CoGG Cup matches settled by late goals
Action from the Geelong Rangers versus Bell Park match in the CoGG Cup
By Roy Hay
In the round robin matches in the 2011 City of Greater Geelong Cup on Wednesday night at Stead Park, Geelong Rangers beat Bell Park by one-nil and North Geelong overcame Geelong by two-one with both winners coming late in the respective games.
Bell Park had the better of the early exchanges in the first game and almost grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time when Mark Gstalter hit the post when clean through.
Rangers had the ball in the net in 54 minutes but it was chalked off for a previous infringement.
But the Dark Blues kept plugging away and had several openings before Gareth Demink took advantage of a loose ball bobbling around the area and hooked it home in the last minute.
Rangers just about deserved the win for their efforts near the end, though these were often frustrated by a tendency of their players to bunch up in one area of the field.
The crowd had built up to one of the biggest in recent years despite the limited publicity for the tournament before North Geelong and Geelong kicked-off.
Both teams had a number of their younger players in the starting line-up or on the bench and the game was played at a high tempo throughout, with many wild tackles and collisions.
Jasmin Ikanovic had two shots on goal for Geelong, the first of which was only denied by a brilliant save from North keeper Daniel Zilic.
But when the striker got clear in the 19th minute, he outstripped the defence and put Geelong ahead.
Bojan Blagojevic hit the post as Geelong kept pounding the North defence and Vince Ierardo was only denied by another good stop by Zilic.
North looked a different team in the second half and it took a goal-line clearance by Geelong’s Daniel Ho to prevent Mathew Demon brining North level.
The equaliser came in the 54th minute when winger Robbie Zadworny scored with a sweet volley after some excellent lead up work.
There were less than five minutes left to play when North won a series of corner-kicks and from the last of these big defender Andrew McLean rose to head the ball sharply downwards and it bounced up and over the Geelong keeper, Joe Agius, who could not scramble back in time to prevent it dropping over the line.
Mijo Trupkovic, North’s senior player on the night, has not had much sleep recently following the birth of his daughter, but he saw out the night at the fulcrum of most of North’s attacks.
‘I haven’t done much training this week, but I got through in one piece and the young lads stood up and did well,’ he said.