalano
Goals : Boutsianis 13, Di Iorio 61
Con Boutsianis produced a phenomenal free kick from way outside the penalty area to beat Matassa's fingertips into the top right corner for the lead. Collingwood, after their troubled life in the league have found some new resolve and went on with the win when a terrible blunder between defender and goalkeeper gave Di Iorio the opportunity to race away with the ball and tuck it away into the now unguarded Glory net. The Glory were happy to have Man of the Match Carbone appear for them but the loss of Despotovski through suspension means the attack lacks bite.

Played (2/3/1997) Kardinia Park
Referee : E Lennie, Crowd : 5127
Melbourne Knights
Joe Didulica, Zoran Markovski, Andrew Marth, Nick Tasevski, Lubomir Lapsansky, Ice Kutlesovski (Mijo Trupkovic 82), Damian Vojtek (Dragi Nastevski 77), Tom Pondeljak, Ante Kovacevic, Ransford Banini, Adrian Cervinski
Goal : Cervinski 15pk
1 - 0 Brisbane Strikers
Clint Bolton, Glen Gwynne, (Damian Waugh 49), Matt Bell, Frank Farina, Rod Brown, Danny Wright, Troy Cranney, Chay Hews, Kasey Wehrman (Andrew Brayshaw 42), Craig Williams, Nick Meredith (Chris Slater 77)
The Knights maintain slim hopes of a playoff spot while Brisbane fall back into the field having dueled with Sydney United for table leadership only weeks before. The Knights playing at the home of the Geelong AFL club made the move a successful one when Chris Williams, in trying to run the ball away from his own goal used his arm to control the bounce, conceded a penalty which Adrian Cervinski converted. Brisbane were sadly ineffective in their attempts at goal and to add to their woes the dynamic Kasey Wehrman suffered a fractured cheekbone in a headclash and will likely miss the rest of the season.

Played (2/3/1997) Belmore Park
Referee : M Shield, Crowd : 7924
UTS Olympic
Tony Franken, David Barrett, Scott Baillie, Peter Tsekenis, Norman Tome, Walter Ardone, Brett Emerton (Steve Refenes 68), Kris Trajanovski, Elias Augerinos (Derek Poimer 81), Milan Blagojevic, Abbas Saad (David Mitchell 68)
Goal : Trajanovski 87pk
1 - 1 Sydney United
Zeljko Kalac, Robert Trajkovski, Velimir Kupresak, Robert Enes, Kresimir Marusic, Ante Moric, Ante Milicic, David Zdrilic, Aytek Genc, Jason Culina (Chad Gibson 74), Richard Plesa
Goal : Milicic 26
Sydney United were somewhat understrength in this match thanks to the redcardfest the previous round but still fielded a potent lineup which stretched the UTS defence from the outset. So it was then that Milicic opened the scoring after Genc had passed the ball back to him from the right. Milicic did a little jink to take the man marking him out of position and slotted past Franken from right in front. Ardone and Tome contrived an offside goal (good week for these) and Franken distinguished himself with numerous good saves. Then the old warhorse David Mitchell came on and eventually made the difference when he tried to cut past Robert Enes in the penalty area, was blocked and fell in a heap. Kris Trajanovski rescued the point from the spot.

Played (2/3/1997) Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee : G Connolly, Crowd : 4076
West Adelaide
Michael Harkness, Robert Hooker, Richie Alagich, Ross Aloisi, Pablo Cardozo, Branko Milosevic (Corey Artone 80), Paul Pezos, Nathan Day, Frank Tibaldi, Andrew Borghetto, Jim Tsekinis
Goals : Borghetto 10, Cardozo 21, Aloisi 48
3 - 2 Gippsland Falcons
Jim Kourtis, Doug Marcina (Levent Osman 30), Claudio Canosa, Marcus Stergiopoulos, Eddie Krncevic (Manny Gotis 71), Esala Masi, Archie Thompson, Tony Sekulic, Billy Mitroulas (Willie Hastie 44), Nick Palamaras, Joe Tricarico
Goals : Stergiopoulos 30, 37
A run down the right resulted in a cross and the initial shot at goal was blocked by sliding defence but Borghetto followed up and made no mistake. In a remarkably similar move Borghetto set up Cardozo who only required one attempt to produce a goal at the near post. Gippsland would have believed in Santa Claus when a corner went directly into Harkness hands and then dropped the ball over his goal line. Times like these are an embarassing note in the margin of the quality of football in this country. The Gippsland equaliser was the direct result of the hard work and persistence of Joe Tricarico who endured the attempts of many defenders to stop him before delivering a cross which was sweetly met by the head of Stergiopoulos. The Sharks then scored the only goal of the second half to win it with Ross Aloisi profiting from the work of Day and Tsekinis.