By Peter Desira
(Herald Sun, Monday 30 October 2000)
Melbourne Knights came back to town yesterday still scratching their heads at a 3-0 loss to Canberra Cosmos.
The Knights missed two penalties and two one-on-one chances in a game they dominated for long periods.
“In the first half everything was perfect and even early in the second half we were the better side,” said Knights coach Vlado Vanis.
“Canberra then scored an excellent goal, but we continued to control the game until we copped two goals which were an absolute joke.
“It’s hard to explain but maybe it was psychological after we missed the first penalty at the end of the first half.”
Canberra keeper Barney Smith stopped the spotkick from Joel Porter in the 45th minute and repeated the dose in the 89th minute, stopping a penalty from Joey Rajher.
In between Mark hagger put Canberra ahead with a shot which bounced down over the line from the underside of the crossbar, while Brad Scott and Alex Castro added two more, punishing slack marking in the Knights’ backline.
Knights striker Toto Da Costa, making his NSL debut, earned the two penalties but he also missed two gilt-edged chances.
“Toto looked lost up front. He had a couple of one-on-ones and I would expect a player of his reputation to finish chances like that,” Vanis said.