1997 National Soccer League results
1996/1997 Season Round 20 Results
written by Thomas Esamie

Played (8/3/1997) Brandon Park
Referee : B Hugo, Crowd : 3358
Wollongong City
Brett Hughes, Alvin Ceccoli, Stephen Laybutt (Neil Harlock 52), Martin Bourke, Matthew Horsley, Sonny Sevin (Michael Kariamis 45), Sasho Dimoski, Nick Joseski (Colin Luff 65), Richard Lloyd, Anthony Surjan, Scott Chipperfield
Goals : Dimoski 17, 27, Ceccoli 21, Joseski 58, Luff 70
5 - 2 Melbourne Knights
Joe Didulica, Dragi Nastevski, Zoran Markovski (Lubomir Lapsansky 30), Andrew Marth, Marjan Tasevski, Ice Kutlesovski (Mijo Trupkovic 67), Damian Vojtek (Joe Caleta 45), Tom Pondeljak, Ante Kovacevic, Ransford Banini, Adrian Cervinski
Goals : A Cervinski 74pk, Marth 87
Wollongong absolutely creamed the Knights in a display as brutal as the Round 1 thrashing of West Adelaide at Newcastle. The reigning champions were overwhelmed by a 3-goal-in-9-minutes spree and never recovered, managing only a penalty and a late consolation and now almost certain to miss the playoffs. Dimoski was the star for the Wolves and ably supported by his teammates not least of which Alvin Ceccoli whose piledriving shot at goal threatened to dislodge the goalframe and carry it over the fence.

Played (8/3/1997) Breakers Stadium
Referee : G Leverton, Crowd : 4556
Newcastle Breakers
Liam Baker, Glen Sprod, Peter Ritchie, Matt Austin, Mark Wilson (Craig Sharpley 58), Todd McManus (Andy Roberts 84), Shane Pryce, Scott Thomas, Liam McGuire (Harry James 64), Jason Bennett, Clayton Zane
0 - 4 South Melbourne
Michael Petkovic, Nick Orlic, Con Blatsis, Steve Panopoulos, Vaughan Coveny, Paul Trimboli (Ivan Kelic 68), Steve Iosifidis, Bill Damianos, David Clarkson (Jason Polak 79), Michael Curcija (Warren Spink 45), Fausto De Amicis
Goals : Coveny 49, Orlic 57, Kelic 83, Spink 89
South Melbourne should have won by halftime, Trimboli doing a Harper and hitting the crossbar twice. Spink released Coveny on a run down the left and the latter shot between the keepers legs to finally give Souths the lead. After that the scoring was easier with a free kick into a crowded area coming off Orlic's head and over the stranded keeper followed by a Panopoulos cross headed down by Spink for Kelic to score. Spink himself finished the scoring when Trimboli timed his pass over the top of the defence so that all Spink had to do was beat the keeper, which he did. Newcastle were there, just weren't good enough to be noticed though.
Match report by Chris Dunkerley

Played (9/3/1997) Suncorp Stadium
Referee : G Connolly, Crowd : 4729
Brisbane Strikers
Clint Bolton, Craig Williams, Glen Gwynne, Mark Battistin, Matt Bell (Sean Cranney 65), Danny Wright, Troy Cranney, Nick Meredith (Chay Hews 65), Chris Slater (Jeremy Harris 59), Wayne Knipe, Rod Brown
Goals : T Cranney 62, Battistin 88pk
2 - 1 Marconi-Fairfield
Leslie Pogliacomi, Matthew Bingley, Robert Stanton, Dominic Longo, Mark Robertson, Craig Foster, Bradley Maloney, Vlado Zoric, Luke Casserly (Francis Awaritefe 85), Sean Babic (Nick Bosevski 80), Andrew Harper
Goal : Maloney 17
The loss of Hunter, Farina and Wehrman for this game meant Marconi were widely expected to deepen the Brisbane misery. This view was suppported by Marconis lead when Foster held off a defender, passed wide to the unmarked Maloney who picked out the inside of the far post. Harper contrived to not get a second goal and a few other chances were well stopped by Clint Bolton. The second half went more Brisbane's way and a run down the right, beating Robertsons defence took Cranney into the penalty area and his shot beat Pogliacomi at the near post, though there seemed hardly enough room for the ball. Perhaps the last gasp defenders tackle changed the balls direction or Cranney is very accurate. Brisbane got the break they wanted when a routine free kick was pumped into the area and was diverted away off the arm of of Maloney. Sadly for him Gerry Connolly was standing about 10m away with no-one in between and the penalty was awarded.
Match report by David Marshall

Played (9/3/1997) Falcons Park
Referee : C Diomis, Crowd : 2149
Gippsland Falcons
Jim Kourtis, Doug Marcina, Mark Stergiopoulos, Mark Foy, Eddie Krncevic, Esala Masi, Archie Thompson (John Hutchinson 72), Tony Sekulic, Manny Gotis, Willie Hastie (Claudio Canosa 81), Joe Tricarico (Levent Osman 78)
Goal : Foy 55
1 - 1 Perth Glory
Robert Zabica, Craig Naven, Gavin Wilkinson, Vinko Buljubasic, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller, Paul McVittie, Paul Strudwick, Vasili Kalogeracos, Dale Wingell, Anthony Carbone (Alan MacKenzie 57)
Goal : MacKenzie 60
Robert Zabica, former Socceroo and Adelaide City player, made his debut for Perth in a game where a scuffle between Masi and Naven evolved into a push and shove for most of both sides players but the score remained 0-0 until halftime. In the second half the prone Tricarico still managed to push the ball on to Mark Foy who had no trouble scoring, Masi doing the early work to create the opportunity. Perth got their away draw with a goal from a corner finally scrambled in by Mackenzie.

