1997 National Soccer League results
1996/1997 Season Round 25 Results
written by Thomas Esamie

Played (12/4/1997) Perth Oval
Referee : B Hugo, Crowd : 15197
Perth Glory
Robert Zabica, Vladimir Beretovac (Alan MacKenzie 68), Craig Naven, Gavin Wilkinson, Vinko Buljubasic, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller (Dale Wingell 74), Paul Strudwick, Slobodan Despotovski, Vasili Kalogeracos, Anthony Carbone (Peter Vukmirovic 77)
Goals : Kalogeracos 4, 44, 45, Blatsis 73og
4 - 0 South Melbourne
Michael Petkovic, Nick Orlic, Alex Kuzmanovic (sent off 63), Con Blatsis, Steve Panopoulos (Jason Polak 68), Vaughan Coveny (sent off 41), Paul Trimboli (Bill Damianos 68), Steve Iosifidis, David Clarkson, Ivan Kelic (Michael Curcija 74), Fausto DeAmicis
Melbourne were in the playoffs, Perth still have the good fight to fight. The extra hunger seemed to do the trick with the first goal inside 5 minutes. Zabica just bombed the ball into South Melbournes box and the ball was cleared for a Perth throw in which was put long, was headed back by Buljubasic and then Miller headed it to Kalogeracos who waited for Petkovic to hit the ground before lifting the ball over him. Perth were basically pounding on South Melbourne's door and when Despotovski managed to get past the keeper with the ball it was Coveny who was judged to have brought him down. There seemed to be an equal measure of pushing but it's a dangerous game in your own penalty area and Coveny, being the last man, was sent off for good measure. Petkovic guessed right though and Despotovski looked skywards. However Kalogeracos was less profligate when he received a ball from Strudwick via a South Melbourne deflection, ran into the box, cut inside and narrowly missed his own man on the line benefitting from a passive offside ruling to score. He completed the 1st half hat-trick when a midfield free kick was rolled to him and his shot, closer to half way than the goal he was aiming at, hummed through the air like some supersonic UFO and found the top left corner of goal and left the rather stunned goalkeeper flapping. The crowd seemed to like it too. The second half brought less goals but another red card. This time a surging run by Carbone was halted by some shirt-tugging from Kuzmanovic earning him a yellow card to match the one he got for a bodycheck in the first half. Nice one Alex, you just got back from suspension...enjoy the break did you? The final goal came from Blatsis who turned a Buljubasic cross into his own net. The ball more or less just hit him as Kalogeracos failed in his attempt at 4 goals at the near post.

Played (12/4/1997) Seiffert Oval
Referee : S Micallef, Crowd : 3014
Canberra Cosmos
Danny Milosevic, Paul Dee, Paul Wade (Joe Campagna 89), Norman Kelly, Lachlan Armstrong (Tony Lemezina 65), John Markovski, Lindsay Wilson, Peter Buljan, Vincent Grella, John Koch, George Sorras (James Baxter 82)
Goals : Buljan 17, Grella 75
2 - 4 Wollongong City
Adam Brodbeck, Alvin Ceccoli, Gary van Egmond, Stephen Laybutt (Neil Harlock 46), Martin Bourke, Matthew Horsley, Sonny Sevin (Colin Luff 46), Sasho Dimoski, Scott Chipperfield, Jason Connolly, Noel Spencer
Goals : Dimoski 2, 56, Horsley 5, Chipperfield 60
Dimoski opened early heading in direct from a corner and Horsley headed in from a cross to amke it 2-0 in quick time before a tricky run from Armstrong left a routine tuck in at the near post for Buljan. After the half there was more of the same, Dimoski scoring early, pulling the ball inside the far post past Milosevic's outstretched body and Chipperfield chipped in with an effort of his own before Canberra hit back with a goal from young Grella, who looks a class above most of his team-mates and his opponents.

Played (12/4/1997) Falcons Park
Referee : G Connolly, Crowd : 5137
Gippsland Falcons
Jim Kourtis, Doug Marcina, Marcus Stergiopoulos, Nick Palamaras, Mark Foy (Clayton Bell 85), Esala Masi (Archie Thompson 60'), Claudio Canosa, Tony Sekulic, Manny Gotis, Willie Hastie, Joe Tricarico (Manoa Masi 46)
Goals : Palamaras 28, 70
2 - 0 Adelaide City
Jason Petkovic, Mark Yates, Milan Ivanovic, Alex Tobin, Brad Hassell, Dino Mennillo, John Gibson, Michael Brooks (Joe Barbaro 76), Kosta Salapasidis, Michael Pirone (Nick Sabljak 60), Sergei Vaskin
Nick Palamaras benefitted from a ball across the face of goal for an easy tap in after some lively action early in the game. Then substitute Manoa Masi struck the post after a break down the middle and Palamaras was on hand again to strike home the rebound past the stranded keeper.

