UWA shares spoils on South-West so­journ

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Sport - Tris­tan Tay­lor

UWA ensured they didn’t drive home empty handed af­ter Ge­ordie Pa­p­athanas­siou’s last­minute goal gave UWA a share of the spoils with a 2-2 draw against South West Phoenix FC.

Fol­low­ing last week’s con­vinc­ing vic­tory over Dianella, UWA was look­ing to pick up an­other vic­tory against a Phoenix out­fit that had tasted vic­tory only once this sea­son.

UWA started the stronger out­fit, com­fort­ably hold­ing the ball across the park and look­ing dan­ger­ous up front with the pace of Lloyd Prout and Alex Kre­tow­icz.

No clear op­por­tu­ni­ties were pre­sented in the open­ing 20 minutes, with Phoenix’s back four proving dif­fi­cult to pen­e­trate.

Even­tu­ally the Phoenix back four opened up and Marc Zagami was able to de­liver a per­fect through ball to Kre­tow­icz. The Phoenix cen­tre­back at­tempted to re­cover with a lung­ing chal­lenge but Kre­tow­icz was too far ahead and was brought down in the box for a penalty.

Kre­tow­icz blasted the spot kick down the mid­dle with con­fi­dence to give UWA a 1-0 lead.

UWA con­tin­ued to hold tight at the back but Phoenix was start­ing to pose a threat, par­tic­u­larly through the crafty feet of James McCleary.

Alex Preece was called into ac­tion for the first time in the half and pro­duced a sublime dou­ble save to keep UWA in the lead.

At the other end, Kre­tow­icz had a golden op­por­tu­nity to dou­ble UWA’s lead.

Just as UWA looked to be head­ing into the break with a 1-0 lead, the home side hit level.

An op­ti­mistic long ball from the Phoenix centre-back caught UWA centre-back Josh Maroc­chi by sur­prise and Phoenix cap­tain Ryan Fran­cis was on his toes to latch on to the pass and chip goalkeeper Alex Preece with a sublime first-touch vol­ley.

Phoenix found their feet early in the sec­ond half and never al­lowed UWA to get into their rhythm. Great mid­field work from Phoenix was met by sturdy de­fence from UWA centre-back Michael Vla­sich, cut­ting out con­tin­u­ous at­tacks.

Af­ter half an hour of bat­tling, the home side fi­nally found the lead through James McCleary.

A free kick from the right wing evaded ev­ery­body in the mid­dle and fell kindly for the mid­fielder, who con­trolled and rif­fled his fin­ish into the up­per net­ting.

UWA coach Michael Janssen wasn’t keen on leav­ing Bun­bury with­out a point and made some offensive sub­sti­tu­tions to try and shift the bal­ance of the game.

The at­tack­ing duo of Si­mon Baah and Ge­ordie Pa­p­athanas­siou made their way into the game and ul­ti­mately proved the dif­fer­ence.

In the last minute of reg­u­lar time a quick long ball from Preece caused headaches for the Phoenix back four and UWA was able to cap­i­talise.

The ball found its way to Baah, who took on his de­fender and played the ball back into the goal­mouth to the feet of Pa­p­athanas­siou, who poked it home from close range to make it 2-2.

The draw sees UWA re­main within strik­ing dis­tance of the top four lead­ing into a block­buster clash with Gos­nells at home this week­end.

UWA full-back Rob­bie Black opens up the play.

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