Slice of Cheese

Kannegiesser Return Inspires Zebras Victory

In excellent kite flying weather, a valiant Clarence side turned up prepared for a battle, but were ultimately outclassed by two quick goals from the Zebras. The game remained locked at 0-0 until the introduction of the returning Danielle Kannegiesser from the Zebra’s substitute bench provided the spark necessary for Zebras to find the breakthrough, scoring two quick goals, one from the substitute, the other from the hard working Monique Undy.

Goalkeepers can win you matches (even if that’s the only thing we can take home from last night’s A-League grand final). Clarence looked set to test this theory today, with Amelia Vanderniet back from injury and providing that stability in the back the side has missed recently. Both sides saw plenty of the ball, but it was the Zebras who looked the most capable to break through a compact midfield, with some nifty combinations to break through the lines. Despite at times throwing everything and the kitchen sink to the Clarence goals, there was no success, with Vanderniet comfortably stopping anything goal bound.

The best opportunity of the half would have to go to Alyssa Bowden, who found some space for herself after some crafty passes through the centre of the field, to pull off a cracking shot that hit the crossbar. This chance at the end of the half summed it up for the Zebras, close but not close enough. Meanwhile, despite Clarence not having any real clear opportunities in on goal, they made sure the Zebras defence were awake. They often played the ball direct to their forwards, who just lacked the support or time on the ball to create anything truly threatening. Half time arrived with the score 0-0 and the Zebras frustrated.

Once the second half turned up you could be fooled thinking it was going to be much of the same as the first. Neither team seemed to find a spark after the half time break. Turns out the one thing that can trump goalkeepers winning games is substitutes who can win games. With about half an hour of play left the Zebras turned to their bench to put on Kannegiesser, who immediately provided that spark and gave spectators the hope of seeing a goal this half. The success of the substitution was quickly felt. After Caitlin Roberts forced a turnover and a quick transition forward, it was Kannegiesser who got the ball at her feet within shooting distance, and finally got the goal her team were searching for.

The most dangerous time to be caught napping is directly after a goal, Clarence found this out the hard way. Having worked so hard to shut out the away side for well over an hour, they conceded another within barely a minute of the first. This time it was Monique Undy who got the goal, from another one on one with the keeper, but finally getting the shot out of the range of Vanderniet to save.

Two goals down, Clarence fought to try and get back in it, however getting two goals back was always going to be a tough task. Meanwhile the Zebras proved to be determined to keep their noses ahead in the contest, as well as more than capable to keep the pressure on the Clarence defence from quick turnovers. In the end, Clarence just couldn’t find enough upfront to break down the Zebras defence, only challenging the Zebras goalkeeper on a few occasions. The game finished up Clarence 0 – 2 Zebras. 

Long time footy supporter and player, short time referee and blogger.Wanna-be know it all about women’s soccer. Also found at MollysFootyRants for more ramblings about football.