Some 90 minutes of action at Olympic Village in Heidelberg has resulted in a 2-2 draw between the Melbourne Knights and Heidelberg United.
Melbourne Knights Starting XI
Thomas Manos (GK), Nikola Jurkovic, Anthony Duzel, James McGarry, Alun Webb, Gian Albano, Caleb Mikulic, Daniel Petrov, Trevor Zwetsloot, Mohamad Sumaoro, Trevor Ssemakula.
Melbourne Knights Substitutes
Harry Cakarun (GK), Oliver Zafiridis, Dor Jok, Felipe Sanchez, Joseph Colina.
Plenty of exciting attack filled the starting 11, with Alun Webb, Gian Albano, Caleb Mikulic, Mohamad Sumaoro and Trevor Ssemakula all getting a starting berth. In typical Melbourne fashion, the match was broken up with boughts of consistant rain, followed by sunshine, providing some tricky conditions for both sides.
The Knights found themselves chancing the goal early on through Webb, but his shot was fired too close to the Theodoridis. Moments later, Mikulic beat his man and only the keeper separated himself and the goal. Heidelberg’s Theodoridis extended himself to keep the chance away from his net.
Though the first half was exciting early on, after 45 minutes the score line had not changed – nil-all at the break.
After settling into the second half, the Knights broke the deadlock through Sumaoro in the 57th minute. McGarry moved the ball forward, thread a pass past Heidelberg’s defence to link with Sumaoro on the right. Sumaoro fired on goal, beat Theodoridis – slotting it into the back of the net.
The lead barely lasted a minute, when Heidelberg swiftly replied from the kick-off. Luka Ninkovic equalised for the home side to bring the scores back to parity.
After the equaliser, the Knights utilised their first swap of the match as Zafiridis took to the pitch, replacing Petrov. Ten minutes on, the Knights used another two more Knights substitutions. Sanchez and Jok offering offensive prowess, replacing Sumaoro and Mikulic.
With the fresh pairs of legs on the field, the Knights were able to reclaim the lead through Albano with only 11 minutes on the clock. Webb made a run down the right flank, cut inside to Duzel who linked with Albano. His left-footed shot was placed into the bottom-right corner – putting the three points in the Knights’ sight.
After 85 minutes, the Knights opted for stability with Assistant Coach Diogo Ferriera subbing on Colina Webb in an attempt to hold onto the three points.
Much to the displeasure of the Knights fans in attendance, five minutes of extra time were given, but Heidelberg only needed two. In the second minute of additional time, Wilkins’ powerful shot was headed for the bottom corner. Manos managed to get a foot to it, but it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the net.
A thoroughly entertaining encounter at Olympic Village saw the spoils shared. The point for the Knight helpful, but not enough to keep them in the top six. Unfavourable results saw the Knights fall to 7th, but plenty of hope sits within the squad.
Next round the Knights return to Somers Street. A tough fixture lies ahead, as the boys take on the second-placed Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night.