Match Reports

Inner West Hawks dented Flame’s hopes of finishing top two following their 3-0 win at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday night. Takuma Hirano the hero for Hawks following his hat-trick.

Both sides were content to spar with each other in the early exchanges as they were looking to break one another down however both defences were holding firm.

The first real chance to note came after ten minutes when a neat cross from Jyden Harb found Jay De Gouveia lurking on the far post however his downward header was pushed just wide.

Just moments later, an Inner West corner saw Tomohiro Ishi head over from six yards out.

On 14 minutes, a back pass to Rocco Zinnato saw him control the ball and beat the oncoming Hirano with a neat turn however he took too long to get rid of the ball and was caught in possession by Hirano who calmly passed it into an open net for what was perhaps a gifted goal.

Midway through the half, Angelo Pezzano cut out a pass in the middle of the park and drove towards goal before linking up with Hirano. He received the ball back inside the box however a great tackle by Luke Hoefsloot denied Hawks what surely would have been a second.

On 26 minutes, Flame were once again undone through a defensive error. A pass in midfield was intercepted by Hesan Soufi who laid off to Hirano who in turn made no mistake with the opportunity sliding past Zinnato to put the Hawks two goals up.

Flame’s best chance of the half fell to Yianni Perkatis who nearly created something out of nothing on 36 minutes. He collected a loose ball on the edge of the box, took a touch and fired a shot that looked destined for the corner. He was denied by a flying save from Gene Marantos.

A freekick just before half time in a dangerous position narrowly missed the wrong side of the post for Hirano.

Right on the stroke of halftime, a freekick was whipped in by Yianni Fragogiannis and it alluded everyone as it whisked by the far post.

Flame came out in the second half with greater urgency and dominated possession however this also gave opportunities to the dangerous and swift counter attacking options the Hawks possess.

On 57 minutes, Sam Alston made a darting run in the box and beat a defender however his dangerous cross was cut out in the nick of time by Christopher Phillips.From the resulting corner, Harb let fly a shot from the edge of the box which just cleared the cross bar.

Midway through the second half, a deft ball over the top from Soufi found Hirano who chested the ball down however he was unable to flick it over the oncoming Zinnato.

Flame were doing the best to try and carve out opportunities from both the left and right sides however the Hawks defensive line showed strong resolve.

With 15 to go, the ball fell neatly to Namito Tsuchiya on the far post however his shot took a slight deflection which took the edge off the shot and enabled Marantos to make the save.

On 85 minutes, another turnover in midfield was capatislised by the efficient Hawks. Sidhya Malhotra playing in Hirano who still had work to do however his shot had enough power to beat Zinnato on his near post as the Hawks showed their potency up front. Hirano in the process netting his hat-trick.

It was a big win for the Hawks on the road no less. They have been one of the form teams in the competition in recent months.


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