1998 National Soccer League results
1997/1998 Season Round 18 Results
written by Thomas Esamie

Played (01/02/1998) Belmore Sports Ground
Referee : M Breeze, Crowd : 5509
UTS Olympic
Bob Catlin, Paul Carter, Ante Juric, Eric Hristodoulou (Andre Rodrigues 72), Norman Tome, Brett Emerton, Elias Augerinos (Hussein Jomaa 46), Kain Rastall, Danny Barbalace, Husseyin Bayhan (Scott Baillie 63), Leo Carle
Goal : Tome 8
1 - 3 South Melbourne
Michael Petkovic, Steve Iosifidis, Fausto de Amicis, Nick Orlic, David Clarkson, Steve Panopoulos, Paul Trimboli, Bill Damianos (Robert Liparoti 82), Con Boutsianis (Vaughan Coveny 63), Goran Lozanovski (Frank Catalano 85), Tansel Baser
Goals : Trimboli 22, 68, Lozanovski 38
Olympic, voting to be privatised during the week, managed to take an early lead when a Carle cross found Tome at the far post who volleyed the ball into the net despite the best efforts of Covic. However as with all things Olympic all is not what it seemed and soon enough the table topping Melbournians got into gear. Trimmers was the beneficiary when a series of first time passes sent Iosifidis clear on the flank and his centering ball was an easy tap-in for anyone who could bother to get their foot to it. Melbourne went ahead when DeAmicis tunneled through the defence and passed to Trimboli to put the ball into the net. The shot was on target but a defender on the line managed to keep the ball out but it only went as far as Lozanovski who was only too happy to try again and score. Finally Trimboli did get his second as the ball was lifted over the UTS defensive backline to Lozanovski who passed the ball to Trimboli who was in the middle of the park and only flimsily marked. That's just too easy for Paul.

Played (01/02/1998) Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee : S Micallef, Crowd : 4605
Adelaide City
Jason Petkovic, Bradley Armour, Mark Yates (Bradley Hassell 64), Milan Ivanovic, Alex Tobin, Angelo Costanzo, Damian Mori, John Gibson, Kris Trajanovski, Michael Brooks (Mark Brazzale 85), Scott Thomas (Dino Mennillo 64)
Goal : Hassell 72
1 - 1 Carlton
Dean Anastasiadis, Robert Trajkovski (David Della Rocca 79), Con Anthopoulos, Simon Colosimo, Sean Douglas, Mark Atkinson, Lubomir Lapsansky, Marco Bresciano, Vince Grella (Marcus Stergiopoulos 61), Andy Vlahos (Daniel Allsopp 66), John Markovski
Goal : Gibson 3og
Carlton got an early lead when Trajanovski fouled Lapsansky near the corner flag and scored from the resulting free kick by Lapsansky. How'd the keeper miss that you might ask. Well Lapsansky's free kick did take a deflection off the head of John Gibson in the two man wall which sent the ball inside the near post, clearly against Petkovic's expectations. Carlton dominated the rest of the half, but failed to score and after the restart Adelaide gained some ascendancy and in the 72nd minute made it pay. A Mori shot was saved and the resulting Mennillo corner gave Hassell a free header which he gleefully put away.

Played (01/02/1998) Knights Stadium
Referee : E Brazzale, Crowd : 4270
Melbourne Knights
Joe Didulica, Ante Kovacevic, Andrew Marth, Slavko Rados, Tom Pondeljak (Ice Kutlesovski 69), Ivan Kelic, Dragi Nastevski, John Didulica, Ante Deak, Gus Cerro, Joey Rajher
Goal : Kelic 38
1 - 2 Perth Glory
Anthony Franken, Gavin Wilkinson, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller, Slobodan Despotovski, Ernie Tapai (Paul McVittie 88), James Afkos (Paul Strudwick 88), Scott Halpin, Danny Hay, Anthony Carbone, Troy Halpin
Goals : S Halpin 49, Tapai 68
The Knights kept the Glory out of the finals series in their previous (maiden) season and the Glory got a measure of revenge by reversing the result though not after initially falling behind when Kelic turned in a Deak cross at the near post. After the break Scott Halpin levelled the scores by blasting a shot into the net from the corner of the 6 yard box. If you thought that was impressive Tapai's long range chip was matched only by the mediocrity of the goalkeepers ineffective header when he found himself defending a bouncing ball outside the penalty area.

