The Melbourne Knights have fallen to the league leaders – Avondale FC – in their return to Somers Street since lockdown began.
Melbourne Knights Starting XI
Thomas Manos (GK), Oliver Zafiridis, Nikola Jurkovic, Ayden Brice (C), Anthony Duzel, James McGarry, Alun Webb, Gian Albano, Daniel Petrov, Felipe Sanchez, Trevor Ssemakula.
Melbourne Knights Substitutes
Harry Cakarun (GK), Caleb Mikulic, Oliver Cakarun, Mohamad Sumaoro, Joseph Colina.
The match unfolded in lively fashion with the Knights utilising a fair share of the ball in their forward third. Given the two opponents and the fiery match, referee Lachlan Keevers had his work cut out for him, issuing citations to captain Ayden Brice as well as Gian Albano within the first 15 minutes of the match.
At the half hour mark, Thomas Manos found himself out of position and Avondale’s Valentini shot toward goal, but Ayden Brice made an important stop to keep the scores locked at nil-all.
Following two minutes of additional time, the whistle was blown at the half, the scoreboard untouched.
A recent rule change due to COIVD-19 now allows each side to make five changes per match, with one of the five allowing for an interchange. Ten minutes into the second half, the Knights made their first changes of the night. A forward swap saw Felipe Sanchez and Alun Webb make way for Mohamad Sumaoro and Caleb Mikulic.
Moments later, the Knights faced a deficit and Avondale were able to take the lead when Townes broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute.
James McGarry was the third Knights player to be booked, and minutes later, he was subbed. James McGarry and Oliver Zafiridis were replaced by Oliver Cakarun and Joseph Colina.
In an attempt to find an equaliser with three additional minutes given, the Knights pushed forward – but the play ended up disadvantaging the home side. Avondale countered, with Katebian doubling the visitor’s lead and simultaneously putting the game to bed within moments of the final whistle.
The win for Avondale keeps them atop of the league for yet another week, however the Knights drop to sixth, still holding onto finals football for the time being after some favourable results from the other league matches.
With a nine-day break between games, the Knights next week travel to Heidelberg in a Sunday afternoon fixture.
Don’t miss the UEFA Euro 2020 action tomorrow night as Croatia take on Spain in the round of 16. The clubrooms will be open for the show so come down and get behind the Vatreni in the first knock out match of the tournament.