FALCONS 2000 kept its Battle of Britain title defence alive with a 5-1 win over Olympians last Wednesday in a match much closer than it looked on paper.
The visiting Olympians drew first blood through Alradi Ismail to open up a 1-0 lead at Latrobe City Sports Stadium and were fiercely competitive until the final throes of the quarter-final clash.
Tommy D’Alia cashed in on a rebound off the Olympians’ goal keeper to draw scores level before Jesse Kennedy added a second ahead of half-time.
Falcons’ fragile 2-1 lead was far from comfortable as the Traralgon challenger continued to threaten.
The host had a chance to extend the buffer from the penalty spot but Kennedy was unable to convert, allowing Olympians a sniff.
They’d been full of run all evening but Olympians ran out of steam in the final 15 minutes after Gianni Salvatore found the back of the net to make it 3-1.
Substitute Daniel Edey scored a brace off the bench in a late assault to secure the 5-1 scoreline.
Falcons coach Nick D’Alessandro said despite the score-line nothing came easily.
“I was happy overall with the performance; 5-1 looks fairly comfortable but honestly it was a hard game all throughout,” he said.
“We managed to take some chances late to finish the game as strongly as we did.”
With Joe Auciello sidelined after picking up an injury in Falcons’ league match against Fortuna three days prior, and Isaac Abas still out through suspension, D’Alessandro said it was a “good test of depth”.
“It was good to see out the game as strong as we did considering how pushed for numbers we were,” he said.
Falcons will now play Pegasus, who defeated Trafalgar on Thursday night, in the semi-final, while Moe and Sale will collide on the other side.
“Moe and Sale are on the other side of the draw… we play the winner of Pegs and Traf which we assume is the better side of the draw to be on,” D’Alessandro said.
“Probably the hard obstacle was Olympians, who we hadn’t played this year.”
Moe defeated Monash 4-2 to progress through to its quarter final while Sale United accounted for Tyers 6-1.
The league broke with a general bye for Anzac Day at the weekend.
Wednesday 20 April
Round 2 Matches (QF)
Sale United (6) – Tyers Lightning (1)
Moe United (4) – Monash Wolves (2)
Falcons 2000 (5) – Traralgon Olympians (1)
Morwell Pegasus (2) – Trafalgar Victory (1)
Sale United (4) – Fortuna ’60 (1)
Falcons 2000 (1) – Traralgon Olympians (0)
Morwell Pegasus (3) – Trafalgar Victory (1)
Monash Wolves (4) – Trafalgar Victory (0)
Tyers Lightning (5) – NYUSC (0)
Moe United (2) – EGUFC (5)