FLAME FALL TO CONDORS IN FFA CUP
After the avalanche in Round 1 of the Premiership, South Coast Flame were out to avenge that defeat and try and put themselves into Round 5 of the Cup competition for the first time. After leading 2-0 at the break, Flame succumbed to the Condor raids and a late winner sealed a 3-2 win for the Condors.
Chopin Park normally has about three blades of grass on it during the year, but it was in pristine condition for this clash which was a pleasant surprise. This gave both teams the opportunity to try and play some football.
The game started timidly with both sets of midfields looking to assert themselves in to the game. There were very few chances in the opening minutes however the game burst to life on 15 minutes when South Coast Flame earned a series of corners that Condors fended. On the third corner, the clearance seemed to catch Flame out as danger man Christian Martinez broke free from his defender and carried the ball into the box where Flame seemed to scramble. The ball bounced nicely to Chun Him Yau who had Matthew White beaten but Matthew Mazevski somehow kept the ball out and managed to scramble it clear.
South Coast Flame’s Japanese trio were a constant threat to Condors and on 22 minutes, Hirokai Ushijima snapped his shot low and hard to the keeper’s right only to have him get down quickly and prevent the opening goal. Just 6 minutes later, he could do nothing as a long early kick from White found Ushijima and he fended off the defender to lift the ball over the Jake Mendez and put Flame ahead.
Just minutes later, Grace latched onto a corner and his shot somehow was cleared off the line with Condors trying to ride out the storm. They were unable to as South Coast Flame got their second of the night after yet another long early clearance from White found Grace on the right. Grace used his pace to beat the defender and cross for Seiya Oba who needed two bites at the chance to finally bang it home for a 2-0 lead and an amazing period for the visitors.
Just before half time, Martinez found a hard of space and from an acute angle his shot with the outside of his foot looked destined for the top corner however White produced a finger tip save to preserve the two goal buffer at the break.
On 58 minutes and with the tide starting to fall to Condors, they managed to pull a goal back through Joshua Obeng who found himself unmarked at the far post as he smashed Condors back into the match.
With Condors clearly in the ascendancy, Flame were looking to absorb the pressure and for the most part they looked comfortable doing it. On 75 minutes though, some uncertainty at the back saw the ball fall nicely to Obeng who smashed it home from close range to draw the home side level.
Some half chances went begging for both sides and just when we looked like we could be taking the game to extra time, a wonderfully floated corner saw David Muller soar above the pack and head Condors into the lead on 86 minutes.
Try as they might, there were unable to respond as Condors saw out the game and progress through to Round 5 of the FFA Cup.
For Flame, there were a number of positives to take from the game and they turn their attention quickly now to Saturday where they face Central Coast United at the earlier kick off time of 4.00pm at Ian McLennan Park.
Thursday 11 April 2019
Western Condors -3 (Obeng 58’, 75’), Muller (86’)
South Coast Flame – 2 (Ushijima 28’), Oba (35’)