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Semi Finals - Under 18s Report - 7 Sept 2015

Posted: 07-Sep-2015 by Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club

Two recounts this week - by Michael Swibel and George Makridopolus 

By Michael Swibel

Hakoah U18's made their way through to the NPL 2 grand final with a nail biting 4-2 penalty shoot out victory over Central Coast at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.

Hakoah played an almost perfect first half of football taking what seemed an unassailable 3-0 lead at half time. They survived an early scare when Central Coast were awarded a penalty for a late tackle in the box but the Coast midfielder sprayed his shot wide of the mark.

A few minutes later Hakoah were given a free kick and Nathaniel Sharpley sent in a delightful cross for Peter Skanj to rise above the pack and head home the opening goal for 1-0.

Skanj was then brought down in the penalty area after 38 minutes and dusted himself off to slot in the spot kick for a 2-0 advantage. Robbie Morsello made it 3-0 right on the stroke of half time when he run onto a long ball and shot just inside the post. The advantage was some compensation for the loss of skipper, Connor Shaddock, through injury at the break.

A defensive error in the 53rd minute allowed Central Coast to pull back the deficit to 3-1 and the boys from the Coast had their tails up. The pressure started to tell and another mistake at the back gave Central Coast another penalty which this time was converted to reduce the score to 3-2.

With only three minutes remaining the scores were locked at 3-3 as the Central Coast momentum continued to build and Hakoah were well and truly on the backfoot. Neither side to find the winner in the dying moments and the sides went into extra time.

The arm wrestle continued and tired legs began to creep into the game as passes went astray and touches became heavy but still neither team could break the deadlock and as the final whistle blew with the score at 3-3 we headed into the dreaded penalty shoot out.

Jackson Mayer stepped forward and sending the keeper the wrong way scored his penalty and gave Hakoah the advantage 1-0. Keeper, Arthur Karagiannis, then saved the Coasts first spot kick with a low dive to his right. U16 youngster Jordi Swibel walked up and drilled his penalty into the top right hand corner and Hakoah were 2-0 up. The pressure of the occasion told on Central Coast as their next penalty taker smashed his shot onto the crossbar. Nicholas Makridopolus put his left footer into the back of the net and Hakoah led 3-0 before Central Coast converted for 3-1.

Aaron Midon had the chance to seal the win but his shot went over the bar and with Central Coast scoring the next penalty kick and making it 3-2 all eyes fell on Robbie Morsello as he made the long walk from the half way line.

The equation was simple, score and Hakoah were through to the Grand Final but miss and Central Coast had the chance to draw level again. Morsello made no mistake and calmly slotted home the final kick of the day for Hakoah to advance 4-2 on penalties.

The Grand Final will be played on Saturday, 19th September against the winner of Central Coast v Macarthur Rams (venue and time TBA).

Meanwhile the Hakoah U12 and U13 teams also have a chance for Grand Final glory when they play their Preliminary Finals on Saturday, 12th September U12 v Sydney University 8.30am kick off and U13 v Rockdale City 9.40am kick off (venue TBA).

By George Makridopolus 

Medical authorities warn HAKOAH is a health HAZZARD !!!!


True to the very style that won HAKOAH 18's the prem 2 championship anyone that witnessed the absolute cliff hanger on sunday morning at edensor sports complex against central coast should have known not to expect anything less !


With the 2 giants locking horns for the 3rd time this season and standing at a win a piece , the enticing reward of being the first team into the Grand final was all these 2 sides needed to leave nothing in their tanks !

The match began fairly even with both sides looking dangerous in each others final 3rd of the field ....

Suddenly the first advantage came central coasts way with a misjudged tackle from behind in the 18 yard box leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty to central coast ...

However just as the Hakoah faithfull were adjusting there mindsets to more than likely having to come from behind to win this one , up steps the central coast player and lashes the penalty kick wide of the left hand post !

0-0 it remained

But not for long ....

Hakoah made them pay dearly as they went on a 20minute rout !!! Finding the back of the net no less than 3 times wih 2 clinical fnishes from tall striker Peter and a lovely finish from Robbie !

So 3-0 and the boys in royal blue cruizing at Half time right ???

Uhmm... Nope !

A early gift after the break was all central coast needed and with their tails up it was game on !

2 more goals after the constant barrage and it was suddenly 3-3 to everyones disbelief !

To be fair Hakoah then held on for grim life to prevent conceding a fourth which would have killed us off !

Extra time seemed a different game as both sides played it rather cagey thus not having many chances ....

3-3 after extra time and it was penalty shootout time !

With hakoah destroying central coast with quality keeping from Arthur and clinical goals from jacko , jordy swibs , Nicko and Robbie, Hakoah prevailled to be the first side into the 2015 Grand Final !

Congrats Hakoah 18's

Comgrats Mark Robbo , Mark Gannon , Jason Conway , SENSATIONAL  !!!!!


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