Played (13/4/1997) Belmore Oval
Referee : M Shield, Crowd : 13724
UTS Olympic
George Bouhoutsos, Raphael Bove, David Barrett, Scott Baillie, Elias Augerinos (Steve Refenes 75), Brett Emerton, Peter Tsekenis (Walter Ardone 75), Ivan Zelic (Norman Tome 64), Kris Trajanovski, David Mitchell, Derek Poimer
0 - 2 Marconi-Fairfield
Bob Catlin, Aaron Holst, Robert Stanton, Paul Souris, Andrew Harper, Craig Foster, Brad Maloney, Vlado Zoric (Darren McDonald 77), Mark Robertson, Sean Babic, Francis Awaritefe (Nick Bosevski 87)
Goals : Foster 54, 82
UTS had the early running, not surprising since they were in a more desperate situation to get into the end of season finals. Infact the whole thing was rather similar to Newcastle v Sydney United in some respects. Eventually some hard work down the left by Andy Harper, some nuisance value from Awaritefe and an ineffectual clearance all allowed Foster to run and and despite kicking the ball into the ground it bounced into goalpast a diving Bouhoutsos who probably wished Franken hadn't suffered a fracture of his hand. The second goal also came from Foster picking up the scraps following a break down the middle and a Babic shot smothered by Bouhoutsos, Foster this time hitting truly for goal.
Match report by David Borella

Played (13/4/1997) Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee : M Breeze, Crowd : 4727
West Adelaide
Michael Harkness, Hamilton Thorp (Jamie Perin 75), Robert Hooker, Richie Alagich, Pablo Cardozo, Branko Milosevic, Con Kokkinoplitis (John Cutillo 75), Andrew Borghetto, Jim Tsekinis, Corey Artone (Alex Castro 75), Paul Pezos
Goals : Thorp 44, Castro 84
2 - 4 Melbourne Knights
Joe Didulica, Dragi Nastevski, Zoran Markovski, Andrew Marth, Marjan Tasevski (Damian Vojtek 85), Lubomir Lapsansky, Ice Kutlesovski, Tom Pondeljak, Ante Kovacevic, Ransford Banini, Adrian Cervinski
Goals : Kutlesovski 30, 87, Pondeljak 60, 85
The Knights had to win to maintain a chance of defending their title in the finals and Kutlesovski managed to give them the lead with a shot deflecting in off the far post and they scored an offside goal before Thorp turned and shot from about the penalty spot after the ball was deflected to him to make it 1-1. After halftime goals aplenty with the Knights getting the spoils from a Pondeljak tap in and Castro replying after the ball pinballed wildly in the area. The Knights scorers played the encore, both scoring on breaks as both teams pressed for the win.

Played (13/4/1997) Olympic Park
Referee : C Diomis, Crowd : 600
Collingwood Warriors
Frank Juric, Joe Vrkic, Enrico Cerracchio, Paul Della Rocca, Alan Davidson, Carlo Talladira (Peter Di Iorio 54), Andrew Vlahos, Con Boutsianis (Kimon Taliadoros 46), Mark Silic (Frank Catalano 71), Ernie Tapai, Goran Lozanovski
0 - 2 Brisbane Strikers
Clint Bolton, Alan Hunter, Frank Farina, Sean Cranney, Rod Brown, Danny Wright (Matt Bell 71), Troy Cranney, Wayne Knipe, Kasey Wehrman (Chay Hews 66), Craig Williams, Nick Meredith
Goals : Knipe 68, Brown 75
Wehrman and Meredith both hit the post from long range shots so it was inevitable a mazy run from Knipe and an accurate strike would open the scoring. Rod Brown edged closer to the alltime NSL scoring record of 133 goals (held by Newscastle coach John Kosmina) by rounding the keeper and tapping in.

Played (13/4/1997) Edensor Park
Referee : E Lennie, Crowd : 5179
Sydney United
Zeljko Kalac, Robert Trajkovski, Mark Babic, Kresimir Marusic, Ante Moric, Ante Milicic, David Zdrilic, Richard Plesa, Jacob Burns (Damir Cvetko 46), Dean Culina, John Didulica
Goals : Milicic 49, Marusic 75
2 - 0 Newcastle Breakers
Brad Swancott, Shane Pryce, Glen Sprod, Peter Ritchie, Robert Ironside, Scott Thomas (Craig Sharpley 84), David Lowe (Harry James 69), Clayton Zane, Troy Halpin, Matt Austin, Andy Roberts
This game was more or less just practice for both sides Sydney benching players on the brink of suspension and Newcastle only pride and contracts to play for. All the same it was a notable game in that the match officials (Eddie Lennie, Alex Spiroski, John Bowdler and the 4th official) were all linked on a two-way radio system on a FIFA approved trial to improve communication between officials. Apparently there were some teething problems but the reports are positive. I guess the Newcastle penalty claim when Babic pulled down Zane proves otherwise. Early in the second half a Moric cross was eventually put into the net after some good saves and a post almost denied Milicic as it had Zdrilic. Marusic then finished off a Trajkovski move, albeit with the aid of a deflection bringing the shot inside the post, to seal Sydney's triumphant night.
Match report by Chris Dunkerley