Corio overcame Geelong by two goals to one in a high quality first match for both clubs in the Geelong Community Cup at Myers Reserve on Sunday night. In the early game, Lara scored the only goal against newcomer Golden Plains. Despite going down to ten men in the second half, Golden Plains could not find an equaliser.
The Geelong-Corio match began with a bang and two goals inside the first four minutes. Geelong’s Matthew Linney and George Slefendorfan combined to cut through a static Corio defence and the latter beat keeper Adam Kumcovski from close range. Corio rebounded and were level immediately as Elton Savice pounced on a loose ball in the Geelong penalty area and gave Alec Kitanovski no chance. Shivasnan Kanapathy found himself in the clear for Corio in the 11th minute but put his shot well wide of goal. Geelong’s Isi Erdogan got himself booked for a challenge and possibly a bit of dissent, but neither side could add to its score in an even first half.
The second period promised more end-to-end action but when Kitanovski came charging off his line and cannoned into Corio’s Michael Boyar, referee Steven Kolar had no option but to award a penalty. Jasmin Ikanovic stepped up and converted the spot kick against his old club in the 41st minute. There was still plenty of time for Geelong to get on terms and Daniel Conte tested the keeper with a good effort after cutting in from the left. Ronnie Clayson and Steven Luczo held firm for Corio, which just about deserved its win. It would not surprise me if these teams were to meet again in the final, though the host team, Geelong Rangers, might have something to say about that.
Golden Plains made its debut in the competition and had a good share of the play against Lara United in the first half. A long free kick found former Andrew Longo’s head at the back post but Lara keeper Harley Marsden claimed the ball just under the bar. Justin Wilson fired in a free kick at the other end and Hamish Flavell saved it. On the half hour Lara made a quick break down the middle and Samuele Volpe converted from close range.
Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second half. Ben Houston received a second yellow card for Lara and Shayan Zarale of Golden Plains got a straight red after a fierce tackle. As the game opened up chances were created at both ends. Golden Plains hit the woodwork in a late attack but Lara just held on for the narrow win.
Next Friday night Corio plays Lara at 6 pm followed by Geelong against Golden Plains at 7.20 pm. Then on Sunday it is Bell Park versus Surfcoast followed by Geelong Rangers versus Deakin Ducks.