Eren Enes of Corio tries to break away from David Valys (5) of Geelong Rangers
North Geelong secure grand final spot, while Corio and Rangers share the points
By Roy Hay
North Geelong made absolutely certain of its place in the grand final of the 2011 City of Greater Geelong Cup with a narrow one-nil win over Surfcoast at Stead Park on Wednesday night.
In the early match, Corio and Geelong shared the points in a one-all draw.
Geelong can book its place in the final against North on Friday night at 8.20 pm with a win over Bell Park.
Rangers faces North Geelong in a seven of clock kick-off on Friday.
North started brightly against Surfcoast with keeper Tom Dunn and winger Jack Taylor facing their former club.
Nathan Cook slotted the ball into the path of Antun Vulic and the big striker finished with a shot under Barry Schroeterâ€™s dive in the twelfth minute.
Three minutes later a similar move should have resulted in a second goal, but Vulic went for power rather than placement and the ball went well over the bar.
Tom Dunn likes to patrol outside his penalty area when his team is attacking but he was caught out in the 17th minute and was lucky not to concede a goal when Surfcoast broke quickly but the final cross was wayward.
A wave of substitutions seemed to upset Northâ€™s rhythm after half-time and Surfcoast came back into the game with Hector Nunez and Billy Bunce prominent in the build-up.
Neither side could put away any of the half-chances created, and North held on to win.
Mijo Marinovic gave Corio the lead in its match against Rangers after only 71 seconds, as he cut in from the right and smashed the ball past Shaun Finn from a narrow angle.
It could have been three by the seventh minute as Andrew Palmieri hit the bar and Daniel Wilson had a powerful shot saved by Finn.
Rangers got on terms in 31 minutes with a shot from distance by Ryan Calder which Jovo Lobozinski tried to catch with stiff arms and the ball squirmed from his grasp and over the line.
James Blackburn had the ball in the net again for Rangers within a minute, but an offside flag meant that did not count.
Enes Eren ran through the Corio defence but touched the ball wide of the post just before half-time.
Steve Luczo set up Marinovic in the 45th minute, but Finn brought off a flying save to deny the big striker.
At the other end, Lobozinski saved from Calder and Eren to keep Corio level and that is how it finished.