McGrath’s late strike seals it for Uni Azzurri
A MYCHAEL McGrath goal in the last 20 seconds of injury time stole a 1-0 victory for Uni Azzurri in the FFA Cup qualifier against Port Darwin at Darwin Football Stadium last night.
In a match filled with missed opportunities, it wasn’t until extra time looked certain that a team finally capitalised inside the 18-yard box.
And it was McGrath who landed the killer blow after Port failed to clear their line.
After some pinball in the box, the Azzurri midfielder was granted enough space to fire away a shot which found its way past Port ‘keeper and coach Rory Hood.
On the balance of play, it was Hood’s side that deserved to advance, but their inability to be clinical in the final third proved costly.
Their clearest chance of the first half came the way Theo Rossides. The striker was put through with a clear run into the box before he held it up and passed back to Eric Lede.
Running onto the ball, the midfielder pulled the trigger but his strike sailed a foot over the crossbar.
Azzurri almost nabbed one in the 75th minute when a long corner found Jordan Pettegree in space. He smashed a side foot volley on target, but it was blocked by the Port defence.
Only two minutes later, Port missed their best opportunity of the match.
Anthony Wainwright was put in on goal on the counter attack and with only the keeper to beat, sprayed his shot wide of the left post.
Ryan Williams controlling the ball for Port Darwin in last night’s FFA Cup clash against Uni Azzurri at Darwin Football Stadium. Inset: Azzurri’s Anthony Dilembo on the attack