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Wollongong snatch title!
Wolves come from 0-3 down to win on penalties.

Sunday, June 11

Wollongong Wolves won the 1999-2000 NSL title on Sunday afternoon with an astonishing comeback in front of 43,242 fans at Subiaco Oval - a record for a domestic soccer match in Australia.
Perth looked to have the match sewn up at half time when leading by three goals, but the visitors produced a superb fightback to force the match into extra-time, and then a penalty shoot-out.
Perth had taken the lead after twenty minutes when Bobby Despotovski ran on to a through pass from Kasey Wehrman, rounded Les Pogliacomi and slotted the ball coolly into an empty net.
Twelve minutes later Troy Halpin's free kick found Ljubo Milicevic and his header took an awkward bounce to confuse Pogliacomi and the home crowd could taste victory.
The party really started three minutes before the break when Jamie Harnwell headed in at the back post, rising above Alvin Ceccoli to head home an excellent Alistair Edwards cross.

But little did the crowd realise what was ahead.
Scott Chipperfield set the Wolves rescue mission on its way with a well taken goal in the fifty-seventh minute, and Perth were visibly shaking when Horsley was first to a loose ball following a Robertson free kick from outside the penalty area thirteen minutes later.
Both teams had excellent chances to score but the drama was only just starting when Paul Reid scored with just over one minute of normal time remaining, shooting under the advancing Petkovic after being released through the inside right channel.

Extra-time produced no further goals but once again both teams continued to embrace the attacking philosophy and thrilled the packed house with a series of near misses.

And so, to the shoot-out.

After both sides had converted their opening five shots, Matt Horsley became the first villain, scuffing his shot wide of Petkovic's right hand post.
But Les Pogliacomi calmed the distraught Horsley by saving the next spot kick from Edgar Junior.
The tension reached bursting point as Mennillo's kick was saved by Petkovic, but Pogliacomi again did the business, preventing Edwards from scoring the winning penalty.
Scott Chipperfield & Milicevic each scored, while Paul Reid put the Wolves ahead 7-6 in the ninth round of kicks.
James Afkos needed to score to keep his side in the match, but Pogliacomi guessed the right way and managed to save down low to his right seconds before being buried under an avanlanche of team-mates and club officials.

B Despotovski 20, L Milicevic 33, J Harnwell 42
S Chipperfield 56, M Horsley 69, P Reid 89

Cautions: L Milicevic (PG) 16, D Mennillo (WW) 28, A Schwertz (PG) 75, R Stanton (WW) 82, S Chipperfield (WW) 90, M Robertson (WW) 106
Referee: Eddie Lennie
Crowd: 43,242

Feature Story - Dear Basil - It's time to go

November 1999

Just lately we have become so nauseated by the way soccer is handled in this country we feel we have no alternative but to request the resignations of a number of senior officials, and there is no better place to start than at the very top.
So, with not a great deal of regret, we respectfully request the immediate resignation of Basil Scarsella.

Unfortunately the ‘moderate’ chairman who took over when David Hill decided to play politics of a different variety has hardly put a foot right. He ignored the opportunity for Soccer Australia to play a leading role at the International Soccer Expo. He left Raul Blanco exposed to all sorts of innuendo while the national coaching position was on the frontburner at the exact time we couldn’t get our overseas based players back to play the reigning European club champions.
Oh, and we shouldn’t forget his passive role in the Brazil tour scandal.

But worst of all, he has overseen the shambles that has become the 1999-2000 National Soccer League season.
Full story here

Feature Story - Welcome to Victoria
(and the dodgy bit in the middle)

September 20th 1999

Way back during the National Soccer Summit in May of 1995, most speakers tended to agree that the top and bottom of Australia's footballing pyramid (the Socceroos and the junior playing base) were doing okay, it was the bit in the middle (the NSL) that was the problem.

Four years later sees the NSL enjoying a renaissance of sorts, and new franchise teams chasing the pot of World Club Cup gold at the end of the rainbow, so the time may be right to look at that other bit in the middle - the state leagues. With good cause as well, because if this past season in Victoria is indicative of what's going on elsewhere, then it may be time for another summit.

Story continues here

NSL final

(May 7) Perth 64
Woll 60
Carl 58
Ade C 56
Syd O 55
Marc 55

Newc 51
Kingz 50
Bris 49
Sth M 49
Parra 47
Mel K 45
Nth S 36
Canb 36
Gipps 29
Syd U 20

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