Knights sink Sharks and progress to Semi-Final

Melbourne Knights are through to their first ever NPL Victoria Preliminary Final after defeating Port Melbourne 2-0 in the Elimination Final at Knights Stadium on Friday night.

Second half goals from Mitch Hore and Gian Albano mean Knights will make the trip to Avenger Park next weekend to face Avondale with a Grand Final spot on the line.

Hore opened the scoring in the 47th minute when he finished a Luka Kolic cross at the back post on the end of a swift team move from Ben Cahn’s side.

The Knights number seven, who also scored in Knights Round Five win over the Sharks now has three goals from his last four outings in red, white and blue.

Albano coolly slotted home Knights second of the night from the penalty spot in the 65th minute after he was brought down by Dan Edwards inside the area.

The Sharks night went from bad to worse in the 76th minute when striker Chris Duggan was shown a straight red card for a coming together in back play with Ben Collins.

Ciaran Bramwell and Albano came closest to extending Knights lead in the closing stages but the score line remain unchanged as Ben Cahn’s side marched into the final four with a 2-0 win.

Knights biggest week in recent history now awaits with an Australia Cup Round of 16 clash against NPL SA side Campbelltown City coming to Somers Street on Tuesday night before Ben Cahn’s side head to Avenger Park to face Avondale in the Preliminary Final next weekend.

Knights last reached a Preliminary Final in 2008, defeating Green Gully on penalties to reach the Victorian Premier League Grand Final that season.

Speaking post-match, Ben Cahn said his side are fully focused on building on Friday’s performance in a massive week for the club.

“We’re very happy with the performance and the result, Port Melbourne are a strong side and they’re always difficult to play against,” Cahn said.

“The boys were great, they trained at a high level all week and delivered a really strong performance.

“We’ve got to move on quickly now, recover well and start preparing for another big night on Tuesday.”

Match details for next weekend’s NPL Victoria Preliminary Final will be announced in the coming days.

MATCH DETAILS

NPL Victoria 2023 – Elimination Final: Melbourne Knights v Port Melbourne Sharks

Knights Stadium, Sunshine North

Friday, August 25

Melbourne Knights – 2 (Mitch HORE 47’, Gian ALBANO 65’)

Port Melbourne Sharks – 0

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