Breakers v Cosmos

Round 2 report by Nick Guoth
Newcastle Breakers v Canberra Cosmos

The Cosmos continued their problems of results away from home when on Friday they lost 2-1 to the Newcastle Breakers. Unlike their performance against Adelaide the previous week, this time the team played very well but could not convert.

Again, pre-match mayhem disturbed the preparation of the Cosmos. Although Anthony Magnacca was finally cleared by the authorities here in Australia, Amarildo Miglietti was still having problems in Portugal. All problems were with the Portugese Football Federation as they refused to deal.

Along came Friday and with a plane booked to go to Newcastle, all was ready. The flight was to leave at 2pm and arrive in Newcastle at 3pm. The team would then go to a hotel, have some food and then make their way out to the ground, relaxed and ready.

What really happened was quite a farce. Everyone was at the airport on time, but the plane wasn't. By 4pm, the plane finally arrived, but instead of going to the terminal, it went straight into the hanger. Finally, around 5pm three little planes were made available - two of these 6 seaters, the other an 8 seater.

The team arrived at 6pm and went straight to the ground, and probably a little frazzled from the flight. The lineup would be basically the same as last week, but with Magnacca coming into partner Buljan, Musitano pulling back into the midfield. Andrew Clarke would continue his position as sweeper whilst Amarildo was unavailable.

To the game and alike the first match, the Cosmos were down to an early goal. There were questions as to whether it was off-side or not, but still the team was on the back foot and again having to play catch-up football.

Both sides settled down for the rest of the half and worked hard. Bob Catlin played very well in goals for Newcastle, and if it wasn't for some fine saves, his team may have been behind.

Meanwhile, the Cosmos were tearing up the Breakers down the wings. Both Harry James and Doug Marcina were having terrific games, unlike their performances the previous week. The supply for the forwards was causing all sorts of trouble for the Newcastle defence, but they were holding out.

After the break, the Cosmos continued to look for the equaliser, but it wouldn't come. With fifteen minutes left, an error in defence allowed Newcastle through so that when Knezevic was beaten, the rebound fell to Korean Yoon who had the easiest of tap ins.

Coming back from 2-0 down was going to be hard, but with under ten minutes to go, the Comsos gained a penalty after Magnacca was felled. Peter Buljan scored from the spot to start his scoring for the season and to make him now the Cosmos' leading goal scorer of all time.

The Cosmos pushed hard in the last few minutes, but the equaliser again would not come. Finally the whistle went and the second loss in a row for the Canberra team.

Best players for the Cosmos included James, Marcina, Burt and Magnacca. Geoff Howarth made his EC debut when he came on for Musitano in the 65th minute. The team is definitely improving with the quality of play shown in Newcastle, and Rale can see the first good result coming soon.