Here’s a write-up from the Geelong Adi.
GEELONG crushed a new-look Rangers side to record a thumping 4-0 victory on home soil in the City of Greater Geelong pre-season cup last night.
Greater forward penetration was the key difference between the sides as Geelong eased to the win.
James Agius opened the scoring after just five minutes, slotting away a penalty after a clear handball in the box.
Jasmin Ikanovic made it 2-0 soon afterwards, running clear through on goal after great approach play to finish in style.
Another excellent passing movement provided Geelongs third goal, still within the first half, with Michael Nikolovski and Agius combining to allow Nikolovski, captain for the night, to score.
A shellshocked Rangers side looked to salvage something from the match in the second half, but the only goal of the period came from a cracking 30-metre strike from Ikanovic, who looked in ominous form ahead of the regular season.
Will Talev, football operations chief at Geelong, said he was pleased with the result.
“After the fourth goal, it was cruise control we kept possession really well,” he said.
“Rangers threw a bit at us, but we handled it well. It’s still early days, but were shaping up well.”
Talev added that the squad will improve further once injured and absent players return, notably powerhouse forward Troy Hardy, who is out with a calf injury.
“Our forward line is functioning well and when Troy is back there will be some real competition for places,” he said.
“This match showed we have depth in the squad this season.”
For Rangers, the match had unhappy echoes of last season, when it was relegated with barely a whimper.
“Geelong was first to every ball and they dominated in certain patches,” admitted coach Dale Harris.
“The lack of competitiveness disappointed me we need everyone at the same level.
“We are getting there slowly. There were a lot of players playing together for the first time today.”
The late game, marred by the loss of some lights during the second, finished in a 0-0 stalemate between Surf Coast and Bell Park.