Played (10/3/1997) Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee : E Lennie, Crowd : 4768
Adelaide City
Jason Petkovic, Bradley Armour, Mark Yates, Milan Ivanovic, Alex Tobin, Bradley Hassell, Dino Mennillo, John Gibson, Michael Brooks (Michael Pirone 87), Kosta Salapasidis (Mark Brazale 73), Sergei Vaskin (Travis Dodd 66)
Goals : Brooks 17, 45
2 - 2 UTS Olympic
Tony Franken, Adam Ciantar, Scott Baillie, Norman Tome (David Mitchell 64), Walter Ardone, Brett Emerton, Kris Trajanovski, Ralph Bove, Elias Augerinos, Milan Blagojevic (Steve Refenes 23), Abbas Saad (Derek Poimer 13)
Goals : Poimer 33, Baillie 89
UTS were caught trying to play the ball out of defence and gave up a free kick which was turned into goal by Brooks. However the score was tied thanks to a run by Emerton which resulted in a ball across the goal and met by Poimer at the far post. Brooks headed Adelaide back in front but Olympic spoilt the party once more when in the last minutes Mennillo conceded a free kick a safe distance away but a somewhat less than perfect overhead kick from that free kick still beat Petkovic.

Played (10/3/1997) Victoria Park
Referee : W Dade, Crowd : 3220
Collingwood Warriors
Frank Juric (Dean Anastasiadis 75), Joe Vrkic, Paul Della Rocca, Alan Davidson, Frank Catalano (Alan Scott 45), Enrico Cerracchio (Brian MacNicol 75), Andrew Vlahos, Con Boutsianis, Kimon Taliadoros, Ernie Tapai, Peter Di Iorio
Goals : Vlahos 37, 82, Boutsianis 44, 55, Di Iorio 65, Taliadoros 89
6 - 2 Canberra Cosmos
Danny Milosevic, Paul Dee, Paul Wade, Michael Garcia, Norman Kelly, Lachlan Armstrong, John Markovski, Vincent Grella (Ante Juric 57), John Koch, Peter Mazis, George Sorras
Goals : Armstrong 33, Sorras 88
Canberra opened the scoring when a Grella shot was turned goalwards by Armstrong, though the intention may not have been there. So it was remarkable how Collingwood came back strongly (not being noted for it) first with Vlahos sliding in to strike home a Boutsianis cross and then the latter scoring himself when the goalkeeper parried a shot to his feet. Boutsianis came out for an encore in the form of a free kick which didn't stop dipping for goal #3 to Collingwood. Milosevic in Canberra's goal then dropped a corner kick, having been bowled over by Taliadoros to concede it, for Di Iorio to score and later a shot by Di Iorio was parried to Vlahos for goal #5. The Collingwood keeper also made a blunder from a cross allowing Sorras to head in a second Canberra goal but it was Milosevic who had the really tough day just barely touching the Taliadoros sidefoot at the far post from a Tapai cross.

Played (10/3/1997) Edensor Park
Referee : M Breeze, Crowd : 4728
Sydney United
Zeljko Kalac, Robert Trajkovski, Velimir Kupresak, Mark Babic, Robert Enes, Kresimir Marusic (sent off 66), Ante Moric, Ante Milicic, Aytek Genc, David Zdrilic, Paul Bilokapic (Jason Culina 77)
Goals : Moric 25, Milicic 36, 49, Zdrilic 75
4 - 0 West Adelaide
Michael Harkness, Robert Hooker, Richie Alagich, Alex Castro, Ross Aloisi, Branko Milosevic, Nathan Day, Frank Tibaldi, Andrew Borghetto (Pablo Cardozo 73), Jim Tsekinis, Paul Pezos
Hmm, West Adelaide are a handy side but Sydney made them look bad. A nice interplay between Marusic and Trajkovski saw the latter gallop down the sideline and his cross was meet with power and precision by Ante Moric's head for the opening goal. Tibaldi threatened the goal from a free kick but only found woodwork in reply and there seemed to be a fight in the offing. Marusic also hit the woodwork with his free kick soon after but unlike Tsekinis Milicic made the followup count. Marusic continued his good work by providing the corner from which the third goal was scored at the near post and then Marusic got himself sent off for diving at the edge of the box having earlier seen the yellow card for saying words to the referee having failed in his wish to get a free kick. Bilokapic provided Zdrilic with a duel against the goalkeeper which the former won to complete a 4-0 win.