On Friday night, GeelongSC disappointed its home fans when it failed to defeat a weakened, 10-man Whittlesea Rangers team. Whittlesea won the match 2 nil thanks to two successful counter-attacks.
GeelongSC held a player numerical advantage from the 13th minute when Whittlesea’s Cvetkovski was send-off. From that point GeelongSC dominated possession and peppered the Whittlesea goal with countless shots but no success.
The match began positively for the hosts; they mixed it up well with their promotion-bound opponent. Ivica Praiz, Yanko Castro, Ronnie Clayson, and James Agius were the most influential for GeelongSC.
The first scoring chance fell to Whittlesea after Steven Nikolovski gave away a foul outside the box with a late tackle from behind. Romeo Purlija in goals was forced to save the resulting free-kick, punching the shot away. In the 7th minute GeelongSC produced their first threat on goal, Danny Early firing a 30 meter speculative shot on goal. The next chance fell to the creative Ivica Praiz, the Whittlesea keeper failed to clear a ball mis-kicking it to Praiz in the centre of the field. Catching the keeper out of position Praiz quickly firing his shot at the empty net but his effort went well wide of goal. Then in the 13th minute Whittlesea were reduced to 10-players after Johnny Cvetkovski produced an ugly high studs-up tackle on Chris Psmaris catching the unfortunate midfielder on the thigh. Referee, Kate Jacewicz, quickly showed Cvetkovski a straight red card.
After the send-off GeelongSC began to assert its dominance on the match, producing a series of attacks on the Whittlesea goal. But then in the 21st minute Whittlesea surprised GeelongSC, catching them in a four on three counter-attack. Whittlesea’s Georgiovski was given time to settle and fire a low shot into gaol from the top of the box, leaving keeper Purlija flat-footed.
GeelongSC dominated the remainder of the first half producing a total of 9 shots on goal. Praiz’s fierce climbing shot from 20 meters out came closest to scoring. Whittlesea’s keeper, Ciric was required to produce the save of the match by pushed the shot around his post. The other unsuccessful shots were taken by Janko Castro (2), Danny Early (3), M Nikolovski, Agius, Psimaris, and a header wide from Clayson.
The first half ended with a threatening Whittlesea counter-attack which was broken up by a diving tackle from S Nikolovski. The resulting corner kick almost found its way into the GeelongSC goal, the ball having to be cleared off the line by Alex Josifovski.
In the second half GeelongSC continued its dominance on the match, it seemed only a matter of time before they would score.
In the 50th minute Y Castro created the best scoring opportunity for GeelongSC. He ran at and rounded several Whittlesea defenders before cutting the ball back from the by-line to his older brother Ricardo; Ricardo fluffed his side-footed tap-in effort from 4 meters out directly in front of goal. Then minutes later Y Castro cut another ball back from the by-line for Ricardo but Ricardo’s shot was well saved.
GeelongSC continued for the reminder of the match to create and miss scoring chances; Agius shot over the bar in a one-on-one, Y Castro’s volley was saved, substitutes Zoran Ristevski wasted his open shot shooting well over the bar, Danny Early struck the cross-bar with a vicious speculative half-volley from some 25 meters out.
GeelongSC found themselves with ten men on the park in the 83rd minute when Ricardo Castro received a straight red card. He over-ran the ball and slid-in studs-up into his opponent.
At this late stage of the match GeelongSC pushed more players forward in search of an equalised and Whittlesea showed they were good enough to punish them. In the 88th minute, Whittlesea’s substitute Kamara received the ball on their right wing and he beat two defenders before driving a low cross across the face of goal for Sapazovski to tap-in at the back post. That goal made the scoreline 2 nil for the visitors and killed the contest.
GeelongSC poor shooting cost it this match, coach Peter Stojanovski may need to run a few extra shooting-drill sessions.