Denmark claim Albany Junior Soccer Association under-12s final in penalty shootout
The Albany Junior Soccer Association’s grand final day got off to a thrilling start, with Denmark and Albany Primary playing off for the under-12s title on Saturday morning.
The two sides were locked together at the end of full-time, requiring the game to go to extra time. Neither side were able to find the back of the net, meaning penalties would be required to determine the winner.
Denmark’s goalkeeper made one more save than Albany Primary to give Denmark the title.
The match was played at a frantic pace and was end-to-end for much of the first half.
Midway through the first half, Faris Houderrani had his ankles tapped and could have been awarded a penalty but a good advantage was given by the referee, which allowed him to get his shot away and give Albany Primary the lead.
Denmark earned a corner not long before half-time, with the ball being delivered into the area but the ball was only partially cleared and fell kindly to Denmark’s Lochlan Otway, who gathered the ball and slotted the ball home at the near post.
Albany Primary again took the lead in the second half after a Mali Scally strike only helped them go one goal ahead.
The scores were again level after Denmark netted another near-post goal.
In the under-13s competition, the undefeated Stirling Rangers played Polonia, who had really improved over the past couple of rounds going into the final.
Polonia took the lead towards the end of the first half after Merlin Bew found the back of the net.
Stirling Rangers had much of the ball in the second half but could not find a way past Polonia goalie Fergus Wright, who was in fine form.
As the game drew close to its conclusion, Stirling Rangers were desperate to find that equaliser and over-committed going forward, leaving themselves exposed in the back half, and Polonia were able to launch a quick counterattack and score another goal to seal the win.
Albany-Bayswater had a tough fight in the under-15s final against John Calvin.
Leif Wright was able to get past a John Calvin defender before stumbling, but he did very well to stay on his feet and just as the defence thought they had control of the situation Wright was able to work his way in and score for Bayswater.
Escher Nash got Bayswater a second not long afterwards and it looked like the score line could get out of control, but John Calvin got themselves together and kept the scoreline to 2-0 at the end of the first half.
John Calvin scored first in the second half through Travis Plug before Marlon Dewata replied answered straight back to give Bayswater their two-goal lead back.
Five minutes before the end of full-time, a ball was volleyed from the edge of the box and into the top-right corner for John Calvin.
Bayswater knew the end of the game was near and they defended well to hang on and close out the match, winning 3-2.
In the other finals, Polonia comfortably beat Stirling Rangers 8-1 adapting much better to the tricky conditions and were well deserved winners in the under-16s competition.
Polonia also beat Stirling Rangers in an enthralling contest in the under-18s grade.
The match was even and needed a freak goal from Stirling Rangers to seal the 4-3 win.
The ball was caught in the wind and drifted into the Stirling Rangers net to secure victory.
In the under-14s, Albany Bayswater beat Rovers 4-1 in a match played in very wet and windy conditions on Sunday morning.
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