APIA and Marconi play out tough draw

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The second last round of the season pitted APIA Leichhardt against long-time rivals Marconi Stallions on a delightful Sunday afternoon.

The old Italian derby didn’t mean much from the playoffs point of view, but the players on both sides showed a lot of commitment nonetheless. I

Inn the end, it was a scoreless draw.

After the game Marconi’s coach, Luke Casserly, had trouble describing the game
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“The conditions made it difficult to play decent football, so at times it was a bit scrappy,” he said.

“We had a couple of decent chances and didn’t take them but in many respects, from start to finish it was a nil all game in many ways.”

In the 6th minute Nick Rizzo found himself with the ball on the edge of the box, but his powerful shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.

In the 34th minute the ball bounced beautifully again for Rizzo who, on the turn, shot just over the intended target.

Marconi’s reply arrived in the 41st minute. A nice cross from Matthew Gordon made its way to Josh Sama who tried his luck from close but Stefan Giglio marvellously turned the ball away for a corner.

The first half ended scoreless and spectators must have been relieved in some ways.

David D’Apuzzo just failed to connect with a Franco Parisi pass early in the second half.

APIA Leichhardt’s best chance of the game arrived in the 77th minute through a Stephen Kayes shot that Andrew Mercuri saved very competently.

Late substitute Nico Sama forced Giglio to save from close range with his feet and then, just before the end, he had another shot though it was never really going to trouble the homes side’s goalkeeper.

After the game Billy McColl, APIALeichhardt’s caretaker coach, expressed his satisfaction with his side.

“The game was played with a lot of passion and commitment from both sides,” he said.

“I was happy with the performance of our team, but there was the opportunity for both teams to play better soccer.

“I am very happy with our boys’ attitude and commitment. They were lacking a bit of self belief and I have put that back into them, and they have responded by being undefeated in the last four games”.

APIA LEICHHARDT TIGERS 0
MARCONI STALLIONS 0

APIA LEICHHARDT TIGERS: 40. Stefan Giglio, 2. Mark Byrnes, 3. John Kelso, 4. Cole Tinkler, 5. Michael West, 7. Stephen Kayes, 13. David D’Apuzzo, 15. Adam D’Apuzzo, 11. Nick Rizzo, 10. Franco Parisi (8. Anthony Hartshorn 71’), 23. Christopher James.

MARCONI STALLIONS: 40. Andrew Mercuri, 2. Andrew Mailer, 3. Ali Haydar, 4. Umut Tokdogan (10. Nico Sama 77’), 6. Brenton Rhodes, 8. Sean O’Connell, 9. Keith Shevlin, 11. Matthew Gordon, 20. Josh Sama (18. Nathan Jagelman 84’), 23. Christopher Nunes, 26. Nahuel Arrarte.

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