Under 16’s Preliminary Final: Hakoah defeated Nepean 3-2
Hakoah U16’s played out another five goal thriller in their preliminary final against minor premiers Nepean to record an outstanding 3-2 victory at Arlington Oval last Sunday.
A Man of the Match performance by Julian Dimas to notch a hat trick for the team led the way as the Baby Blues secured a grand final berth along their big brothers the U20’s and 1st grade.
The Blues dominated from the start with some free flowing football and the frustration on the Nepean side grew by the minute as the blue wave of pressure kept mounting.
Hakoah had a series of consecutive corner kicks as they turned up the heat on their opponents but then a good save by Brad Sarif thwarted one of only two attempts Nepean had on our goal.
Hakoah were finally rewarded following another corner kick which was curled in by Jordi Swibel caused havoc in the Nepean penalty area.
An array of shots were cleared off the line with the ball finding its way back out wide to Jordi Swibel who swung it back in for Julian Dimas to half volley and rip into the roof of the net for 1-0.
Great work rate in the midfield from Gideon Fine and Liam Denvir also paved the foundation for the win as they continuously broke down the Nepean attack while Harry Buch, Alex Cardamis and Dylan Drakoulis were threatening out wide with pace and positive runs.
With less than a minute until the break and against the run of play, a Hakoah turnover was punished by Nepean with a low shot inside the far post for 1-1 as the teams headed into the sheds.
The 2nd half was more of the same as the Hakoah side pressed on in search of another goal. The pressured paid off in the 50th minute when Julian Dimas was again on hand to seize on a Nepean defensive error and rifle the ball home for 2-1 lead.
The Nepean keeper then inexplicably lashed out to kick Dimas as he wheeled away to celebrate and was deservedly red carded but amazingly the ref also gave Dimas a yellow card for “over celebrating” which will now see him miss the Grand Final.
But it was Dimas that had the last laugh as a precision through ball from Swibel sent him through the middle to bulge the net for a third time for 3-1 to complete his hat trick.
The back four of Noah Evans, Jacob Riesel, Kevin Geller and Alon Rubin were rock solid throughout the entire 70 minutes of the game as they tackled everything in a red shirt and were the springboard for Hakoah going forward.
Just as Hakoah seemed to be coasting with 3 minutes on the clock the match turned into a nail biter as Nepean reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a shot inside the post.
With seconds seeming like minutes the Blues steadied and eventually wound down the clock to claim the spoils.
Hakoah will now face Western NSW Mariners on the Grand Final on Sunday, 21st September at Lambert Park, Marion Street, Leichardt, 9.30am kick off.