Slice of Cheese

Victoria Retain Bass Strait Cup In Shootout

The Victorians claimed the Bass Strait Cup for the third successive season on Saturday afternoon, holding their nerve to defeat Tasmania 6-5 in a penalty shoot out. After 90 minutes the game was locked at 2-2 sending the game to spot kicks, where Victoria’s keeper and player of the match,  Christine Fonua denied Georgia Burt in the 6th round of penalties. It was a harsh result for a Tasmanian side that had the better of the game, but their inability to convert early dominance into goals ultimately cost them.

Tasmania had started the game the brighter side and tested Fonua with some early shots from distance as they did the bulk of the attacking and had the majority of possession.

But it was Victoria who took the lead on 20 minutes when Aimee Medwin misdirected a Richardson cross past her own goalkeeper to give the hosts the lead against the run of play.

Tasmania looked to hit back against a Victorian side whose confidence had increased since scoring the goal and started to create some chances of their own and tested Fonua with a pair of efforts that the Victorian keeper did well to hold onto.

Gardner was then called into action to deny a sharp effort at her near post from a corner and keep the score at 1-0.

On 36 minutes Jesse Williams stormed in behind the defence with the chance to level, but her looping effort was parried onto the crossbar by Fonua and it bounced down on the line before just staying out. On the stroke of half time Williams was denied again as the luckless Tasmanian’s went into the break trailing 1-0.

They came firing out of the blocks in the second half though and before the hour mark they had taken the lead with some clinical finishing.

First it was Olivia Edwards who stepped up and belted a superb free kick from just outside the box into the bottom corner of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

Then Adelyn Ayton, who started on the bench and proved the ace up Michael Edward sleeve, as she came on and set up the go ahead goal with an exquisite assist. From the middle of the pitch she threaded through a perfect through ball to unlock the defence which Jesse Williams ran onto it and finished first time past the keeper to make it 2-1.

The Victorians responded quickly in kind though as they made the most of a corner to square the game at 2-2. Aneta Komijat rising up in the middle of the box and thumping a header home.

It left the game in the balance heading into the final 20 minutes but neither side looked like finding a third to win the game. The chances had dried up and into a shootout it went.

The first four kick takers for each side (Edwards, Ayton, Williams, Johnson) and (Sumner, Anthony, Komijat and Greiser) converted comfortably with neither keeper looking like saving one as the shootout headed into sudden death.

Both Medwin and Lorca tucked their spot kicks away before in the sixth round, Burt placed her kick too centrally and Fonua got across to claw it away. It presented Richardson with the chance to win it and she emphatically smashed it home to secure the win and the Bass Strait Cup.

The Tasmanian side can hold their heads high from a strong performance that on another day, with a little bit of luck may well have gone their way. It wasn’t to be however and they will have to wait to 2018 for their chance to snap the Victorians winning streak.