Soccer: UWA strike late to earn draw against South West Phoenix


UWA fullback Robbie Black opens the play
UWA fullback Robbie Black opens the play

UWA ensured they it drive home empty handed after Geordie Papathanassiou’s last minute goal gave UWA a share of the spoils with a 2-2 draw against South West Phoenix FC.

UWA started the stronger outfit, comfortably holding the ball across the park and looking dangerous up front with the pace of Lloyd Prout and Alex Kretowicz.

No clear opportunities were presented in the opening 20 minutes with Phoenix’s back four proving difficult to penetrate.

Eventually the Phoenix back four opened up and Marc Zagami was able to deliver a perfect through ball to Kretowicz.

The Phoenix centre back attempted to recover with a lunging challenge but Kretowicz was too far ahead and was brought down in the box for a penalty.

Kretowicz blasted the spot kick down the middle with confidence to give UWA the lead.

UWA continued to hold tight at the back but Phoenix was starting to pose a threat, particularly through the crafty feet of James McCleary.

Alex Preece was called into action for the first time in the half and produced a sublime double save to keep UWA in the lead.

At the other end, Kretowicz had a golden opportunity to double UWA’s lead but the forward could not control the winger’s pass and the Phoenix keeper cleared the ball.

Just as UWA looked to be heading into the break with a 1-0 lead, the home side levelled.

A long ball from the Phoenix centre back caught UWA centre back Josh Marocchi by surprise and Phoenix captain Ryan Francis was on his toes to latch on to the pass and chip goalkeeper Alex Preece with a sublime first touch volley.

Phoenix found their feet early in the second half and never allowed UWA to get into a rhythm.

Great midfield work from Phoenix was met by sturdy defence from UWA centre back Michael Vlasich, cutting out continuous attacks from the home side.

After half an hour of battling, the home side finally found the lead through James McCleary.

A free kick from the right wing evaded everybody in the middle and fell kindly for the midfielder, who controlled and riffled his finish into the upper netting.

Attacking duo of Simon Baah and Geordie Papathanassiou made their way into the game for UWA and ultimately proved the difference.

In the last minute of regular time, a quick long ball from Preece caused headaches for the Phoenix back four and UWA capitalised.

The ball found its way to Baah, who took on his defender and played the ball back into the goalmouth to the feet of Papathanassiou, who poked it home from close range to make it 2-2.

Despite being on the back foot for the majority of the half, UWA almost found a winner when Kretowicz found himself clear on the edge of the box but the striker’s effort was blocked.

The draw sees UWA remain within striking distance of the top four leading into a blockbuster clash with Gosnells at home this weekend.

South West Phoenix remains in 10th spot; however, it will be looking to climb the table with crucial fixtures in the coming weeks.