National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland Premiers Lions FC have fallen just short against Hyundai A-League outfit Adelaide United, losing 1-0 in a brave performance in last night’s FFA Cup Round of 16 match at Perry Park.
In front of 1174 spectators, Lions started the brighter of the two sides, dominating possession in the opening stanza.
However, they were unable to create any clear-cut chances, with their best opportunity in that period falling to Shaun Carlos, who almost latched onto a ball that had evaded the Adelaide defence.
The match then had to be stopped on 28 minutes as Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo received treatment, clearly still feeling the effects of a collision from earlier in the match.
Shortly after the match resumed, United took the lead against the run of play.
Craig Goodwin capitalising on a poor attempt at clearance from the Lions defence, tucking the ball home in the 31st minute, meaning Lions headed into the sheds a goal down and with nothing to show for all their possession.
As the match resumed for the second half, Adelaide hit the ground running, instantly forcing a good save from Lions ‘keeper Luke Borean.
Less than a minute later, Adelaide had another golden opportunity when Mirko Boland saw his header just glance wide off a perfectly-weighted Craig Goodwin cross.
Lions were not deterred however, and almost equalised soon after with Jean Carlos Solorzano crashing a header against the post in the 57th minute.
This saw Lions wrestle back the ascendency, with Jhesion Macuace heading inches wide in the 63rd minute, so close was the chance that many of the Lions faithful already on their feet to celebrate.
Lions kept pushing for an equaliser with Nathan Shepherd volleying over the bar following a set piece in the 70th minute.
10 minutes, later Solorzano headed against the post for the second time in the match – Lions tantalisingly close to squaring the ledger.
Lions kept pushing for a late equaliser but were clearly missing the goal scoring exploits of talismanic striker and the club’s leading scorer this season Marek Madle who was cup-tied after already turning out for Holland Park Hawks earlier in the year.
In the end it wasn’t to be the Lions night, Adelaide United prevailing 1-0 in the scrappy affair to progress to the FFA Cup quarter-finals.
Words: Samuel Johnson
Image: Ian Judd