High-flying Hume City travelled to Canberra to face an impressive Tigers FC side at Deakin Stadium on the 31st of July. The Melbourne based side are enjoying one of their best seasons after securing a spot in the Dockerty Cup final and currently sit 5th (on goal difference) in the Victorian NPL. However, Tigers FC currently sit 1st in the ACT NPL1 and are also enjoying a historic FFA Cup run of their own.
It was Hume City that drew first blood in the opening 5 minutes of the game, after Mitch Cooper’s switch found an open James Brown who backheeled the ball to an onrushing Mark Ochieng that blasted home Hume’s first of the night (1-0). At the 16th minute, Ben Bowler’s pass found wing-back Matthew Lazarides who blitzed through Tigers’ defence on the left flank before his shot took a deflection. At the 18th minute Tigers managed to fire a shot from distance, but it was well off target. At the 25th minute, some brilliant team play by Hume City saw Marko Delic fire a dangerous cross, only for the goalkeeper to claim the ball. At the 28th minute Tigers nearly equalized off a dangerous freekick after getting a foot to the ball, but an alert Ben Bowler cleared the ball for a Tigers corner. The resulting corner caught by Michael Weier sent Hume on a counterattack after finding speedster Marko Delic, who fired a goal bound shot that was saved by the goalkeeper. Hume continued to pile the pressure on and at the 31st minute they nearly doubled their lead, after George Howard’s cross took a deflection off a Tigers defender before deflecting off the crossbar. Hume’s intensity saw them double their lead at the 32nd minute, after some brilliant teamwork saw Ben Bowler drill home Hume’s second of the night from distance. At the 39th minute Tigers nearly pinched a goal back after Michael Weier’s clearance deflected off a Tigers player before going over the net. At the 41st minute Matthew Lazarides’ cross was cleared by Tigers’ defence before falling into the path of Marko Delic, whose shot from outside the box was inches away from giving the away side their third of the night. Tigers continued to create some of their own chances and at the 43rd minute, a Tigers shot from distance forced Michael Weier into a fingertip save. As the first half entered added time, a Hume clearance saw an onside Matthew Lazarides burst through Tigers’ defence before firing his shot into the goalkeeper.
Halftime saw the away side leading 2-0 but the job was far from over, after Tigers FC managed to create a few dangerous chances of their own in the opening half. However, Nick Hegarty’s side have been credited for their defensive masterclass performances throughout 2019 and they would certainly be looking to put on a show in the second half.
The second half saw Tigers come out more aggressive and at the 50th minute, a Tigers shot from distance forced Michael Weier into another fingertip save to ensure Hume maintained their lead. At the 55th minute Stevie Hewitt’s switch found an open Matthew Lazarides that managed to dribble past his defender before finding an open George Howard, whose dangerous shot took a deflection for a Hume corner. At the 60th minute, Marko Delic picked his defenders pocket and found an open George Howard whose shot was inches away from tripling Hume’s lead. At the 61st minute a Hume interception at halfway saw James Brown attempt to chip Tigers’ goalkeeper but the shot was saved. At the 63rd minute Theo Markelis’ switch found an open Matthew Lazarides who managed to cut in and fire a dangerous right foot shot that missed the apex by inches. At the 79th minute Stevie Hewitt’s ball down the line saw an onside Mitch Cooper dribble towards goal before teeing up George Howard, but Howard’s forward momentum saw him blast the shot over the bar. As the game entered the 90+4th minute of added time, Tigers pushed up all their players after being awarded a freekick in a dangerous spot. Hume managed to clear the danger before Thomas Harris’ ball forward put Theo Markelis into a foot race against the Tigers defender who eventually cleared the ball for a Hume throw-in.
The referee signalled full time at 90+5 minutes which saw Hume City progress to the FFA Cup Round of 16. Hume City now have their attention on Saturday the 3rd of August as they welcome Green Gully FC to ABD Stadium, for a 5:30pm kick-off in their NPL Round 24 clash.
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