Under 12 Boys – Brisbane City FC (2) v Sunshine Coast FC (3)
The penultimate game of the season for Fire and a third meeting between the two sides this season, honours so far even with one win apiece.
Returning to the scene of one of their more troubled performances of the season, a 7 -1 humbling in Round 18, the travelling Fire got the game under way on a surface that looked far more suitable for grazing goats than for playing football on, an observation the opening exchanges reinforced as the uneven pitch made the fundamentals of passing and control a challenge for the players.
Fire were unable to find any early rhythm or structure and City adapting to the unhelpful conditions far more quickly, looked the more assured of the teams. A first scare for Fire came after 6 minutes down the home side’s left hand side, a combination of Luke Vancam and Herbie Allsopp keeping the ball out of the Fire goal. Relief was short lived however as a minute later City took a deserved lead. A lofted ball into space behind the Fire defence allowed the City player time to square the ball across the face of the Fire goal for a teammate to tap the ball into an empty net.
This setback seemed to give Fire the impetus they required to lift themselves into the game. Despite the opening 10 minutes of the contest being a somewhat scrappy affair Fire were at least matching their robust opponents for endeavour. Dré Ngaha played a curling ball behind the City defence which was cleared and Kaidin Dawson looked to exploit some encouraging signs down the Fire left before Allsopp, pushing into a midfield position, sent an effort over the crossbar in the 14th minute.
In the 16th minute Fire were awarded a free kick after Allsopp, having deftly evaded a number of challenges was eventually tripped on the City side of halfway. Ngaha, as so often has been the case this season, lofted a ball into the City area before Jett Wouters acrobatically connected with a magnificent overhead kick to level the game.
With Ngaha and Dawson now linking well on the left, Ryan Tappouras and Lachie Noyes not conceding ground in midfield, and resolute defending from Vancam and right back Deepal Maharaj Fire were beginning to wrestle control the game however on 23rd minute Wouters needed to be carried off the pitch following a clash of heads. Not to be deterred Fire continued to take the game to City and forced a corner after 27 minutes. Ngaha’s delivery, met full on the volley by Tappouras flew in to the city goal to give Fire the advantage.
Fire continued to hold the upper hand and with more good play from Allsopp, Dawson and Moore an opportunity to extend the lead further was thwarted with a ball that, unsurprisingly, just wouldn’t sit kindly.
Fire ending the half on the front foot as Dawson forced another corner taking a deserved 1 – 2 lead into the interval.
City restarted the game with the opening minutes of the second half resembling those of the first, Fire slow out of the blocks conceding an equaliser within 60 seconds when a diagonal ball found its way to edge of the Fire box, an unorthodox, hooked effort wrong footing everyone as the ball bounced agonisingly over the Fire line with help from the far post.
With City sensing uncertainty in Fire’s play a third looked on the card for the hosts, Patrick Cooper starting only his 3rd game of the season in the Fire goal needed to make a smart save on 34 minutes before Vancam superbly cleared off the line in the 36th minute.
Fire earned some respite in the 37th minute by forcing a corner after Wouters put the home keeper under pressure, another good run from Allsopp presented Tappouras with a shooting opportunity but his effort was off target.
Fire were now beginning to get back into contention, Ngaha, Dawson and Wouters again combining well, Vancam and Maharaj determined in their defensive duties, Maharaj showing neat footwork and composure to pass his way out of challenging situations. City countered but again, a resilient Fire held out.
Following several missed tackles and scrambled play, City struck the Fire post, but with City having a positive spell, defensive hesitation allowed Wouters to intercept a weak pass on the halfway line in the 53rd minute and run 30 metres to coolly slot the ball home and restore Fire’s advantage. Allsopp then sent a delightful angled pass to put Dawson free down the left shortly after but he was denied by a good save from the City keeper, some lovely building up play involving Allsopp, Moore and Mark Shaw gave Moore a shooting opportunity but the City keeper made an outstanding save to deny Fire a valuable fourth to seal the game.
As the game entered its final minutes, City pushed forward looking for an equaliser which almost came. With Fire showing some nervous play in their final third and scrambling to clear the ball, a ricochet was sent toward the Fire goal, before Cooper produced a save of outstanding quality to arc his body and push the ball away for corner.
Fire, clearing the danger were happy to send the ball in to City territory, where Moore forced another save, Fire then won a free kick just outside the City area which again forced a save, this time the effort from Wouters.
Jubilant scenes greeted the final whistle as Fire recorded a well-deserved, third successive victory before handing the playing field back to the goats and preparing for next weekend’s season finale on the Gold Coast.
Player of the Match: Deepal Maharaj
Under 13 Boys – Brisbane City FC (1) v Sunshine Coast FC (3)
Round 27, the last round in the season’s fixtures and the second last game where Sunshine Coast FC Fire travelled to Brisbane City FC. Brisbane City FC always proves to be tough competition with Sunshine Coast FC successful in the last two meetings.
The conditions were set to challenge Sunshine Coast FC, with injuries for a number of players, step in keeper Matthew Becker, a rough pitch and tough relentless competition from Brisbane City FC.
Both teams struggled to gather momentum and control the ball as it bobbled around. The first 10 minutes saw Sunshine Coast FC and Brisbane City strong in their challenge against each other resulting in a foul in the box against Kyle Barnes. A penalty taken by Samuel Klein was successfully saved by Brisbane City keeper James Khan.
Play continued with both teams striving towards goals. The 25th minute saw a pass from Klein through to Kane Gibbs on the right for Gibbs to take a strike on goal. Brisbane City FC keeper Khan saved the goal however let the ball slip out of his hands for Gibbs to follow in to score Sunshine Coast FC’s first goal for the match. Fire 1-0
This was quickly followed with another goal when Barnes ran up the right wing and passed the ball through to Klein in the centre for a successful shot on goal on the 29th minute. Fire 2-0
Both teams returned to the pitch for the second half with Sunshine Coast FC looking to increase their lead and Brisbane City FC looking to score.
Brisbane City FC continued to place pressure on Sunshine Coast FC’s defence as they drove towards goals. An unexpected bounce over Fire’s defence saw Brisbane City FC take advantage to run onto the ball and successfully place a shot on goal to close the gap on the 52nd minute. Fire 2-1
Sunshine Coast FC continued to dig deep as they looked to increase their lead. A pass from Klein to Gibbs with a challenge for the ball by Brisbane City FC was then placed in the pathway of Dimitri Pritchard to score Sunshine Coast FC’s third and final goal of the match on the 62nd minute. Fire 3-1
This win cemented Sunshine Coast FC U13’s as the table leaders and Premiers for the 2017 season.
Player of the Match: Kyle Barnes