Slice of Cheese

Lions Run Rampant in Eight Goal Rout

The Kingborough Lions have kick-started their season with a dominant 90 minutes of football, beating Clarence 8-0 for their first points of the 2019 season.

American import Horacio Gutierrez bagged a brace, as did Phillip Kantzos and Chris Downes, as the Lions pummelled their opponents from kickoff to final whistle. They were dominant in all facets, leading the shot count 22-3 and holding possession for the majority of the game.

A steady opening ten minutes saw both teams ease into the contest, and Clarence looked lively on the counter-attack early. It wasn’t long, however, before they were pinned back in defence as Kingborough seized the initiative and found their rhythm.

Long periods of possession and some creative link-up play through the midfield saw the Lions make plenty of chances, and they bagged three goals in ten minutes to blow Clarence away early. Chris Downes tapped home a low cross from the six-yard box, before Kantzos scored both his goals in quick succession.

As Clarence struggled to string together more than a few passes under immense pressure, Gutierrez ran riot throughout the first half. After hitting the woodwork twice and assisting Kantzos’ second, he bagged his first goal of the day after a scuffed shot from Jacob Brennan found him unmarked straight in front.

By half time he had a double, as a stoppage-time mix-up from Clarence saw them fall further behind. As they looked to play the ball out from the backline, Gutierrez pounced on a loose touch, waltzed into the box unhindered and fired past Jake French in goal.

With a 5-0 scoreline at half time and little resistance from the visitors, the game fell into a lull early in the second period. While Clarence progressed further afield early they still struggled to create any real chances, and Kingborough remained comfortable in possession throughout.

It took the play of the game, and the Lions’ sixth goal, to inject some energy back into the contest. A heel-to-heel fake from Gutierrez fooled his marker and gave him space to cross from the right, and his ball into the box found substitute Tom McDonald with a diving header into the roof of the net.

Clarence’s best chance of the game came shortly after, as Cody Snell found himself in space around the penalty spot. His shot beat the keeper but was denied by the post, as Clarence’s luckless evening continued.

That was the last sight Clarence had of goal, and Kingborough still had time to add further to their tally. A duffed clearance under pressure from French landed at the feet of the Lions midfield, who played through Downes into an acre of space. He calmly slotted the ball past the keeper, completing his brace and a strong individual showing.

A stoppage time goal from James Hall was the icing on the cake, as he turned his defender in the box and placed a left-footed shot into the top corner. Minutes later the final whistle blew, giving the Lions a morale-boosting win and Clarence plenty to think about going forward.

Kingborough will now take on Riverside Olympic on Saturday, while Clarence will be searching for improvement when they face Glenorchy next Wednesday night.