Knights take the points in five-goal thriller

Melbourne Knights has secured a 3-2 over Northcote City in the opening game of the 2014 National Premier League Victoria season. 


The match started at a high-tempo, with both sides fighting to gain the upper hand early in the contest.


It was the Knights who managed to draw first blood, taking the lead after just six minutes through new signing Rodrigo Covarrubias. Rodrigo got the final touch, after a well-weighted corner was headed into the middle of the six-yard line from the back post.


Northcote, however, responded in spectacular fashion in the 18th minute through Marino Gasparis. 25- yards from goal, Gasparis volleyed with power past Chris May, who could do nothing to keep it out.


Gasparis almost had his second in the 25th minute when, after being played through by Liam Wooding, he attempted to chip May. The ball sailed harmlessly over the bar, much to the delight of the Knights faithful.


Rodrigo thought he had his, and the Knights, second on the half hour mark, only to see it ruled out. The assistant referee’s flag was raised, indicating the ball had gone out for a goal kick earlier in the play.


Just five minutes later, Knights took the lead once again and it was none other than Rodrigo, scoring his second goal on debut.


Tomislav Uskok took advantage of some poor defending, working his way to the byline before squaring the ball to Rodrigo for an easy tap in.


It could have been 3-1 late in the half when Jacob Colosimo had the opportunity to shoot thanks to Rodrigo’s nice lay off. His volley, however, was off target leaving Northcote keeper Chris Theodoridis unchallenged.


Just moments before the half time whistle, Shayan Alinejad had a golden opportunity to score Knights’ third. One-on-one with Theodoridis, his tame shot was saved.


Rodrigo was given a great chance to notch up a hat-trick on debut when he stepped up to take a penalty in the 55th minute after Uskok was brought down in the area by Adrian Chiapetta. Theodoridis guessed correctly and saved comfortably.


The game then entered somewhat of a lull, with the only genuine chance falling to Northcote’s Adrian Chiapetta, who headed just wide from a well-delivered corner in the 63rd minute.


Moments later, Trent Rixon hit the crossbar after turning and shooting from the edge of the area. Chris May was beaten but luckily for Knights, the post wasn’t.


The post saved Knights again in the 74th minute when Liam Wooding’s strike curled onto the underside of the crossbar and bounced clear.


In what was a frantic finale to the game, two goals were scored in the final ten minutes.


Trent Rixon equalised for Northcote from the penalty spot in the 81st minute after the referee judged that a Knights defender handled the ball in the area.


The deadlock was broken once again just three minutes later when new signing Daniel Visevic squared for substitute Marijan Cvitkovic to tap home.


Melbourne Knights’ next National Premier League Victoria match will be on March 28 against Pascoe Vale at Hosken Reserve, kick off 8:30pm.

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