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Knights reclaim Friendship Cup

Despite the rain and state-wide flooding, a crowd of over 800 people, many from across the border, braved the weather to see the Melbourne Knights take on interstate visitors and sister club, Sydney United in the highly anticipated annual Friendship Cup at Knights Stadium on Saturday.
The Knights were aiming to make amends for last year’s match, in which a Luka Glavas hat-trick sealed the victory for the home team in Sydney. While United coach Jean Paul De Marigny brought a full strength squad to Melbourne to ensure that bragging rights stayed with United for another year.
Before the match kicked off, and in the presence of his daughter and grandchildren, Club officials organised a minute silence in remembrance of long-time Chairman Branko Filipi who passed away in Zagreb last week. Players from the Melbourne Knights also wore black armbands for the duration of the match.
In a first half in which the Melbourne team dominated, it made sense that it was the Knights who took the lead in the 30th minute when Anthony Colosimo made a run down the right and expertly delivered a cross to Daniel Dragicevic to finish. Despite several opportunities, neither club managed to add to the score line, resulting in a 1-0 victory to the Knights.
Knights coach Ivan Duzel was pleased with the outcome. “The boys did very well to bring the Friendship Cup back to Melbourne. I think the game had a great tempo and we had the run for the first 55mins at least. There are some good signs from the younger players and, along with the experience of players like Martin John, Jean Dubois and our new signing Junior De Camargo, I hope we will be a much more competitive side than last year.”
Assistant Coach Paul Magdic says of the match, “In the first half, we were definitely the stronger team, we should have capitalised on our chances and had at least a 2 or 3 goal lead. Although we didn’t show much in the second half, neither did Sydney United.”
In other news relating to the day, road closures between the stadium and Geelong resulted in North Geelong U21s having to cancel their friendly with the Melbourne Knights U21 team. Instead, the newly formed U18 team were given a chance to prove themselves against the older U21 boys. The curtain raiser, played on Ground No. 2, resulted in a 5-0 win for the U21s, with goals from Christopher Talajic (4) and Josh Berios.

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