Played (31/01/1998) Marconi Stadium
Referee : M Shields, Crowd : 3924
Ante Covic, Mark Babic, Domenic Longo, Luke Casserly (Chad Gibson 74), Christian Care (Luke Tomich 80), Darren McDonald, Francis Awaritefe, Brendan Renaud, Pan Keun Kim, Vlado Zoric, Gabriel Mendez (Zeljko Babic 46)
Goals : Zoric 46, 67, Z Babic 60
3 - 0 Gippsland Falcons
Jim Kourtis, Clayton Bell (Billy Mitroulas 64), Claudio Canosa, Manny Gotis, Tony Sekulic, Nick Palamaras, Doug Marcina, Mark Foy, Levent Osman (Archie Thompson 51), Willie Hastie, Zlatko Mihajlovic (Brian MacNicol 51)
This game promised to be closer than it ended up considering the current form of both sides. Marconi squandered some chances in the first but as soon as the second half started they were in front when Awaritefe played a low cross at the feet of Zoric whose marker was goalside of him which allowed Zoric to glance the ball past the keeper with the outside of the foot. Babic had a much easier time of it when he received a cross from Casserly, all Babic had to do was beat the keeper with his shot as there wasn't any defenders bothering to do anything about him. The third goal came again from a cross, this time Renaud timing his loping ball perfectly onto the head of Zoric who was running through the middle at speed.

Played (31/01/1998) Suncorp Stadium
Referee : J Blaney, Crowd : 4008
Brisbane Strikers
Clint Bolton, Matthew Bell, Nick Meredith (Jeromy Harris 49), Frank Farina, Kasey Wehrman (Wayne Knipe 71), Troy Cranney, Chay Hews (Sean Cranney 56), Stephen Laybutt, Craig Williams, Andrew Harper, Gary Blackford
0 - 3 Sydney United
Zeljko Kalac, David Barrett (Jacob Burns 90), Velimir Kupresak, Richard Plesa, Joe Vrkic, Robbie Hooker, Peter Bennett, Marcus Philips, Paul Bilokapic, Abbas Saad (Jason Culina 87), Nick Bosevski
Goals : Phillips 34, Barrett 49, Bosevski 80
The grand final replay was anything but a replay of the championship decider from last season. Marcus Phillips began the scoring when his run through midfield, riding a few challenges along the way, was finished off with a delicate chip over the keeper which sailed just under the crossbar. Then after the break a fast break by United got the ball to Barrett on the left flank and spotting the keeper even further off his line he chipped the keeper again, this time the ball even bounced before it crossed the goalline. To end the Brisbane misery Phillips passed the ball to Bosevski who was unmarked around the penalty spot and slotted the ball in.
Match report by David Marshall
Match report by John Croft

Played (31/01/1998) Seiffert Oval
Referee : E Lennie, Crowd : 2472
Canberra Cosmos
Anthony Giannasca, Andrew Dee, Andrew Ravanello (Harry James 68), Ante Moric (Damien Brown 75), Gordon Hunter, Norman Kelly, Michael Musitano, Peter Buljan, Lindsay Wilson (Ilija Prenzoski 60), Toplica Popovich, Tom Haythornthwaite
Goal : Hunter 75
1 - 0 Adelaide Sharks
Nathan Wildy, Alex Castro, Frank Tibaldi (Pedro Oliveira 68), Alex Kuzmanovic, Branko Milosevic (Adrian Iandorio 81), Con Kokkinoplitis, Paul Pezos, Jim Tsekinis (sent off 82), Bill Misailidis, Jose Iriarte (Andrew Borghetto 68), Lou Hristodoulou
Canberra looked the goods early but Adelaide had other ideas and soon started pressing for the goal they never got. In the end it was Scotsman Gordon Hunter who put the ball in the net when a Canberra corner was ineptly cleared twice by the Sharks. C'mon guys, Canberra will eventually score if you give them enough opportunities. Some solid defence rounded out the win. However Jim Tsekinis didn't enjoy things very much and lashed out with an elbow into the face of Toplica Popovich, right in front of the referee. So Jim is stupid on two counts. The red card was a given.

Played (30/01/1998) Topper Stadium
Referee : B McKay, Crowd : 2389
Newcastle Breakers
Brad Swancott, Matthew Austin, Shane Pryce, Todd McManus, Robert Ironside, Peter Ritchie, Mark Wilson (Ben Lane 75), Clayton Zane, Reece Tollenaere, Doug West, Shaun Edwards (Jason Bennett 56)
Goal : Ironside 35
1 - 2 Wollongong City
Adam Brodbeck, Alvin Ceccoli, Robert Stanton (Noel Spencer 73), Jason Connolly, Matthew Horsley, Sonny Sevin (Sasho Dimoski 55), Anthony Surjan, Scott Chipperfield, George Souris, Tony Perinich (Esala Masi 77), David Huxley
Goals : Perinich 12, Surjan 20
The Wolves are staking their claim for the finals but of course visiting the league doormats, you're expected to win. The scoring began when Huxley's pass found Perinich in space and the latter jinked his way past the keeper before putting the ball into the net. Anthony Surjan scored Wollongong's second from a free kick which looked to be a generous decision. Still, Surjan took the shot, around the wall and placed it beyond the keepers diving reach. Newcastle pulled one goal back before the break when a ball into a crowded area found Ironside who took the shot quickly, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. There was a hint of handball as the ball came into the box but in the crowd it was hard to spot if, and if so who, the ball was handled. Neither side managed much else.
Match report by Chris Dunkerley
Match report by Stephen Webb