Heidelberg burst downs Eagles
Heidelberg United beats Boroondara Eagles 2-0 in an entertaining clash.
By Sean Ellicott @SeanEllicott
Two first-half goals saw Heidelberg United claim a 2-0 victory over an undermanned Boroondara Eagles on Sunday evening at the Knox Regional Football Centre.
Julia Nicolaci put the visitors up from the spot with Demi Kallianis scoring in emphatic fashion off the wing just a minute later.
At the other end of the ground, Heidelberg goalkeeper Kelsey Quinn put in a man-of-the-match performance between the posts on her way to maintaining a clean sheet.
Forced into action early on in the proceedings, United's custodian was in fine form, most notably foiling Ellen Turner and Rhiannon Jacobs from gifting Boroondara the ascendancy.
Thanks to Quinn's resistance, Heidelberg then took the lead shortly after the 20-minute mark.
Receiving a raking pass off captain Michelle Verzi, Kendra Jones' cross met the arm of the closing Alex Gummer, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.
Taking the responsibilities, Nicolaci slotted the ball into the back of the net to hand her side the advantage.
Another 60 seconds was all Heidelberg had to wait for their second.
Scoring off the wing in consecutive weeks, Kallianis, well outside the penalty area, slotted her strike inside Anna Lanning's near post to the astonishment of the supporters looking on.
In an attempt to rejuvenate life into his side, Boroondara coach Filipe Simao introduced midfielder Bindi Bryce into the contest while pushing Gummer up in the middle alongside her.
But Simao's alterations failed to have immediate effect as Bergers defender Angie Rassias came agonisingly close to heading in her side's third.
Despite either side being unable to contribute further to the scoreline, it still proved to be an entertaining contest.
With Boroondara's whole attacking half at her mercy, Gummer was controversially denied an opportunity through on goal as the referee blew his whistle for a foul moments prior, preventing the Lady Red from capitalising on the advantage.
Quinn continued to display her fine form not only as a valuable shot stopper but a commanding presence inside the penalty area, fast off her line to deny Gummer a shot at goal in a one-on-one.
Laura Di Clemente then had an opportunity to add to her side's lead, however the ball passing the wrong side of the upright.
Despite the hosts' animated frustrations and desperation when advancing, Heidelberg went on to record its fifth win of the season.
Discussing the result at full time, Heidelberg United coach John Kyrgios was "ecstatic" with his side, and especially his goalkeeper's performance.
"I am very happy, I am ecstatic," Kyrgios said.
"We've finally won and got a clean sheet away from home so we are three points closer to this particular team who was way ahead of us.
"She's a quality keeper and all it is just bit of confidence and she showed her worth tonight."
Despite outlining his disappointment, Boroondara coach Filipe Simao saw it as an entertaining spectacle with plenty of positives.
"It's always disappointing losing," Simao said.
"I think it was probably a very even game, end-to-end action and the neutral person probably would have enjoyed it.
"It was a tough match, I thought both their goals were fortuitous but yet they probably should have scored through other plays that they had."
Boroondara Eagles 0 defeated by Heidelberg United 2 (Nicolaci 22', Kallianas 23') at Knox Regional Football Centre [HT 0-2].
Boroondara Eagles: Anna LANNING, Ally GAYFER, Hannah RYAN, Alex GUMMER, Anna TOWNSHEND, Emma GROSS, Emma HUBBARD, Ash CALLAGHAN, Rhiannion JACOBS (Bindi BRYCE 31'), Marie SMITH (Lizzie HODGETTS 46'), Ellen TURNER.
Unused Substitutes: Alex POCKLINGTON Matilda HUBBARD.
Yellow Cards: Bryce (90').
Red Cards: None.
Heidelberg United: Kelsey QUINN, Michelle VERZI, Angie RASSIAS (Maria TSOLACOS 56'), Renee ZAIRIS, Elise KYRGIOS (Ebru HASAN 71'), Penny BAKOPOULOS, Julia NICOLACI, Demi KALLIANIS, Kendra JONES (Maggie EUDES 71'), Kate FOTOPOULOS, Laura DI CLEMENTE.
Unused Substitutes: Belinda PANELLA, Holly TSALIKIDIS.
Yellow Cards: Tsolacos, Quinn (72').
Red Cards: None.