GRIFFITH City Football Club’s all-age women’s side pulled off a stunning upset to move through to the grand final, after handing Yoogali SC their first defeat of the season last Sunday at Hanwood Oval.
While Griffith City has consistently been one of the strongest sides in the competition since the merger between Easts and Norths, the runaway competition favourites this year had been Yoogali SC.
But after City came back from a goal down to earn the week off, the 2012 title is anybody’s, with Yoogali SC facing Hanwood FC this weekend in a sudden-death preliminary final.
Griffith City manager Steve Foschi said while he was ecstatic to have made the finale, he sympathised with his opposite number given their amazing record this year.
“I said to (Yoogali SC coach) Anthony (Martinello) after the game, hopefully we’ll be playing you in a fortnight, because I know what it’s like to play well and be on top and not play in a grand final,” Foschi said.
Given the quality of the teams, the first half saw neither take a stranglehold on proceedings, however City hoped they would not rue a missed penalty shot later in the game.
Yoogali SC broke the deadlock early in the second half when a goalmouth scramble saw them finish off the attack to grab a narrow lead.
City stormed back into contention when a corner from Renee Simpson found the head of Lauren Marshall who brought the teams back on equal terms.
With 10 minutes remaining, City was given a free kick in a dangerous position with Simpson striking her shot sweetly to give her side the match-winning lead.
Yoogali SC coach Anthony Martinello said the side made no excuses for its first loss, adding Griffith City simply made the most of its attacking chances.
“They had their chances and put them away, simple as that,” Martinello said.
“People say ‘oh, but you’re still going to a grand final’, well we’re just concentrating on this weekend, because Hanwood are a good side and if we don’t pay them the respect they deserve there won’t be a grand final.”
The win for City was soured by the serious ankle injury to Kandice Marin, who was stretchered off and could be in doubt for the grand final.
“We’re unsure at this stage how bad it is, Kandice is very tough but we knew she was in a fair bit of trouble given she wasn’t able to make it off the field herself,” Foschi said.
“But she’ll do everything she can to make sure she’s right for the grand final, I’m sure she’s even been to see the physio today (Monday).”
Foschi paid tribute to the excellent form of Mel Foschi, Mel Bonetti and goalkeeper Rachael Reitano in their win against YSC, saying he hoped they could lead the way again in the decider