Match Reports

South Coast Flame opened their season with an eventful 5-3 victory against Inter Lions FC. The Flame home side had four girls on the score sheet, including, Emily Kostovski, Sariah Wilson, Kellie McIntyre and Cristina Barraza.

It was a high-intensity start to the game with Cristina Barraza testing the goalkeeper early, requiring a full stretch palm over the bar from Inters’ Safa Hijazi.

Just a few minutes later, Alexis Malizis played a lofting ball over the Inter defensive line to the feet of Barraza who placed a first-time ball across the face of goal to Emily Kostovski who showed great composure before taking a touch beating two defenders and firing away a left-foot shot into the back of the net.

In the 20th minute, Inter gained a turnover centrally which resulted in a diagonal ball cutting straight through the Flame defence leaving Sophie Maher driving into the box.  Maher was brought down by Flame goal-keeper Ciara Wade, earning Inter Lions a penalty. Belinda Anderson-Sharp stepped up and confidently slotted the ball into the right netting equalising for the visitors.

Flame continued to test the Inter defense with various counter-attacking runs and effective build-up play, although, struggled to execute in the final third.

However, Flame remained persistent and with some shifty footwork from Barraza in the box and a driven ball across the face of the goal we saw Sariah Wilson take the Flame side into the lead.

The goal seemingly sprung the away side to life who continued with a disciplined press and were eventually rewarded for their high-energy approach. Pressure from Milena Visser caused a forced turnover from Wade in front of the goal, allowing for an open equalising goal.

The away team continued their momentum, quickly regaining possession after the kick-off and after some patient build-up play, they managed to find midfielder, Anderson-Sharp with the ball just short of the centre circle. Anderson-Sharp took an impressive first-time strike flying straight over the Flame keeper, taking the Lions into the lead.

As we moved into the second half, Inter looked dangerous after being awarded two free kicks in their final third. They however struggled to capitalise on the opportunity spraying both efforts wide.

Flame regained some composure, and we were able to see periods of great build-up play through midfielders Ashley Kotevski and Kellie McIntyre. Along with various penetrating runs through the wide channels with Paula Mitchell and Wilson seeing a lot of the ball.

Flame displayed a never-say-die attitude, and with another killer ball from Malizis over the top of the Inter defense, saw McIntyre driving down the centre of the park on goal. At full speed, McIntyre took a touch past the Inter goalkeeper Hijazi, who then brought her down just outside the box. Hijazi was punished with a red card leaving her Inter side with 10 players for the remaining 20 minutes of the second half.

Barazza stepped up to take the freekick and curled the ball into the near post past the substitute Inter Keeper, equalising the game once again.

Only a couple minutes later in the 82nd minute, Flames high press forced an error centrally in the final third and McIntyre showed no mercy, driving towards goal before slotting the ball bottom corner beyond the Inter keepers reach.

With their tails up, Flame was not done yet. McIntyre once again making a dangerous run at the Inter back line before crossing the ball into the box. The Inter defence were able to clear the ball, however, it fell right back at the feet of McIntyre who volleyed the ball back into the box falling perfectly for a composed tap-in for Kostovski to grab her second.

Flame maintained the leading score line for the remaining ten minutes of the second half and were able to celebrate their hard-fought victory against the Inter Lions FC.

Coach Daniel Naumovski was pleased with the way his chargers finished the game.

In the first half, we made some crucial errors but credit to the girls, they came out in the second half and stuck to the process showing excellent character rewarded with some goals.

Saturday 2 March @ Ian McLennan Park

South Coast Flame – 5 (Emily Kostovski 7′, 41′, Sariah Wilson 35′, Cristina Barraza 80′, Kellie McIntyre 82′)

Inter Lions – 3 (Isabel McBride 22′, Milena Visser 39′, Belinda Anderson-Sharp 40′)

Match Stats  

In the earlier fixture, a refreshed looking Flame started the game in rapid fashion, attempting to press from the front and ask questions of the opposition which resulted in multiple shots in the first ten minutes. The best of which involved Caitlin Loudon going through 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper but saw her effort travel narrowly wide of the target.

The chances were coming with regularity and another incisive moment saw a cut back cross travel inches behind Madelaine Steel with the goal at her mercy. As the half progressed, the patterns of play were reinforced with wave after wave of Flame pressure. This pressure eventually told on the 40th minute when Steel delivered a ball into the box, that was eventually latched onto by Loudon, cutting the ball back to Scarlett Downer to score her first goal in yellow and blue.

The Flame headed into the half time interval with a 1-0 advantage but clearly were not willing to rest of this as a triple half time substitution ramped up the pressure on the visitors even further.

Imogen Woolnough and Shayne Atkin proved to be a constant threat to the Lions back line with their technical ability on full display, frequently creating tactical imbalances through beating players in 1v1 scenarios. One of these moments resulted in pressure being drawn away from Sofia Kent who went through on goal only to see her effort denied by the Inter goalkeeper. Although she would not be denied a second time as a forward pass from Layla Pierags found Kent, who took the ball past the away sides defender and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

The Flame would then take control of the ball and really prevent the opposition from getting much of a kick from this point forwards as the game settled towards a 2-0 result.

It was a strong display from the girls in their first competitive outing following a pre-season that saw them progressively strengthen on a relatively consistent basis

It was great start to the season from both senior sides.




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