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Match Report: NPL Men Rd 4 vs Gold Coast Knights

Lions crumble in the second half, suffering a 6-3 defeat after taking a two-goal lead early in the second half.

Lions FC suffered a sobering defeat at home in the opening round of the NPL Queensland Men’s 2022 campaign, capitulating in the second half to a concentrated Gold Coast Knights side.

After taking a two-goal lead in the 52nd minute through Andy Pengelly, whose 100th NPL goal was suppressed by the nature of the defeat, Knights struck back resiliently, putting our Lions to the sword with three goals in eleven minutes. Substitute Cai Tipaldo sealed the win five minutes from time, before adding salt to the wound with an indescribable stoppage-time strike to bury any hope of a comeback.

Our Lions started the game strongly, with Tommy Jarrard opening the match from a corner via a powerful headed goal, before veteran forward Jean Carlos Solórzano scored a similar goal from another corner to cancel out Mirza Muratovic’s stunning long-range equaliser.

Following Andy’s centennial goal, the Knights struck back quickly through a Max Brown volley, before drawing level four minutes later via Kristian Brymora. Pasquale De Vita took advantage of our poor defending to fire home the Knights fourth goal, before Cai Tipaldo put the game to bed in the dying moments of the game.

Head Coach Darren Sime spoke about the defeat, vowing that his side will bounce back against Peninsula Power this weekend.

“This game isn’t going to define our season”, Sime said, “Having a chat with the boys at the end there, they’re hurting, of course, absolutely they’ll be hurting, as we all are, but we’ve certainly made a pact that we’ll come back into work on Monday, and make sure that we work really hard, and when we come back out next week against power, well put on a show that is more reflective of our playing style.

“We always knew that it was going to be a difficult game and that if we gave them time, space, and room, they would punish us, so I’m disappointed with the result, of course.”

Midfielder Joe Duckworth shared his thoughts on the defeat and is looking forward to the opportunity to bounce back against a strong opponent.

“We’ve gotta face the music, the scoreline wasn’t flattering or anything like that, it was exactly what it should have been”, Duckworth said. “We got exactly what we deserved after a solid start. I was pretty happy with the first half. It was a very tight game, very few chances, they’ve obviously scored a wordie, we’ve scored two set-pieces, so there’s room for improvement for both sides.

“They deserve a lot of credit, they scored five goals in twenty minutes. I can’t remember that ever happening, but it happened.

“We’ve created a culture where we’re really honest with each other, so we just need to take that moving forward. We have to move on because you don’t win every game in a year, it’s obviously not how we wanted to start, but it’s happened and we’ve got another big game this weekend against another top-four rival, another league contender, so it’s awesome that we get to bounce back against a team that is going to put us under as much pressure as knights did on the weekend.”

We host Peninsula Power at Lions FC Stadium at 7:00 pm this Saturday evening in a blockbuster matchup between last year’s Champions and last year’s Premiers.

 

MATCH DETAILS

Men’s NPL Queensland 2022 Round #1

Queensland Lions FC vs Gold Coast Knights

Saturday, 19th March

KO: 7:00pm

Lions FC Stadium, Richlands

 

QUEENSLAND LIONS 3

GOLD COAST KNIGHTS 6

HT: 2-1

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