The Western Knights are the 2015 Night Series Champions after defeating fierce rivals Dianella White Eagles 4-3 on penalties after scores were locked at 1-1 at full time
Below is the match report by Aisling Lawless from www.footballwest.com.au
10-man Knights win final on penalties
A 10-man Western Knights beat Dianella White Eagles 4 -3 in a penalty shootout to win the State League Night Series at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday.
After a 1-1 draw in normal time, Knights goalkeeper Scott Rowe played a heroic role, saving two penalties in the shootout before Tom Southgate scored the Knights’ winning spot kick.
Ross Cosgrove had the ball rolling for the Knights when he opened the scoring in the 16th minute before they were reduced to 10 men when Shaun French gave away a penalty in the 45th minute.
Angel Andres Ribeira converted the penalty to even the scores but the White Eagles could not continue their unbeaten Night Series streak.
Western Knights coach Andy Thorburn knew it was going to be a tough match but believed they were the stronger team throughout.
“Unfortunately we lost a man in the first half and they got a penalty kick but to be honest they didn’t really hurt us after,” he said.
“We kept our defensive and midfield shape and we knew it was going to be hard to get possession high in the park.
“But we’ve got a lot of experience in our team, we’ve tried to set ourselves up with the right boys for the way we want to play this year, and I think it paid off tonight.”
After a cagey opening Western Knights capitalised on slick team passing and Cosgrove slotted the ball past keeper Yousri Gharsallah.
Jose Zuniga showed his pace out wide for Dianella but their long balls failed to find their mark, while the Knights looked sharper in midfield.
But the White Eagles were gifted a penalty on the stroke of half time after last defender French brought down Ribeira.
Despite being a man down, Western Knights continued to push forward, allowing Dianella to find gaps in the defence.
They missed an opportunity to go ahead in the 64th minute when Yves Mwila mistimed a pass across goal and the deadlock remained until full time.
Dianella coach Mario Marchione said Western Knights quality and experience made them deserved winners.
“We should have closed the game in the second half when we were 11 men against 10,” he said.
“But it’s a growing process as we have 14 new players and they have to play and gel together.
“This final was a good lesson and experience for us. I think we’ll learn from this and we know we can win the season ahead.”
Western Knights 1 (COSGROVE 16min)
Dianella White Eagles 1 (ANDRES 45+2min)
Saturday, 21 March 2015
Percy Doyle Reserve
Local kick-off: 6:00pm
Referee: Tom Glavovic
Assistant referees: David Pohlenz, Julian Serra
4th official: Ammer Timour
Western Knights: 61. Scott Rowe (Gk), 2. Tom SOUTHGATE, 3. John MIGAS, 4. Craig RILEY, 7. Ross COSGROVE 16′ (6. Ivan ZUVELA 73′), 8. Ben COULTER (c), 11. Paul LLOYD, 12. Jefferey JUDGE , 14. Shaun FRENCH, 16. Nathan DE ABRUE (9. Dean THURSTON 76′), 19. Ross DIAMOND (18. Aaron DEAN (66′)
Substitutes not used: 1. Sam HUTCHINGS (rgk), 22. Ryan TUCKER
Yellow cards: 12. Jeffery JUDGE 49′, 8. Ben COULTER 76′
Red cards: 14. Shaun FRENCH 45′
Dianella White Eagles: 1. Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2. Dhours CHOL, 3. John STRIPES, 7. Yves MWILA (5. Guilltrova GOMEZ 71′), 9. Angel ANDRES RIBEIRA, 10. Cisco JORQUERA (c), 11. Jose ZUNIGA, 13. Guizan RADINOVIC (12. Ciaran ROGERS 90′), 14. Cesar GONZALES, 15. Fabio RENNA (8. Henock BUTSHIIRE 71′), 16. Igor NOVAKOVIC
Substitutes not used: 4. Milos DUBROJA, 6. Giossam MUWOWO
Yellow cards: 2. Dhours CHOL 17′, 7. Yves MWILA 30′, 10. Gigio JOROWERA 77′, 13. Guizan RADINOVIC 58′, 1. Yousri GHARSALLAH 90′
Red cards: nil