Croatia devours Steel in goal feast
Thursday, 3 April 2003
Croatia and Steel produced another goal feast with Croatia getting up six-three at Magill Park on Saturday.
Croatia had Jones and Leopold in for the injured Shepherd and Morris, while Steve Perkins started instead of Veart who sat on the bench with a suspect ankle.
Steel started the game the best and after three minutes Jackson's cross found Andy Fay at the back post, but his downward header hit the base of the post and the danger was cleared.
After 10 minutes Fay made amends when he rode two challenges before tucking the ball under Rigg for a one-nil lead.
After 20 minutes, Croatia hit back when Stamoulis was allowed too much space on the edge of the box and his curling shot nestled into the top far corner for a great goal and one-all.
Ten minutes later Croatia took the lead as DaRocha volleyed in a first time cross into the Steel box that just eluded Jackson's stretch and Stamoulis pounced with a diving header to send it past McManus for a two-one lead.
Just before half time Todd sent a low ball across the box and Stamoulis was eyeing a hat trick, but a great challenge by Tony Fay kept his side in the game.
Teams went into the half time break with Croatia one in front.
Two minutes into the second half Steel got the equaliser as Docherty produced a pin-point cross, from way out on the right and it was met by Ledington, who squeezed it between Rigg and the post for two-all.
Croatia then went on a goal-scoring run that blew the game apart.
It started 10 minutes into the second half when Stamoulis' header from a corner was cleared off the line, but Faulds reacted quickest to drive the ball under McManus for three-two.
Five minutes later Andy Fay's shot on the run saw Rigg save well down to his right but as the ball went up field Todd showed good composure to set up Faulds and he drilled it into the bottom corner as Croatia stretched their lead to two.
With 15 minutes to go Rigg's clearance went straight to Docherty who smacked it right back at goal trying to catch the keeper off his line but Rigg scrambled back to save the day.
Soon after that incident Croatia got number five as Fauld's corner was cleared by Steel's defence.
Beidenweg gained possession, cut inside his man and let fly with an effort that rattled the roof of the net.
With 10 minutes to go Docherty's free kick was cleared by Perone but Ledington gathered the ball and unleashed a left footed thunder bolt that crept just inside the post for a superb goal and reduced Croatia's lead to five-three.
Five minutes later DaRocha got on the score sheet as sub Scatena fed him and Marcus chipped the keeper for six-three.
Just before the end, sub Veart's cross was met with a glancing header by Docherty .
But he couldn't believe it as the ball hit the post and crawled along the goal line before been hacked to safety.
At the final whistle Croatia locked a place in the cup final while Steel will need to win their remaining game against Wanderers to have a chance of securing that final spot.
No goals in the first half but after the break, Peter Ledington's fine finish from the penalty spot gave Steel a one-nil lead .
However, quick goals from Best, Bone and Peterson put Croatia three-one up.
Then the goal of the match by youngster Logan Green gave Steel some hope but Croatia held on and qualified for the final.
Due to public demand (from the Steel supporters) I have to write that I missed a sitter in the first half.