Yoogali SC 1
Hanwood FC 1
A LAST-GASP equalizer from Kyle Greaves allowed Hanwood FC to take home a share of the spoils from yesterday's thrilling Billabong Cup grand final rematch against Yoogali Soccer Club.
Hanwood looked certain to go down 1-0 after YSC converted a contentious penalty with just over 10 minutes left on the clock - but with injury time looming, Greaves latched onto a ripping 30-yard pass from Joey Schirripa and kept his cool to find the back of the net, sparking jubilant celebrations among the away fans at EW Moore Oval.
It was no less than what HFC deserved after the GDFA minor premiers dominated possession and territory for large stretches of the match against their most bitter adversaries.
And it came as sweet relief to coach Anthony Agresta, following a parade of wasted opportunities on goal that had left the door open for Yoogali SC to take the lead from the penalty spot through Steve Crombie.
"Personally, I don't think we deserved to (just) draw," he told The Area News.
"But you get decisions like that and you've got to deal with them.
"We showed a bit of character to come back from that and get the equaliser.
"We had a lot of the play and couldn't get on the board and you can always get done like that.
"I told the boys to be careful not to fall asleep and they didn't."
YSC went ahead on 78 minutes when referee Diego Menegazzo whistled for a penalty after Derek McKechnie was brought down in the box by Joey Gioia - a decision that riled the Hanwood faithful.
Crombie stepped up to convert and trickled his dot shot into the bottom left corner and past the outstretched glove of Hanwood's Adam Reid to make it 1-0.
Agresta said he was disappointed with the call given HFC had an earlier penalty cry ignored when Schirripa was felled in a similar manner - but his counterpart, YSC coach Sante Donadel, said such matters are part and parcel of the game.
"They could have had a penalty in the first half but we could have had another one," he said.
"It's at the referee's discretion and you've just got to play the game and that's it.
"You're going to get good decisions and bad decisions and hopefully it evens out.
"A draw was probably a fair result."
However, Donadel certainly wasn't pleased with his side's performance, accusing his players of being too "scared" to play possession football.
"A lot of our players went missing, like they didn't want the ball," he said.
"They were probably scared - that's probably the only word to describe it.
"Every time we looked up, we didn't have an option and we tried to go long.
"We don't want to play that way because the ball just comes straight back again."
Despite being comprehensively outplayed, Yoogali still looked threatening on the counter-attack through winger Joe Preece, while McKechnie seemed capable of creating every time he got the ball.
Together, they produced the best chance of the match - just after the hour mark, Preece was played in by McKechnie and cut back into the box from the byline, only for Jordan Dal Broi to screw his shot horribly wide from one metre out.
But Hanwood, who threw up a selection curveball by playing defender Daniel Johnson up front, should have done better with the half-dozen opportunities they had to score.
English import Matt Fearon had some good touches on his full debut but pushed several shots well wide of the target - including one with the last action of the match that could have sealed an unlikely comeback win for HFC.