Knights sink two past the Saints

Super-sub Sumaoro shifts the tide and helps to secure three points against St. Albans, sending the Knights soaring up the ladder.

Starting XI: Thomas Manos (GK), Jack Marth, Fuki Ishibashi, Theiry Iradukunda, Ayden Brice (C), Luka Celic, Gian Albano, Justin Micallef, Anthony Frangie, Jack Morton, Luka Kolic

Substitutes: Harry Cakarun (GK), Atilla Ofli, Joseph Colina, Mohammad Sumaoro, Steve Sokol, Lionel Masudi.

Going into the clash, both St Albans Saints and Melbourne Knights had a point to prove coming off the back off a loss each in round five. 

 The Knights and the Saints played a stalemate in the first half, both sides eager for victory and matching each other in their determination to hold off conceding as well as attacking.

After a tense first half ended 0–0, both sides had to come out firing in the second half to walk away with the three points.

The second half began with a Knights substitution – Justin Micallef for Mohammad Sumaoro in the 46th minute. Sumaoro set out strong, making a concerted impact on the game. 

After only 14 minutes on the pitch Sumaoro managed to find the back of the net and break the deadlock in the 60th minute, putting Knights in ahead going into the final half-hour.

St. Albans found themselves in a desperate position with 30 minutes to go, and no opportunities to draw level seeming to come their way. The nervousness of the opposition led to them picking up five yellow cards in last half-hour. 

Gian Albano scored a thrilling goal making it 2–0 in the 78th minute to secure the three points for the Knights, managing to bounce back from the previous weeks defeat. Albano made way for Joseph Colina to make his first appearance this season in the second minute of extra time, since returning from Europe.

With victory over St Albans, the Knights move into 6th position on the NPL table, rescuing their title ambitions and showing the resilience needed to challenge at the top of the league.

Next week, the Knights return home to face bottom-of-the-league Hume City. Hume are yet to record a win this season, and the Knights will be hoping to keep it that way.

 – Ryan Schopp

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