With nothing to lose and a shot at the title on the line, the clash between Tarrawanna Blueys and Corrimal was one to remember, the 1 – 0 Corrimal win was a fantastic high-quality match, a true finals bout.
There is nothing more exciting and intense than the atmosphere of finals, not only the players are fired up, but the support is just as passionate. The match started off with continuous attacks from both squads, it was clear that both sides were just as hungry for the win as the other, that in just one game everything was on the line.
Tarrawanna fired up in the opening moments of the match, applying high pressure, Keisuke Hayashi received countless attacking through balls within the first 10 minutes. In the 12th minute the Blueys had a close opportunity when Rick Goodchild sent a well struck cross in for Stephen Lloyd to head in front of goals, unfortunately falling just outside the net.
Corrimal began to dominate by the 15th minute when Paul Guido found himself in front of goal from an immaculate backheel pass, although his shot was not precise enough to beat the hands of Adam Rodriguez sliding and clearing it back into pay.
Their set pieces placed Blueys defence under pressure after Tomoki Wada’s free kick from well outside the 18-yard box was blasted directly into the top left hand corner of Rodriguez’s goal, but it wasn’t enough to beat Rodriguez’s athletic ability to pull off a one handed save in the last second.
Thirty minutes in both sides were looking determined and eager on the ball, Tarrawanna were holding more possession, but Corrimal’s counter attacks were just as dangerous.
With an even half off attacking plays and opportunities, Corrimal managed to gain the lead, when the league’s leading goals scorer Van Elia dribbled into the box stopping the ball still for Wada to send a cheeky chip over Tarrawanna’s defence back to the feet of Elia, placing it past the reach of Rodriguez into the back of the net in the 42nd minute.
Corrimal were able to head into the second half with a lead, hoping to hold up Tarrawanna’s attack, as they knew the Blueys would give it their all. They knew Tarrawanna had been the more dominant side losing to them in both games of the season 2 – 0 and 3 -1, so securing the lead and holding a clean sheet in their best interest.
In the opening of the second leg, Tarrawanna’s possession and passing improved tremendously, Corrimal were holding them in their own half, but Haydyn Lloyd was composed under the pressure, the Blueys chained passes together making their way up the field, continuing to create chances.
Corrimal almost secured the lead in the 55th minute when Sam Mathew received a cross in the open but didn’t take his time to secure the ball miss-hitting his shot for Tarrawanna’s defenders to catch up and clear away.
Banri Kanaizumi throughout the match managed to find countless headers off corners and free kicks, he was unlucky not to send one on target and find the back of the goals. Blueys Jake Morlando was also very strong in the air, shutting down any plays and through balls from Corrimal, consistently feeding Goodchild and Hayashi down the wing.
With the match nearing the end Tarrawanna began to throw everything they had at Corrimal’s backline, the rangers found themselves under more pressure. Hayashi was inches off beating Loe when a through ball saw Loe charge out of his box to just clear the ball before Hayashi was able to slip it past.
With the crowd in suspense Goodchild charged into the box with a chance at goal, passing it to Llyod, unable to keep it under control the ball was eventually cleared. With 4 mins of extra time Tarrawanna gave it their all, as Corrimal held up the play and possession, Goodchild’s free kick was the last chance for the blueys, unfortunately it was sent over the bar for a goal kick, moments later the match was over.
Corrimal proved to be the best after the full-time whistle, they will head into their first grand final since 1974, facing off against Wollongong Olympic, both sides exchanged wins against each other in season, Corrimal will be ready to repeat round 4’s 1 – 0 win over Olympic earlier in the season.
Sunday 15th September @Memorial Park Corrimal
Corrimal Rangers – Nic LOE, Dean PENDER, Jason ZUFIC, Paul GUIDO, Banri KANAIZUMI, Alvin ECOLI, Alvin CECCOLI, Lucas STERGIOU, Tomoki WADA, Sam Mathew, Van ELIA, Daniel CARRENO – SUBS – Matt GALANTI, Jeremy FLANAGAN, James WALKER, Peter KYRIAKOUDES, David ZUFIC
Tarrawanna Blueys – Adam RODRIGUEZ, Mathew NAYLOR, Haydyn LLOYD, Michael ROBINSON, Jake MORLANDO, Benjamin LEARMONTH, Keisuke HAYASHI, Daniel CHAPMAN, Stephen LLOYD, Rick GOODCHILD, Nicholas TOMASEILLO – SUBS – Tyson BLACK, Christian CABO, Liam THOMAS, Caleb GRACE, Kaydin HARRISON
Referee – Andrew NAYLOR
Assistant Referees – Blake HERBERT, Greg REID
Report by Tim Dixon, on Twitter @tim_dixon_
Photo courtesy of Noel Wynn