Competitions

NPL Finals Series Quarter-Finals Review: Lions FC v Edgeworth Eagles

September 17th, 2018

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Lions FC 1 (Madle 4’) def. Edgeworth Eagles 0

Saturday 15th September, 7:30 pm at Lions Stadium

It’s been a magnificent season, and on Saturday night it finally drew to a close as Edgeworth were just beaten out by Queensland opposition up in the sunshine state.

A solitary Marek Madle goal in just the fourth minute of play was enough to hand Lions FC a 1-0 win.

It came after some good work out wide from former Brisbane Roar playmaker Jean Carlos Solorzano, and Madle got the first foot to it and gave the home side the advantage.

The early goal put Edgeworth on the back foot immediately as Lions probed, unsuccessfully, for a second goal to double the advantage.

A first chance came for Edgeworth on the 12-minute mark when Josh Rose, who was playing in an unfamiliar role as striker, blazed the ball over the bar.

Lions enjoyed a good period midway through the first half. Madle forced a point-blank save from Edgeworth keeper Josh Low on the half-hour mark, and Lions peppered the visitors’ penalty area with balls in.

Rose had another good chance after a rare run from centre-back Josh Evans put him through, but his shot dribbled across the face and the Eagles went to the sheds a goal behind.

The second half went similarly to the first, with both sides struggling to create anything clear-cut or take control of the match.

Edgeworth thought they’d drawn level in the 83rd minute when Daniel McBreen fired home at the back post from a lovely Bailey Garland cross, but the flag was up for offside.

A goal down with not long to go, the task would get taller shortly after. McBreen came flying through chasing a goal and was shown a second yellow card after a collision with the Lions goalkeeper and the Eagles were down to ten men.

It’s how they’d finish the game just minutes later, Edgeworth going out of the NPL Finals Series at the first hurdle and drawing a season which began all the way back with March’s Heritage Cup to a close.

Edgeworth coach Damien Zane said the team started slowly in their match but were the better team in the second half.

“We had four new players in and a couple of boys who hadn’t played in a little while,” Edgeworth coach Damien Zane said following the match.

“As we came into it, first 25 minutes we were on the back foot but you expect that away from home. We got into the game and probably had the best two chances of the half.

“We looked dangerous when we actually got control of the ball, transitioned to attack pretty well, got in at half-time and said if we can fix a few things. I wouldn’t say we were completely dominant but we were the better team in the second half.

“We had the best chance of the half, Macca was ruled offside which we know it wasn’t but it’s disappointing. We felt that if we equalised, we would have finished stronger and we would have won it.”

With that defeat, Edgeworth’s season draws to a close. 2018 has been a year where the Eagles have taken the competition by storm when most predicted anything but.

“I think it’s going to sink in later, what an achievement it was. For the players, it’s been a long season and we’ve had to work really hard, and asked a lot from them,” Zane said.

“It’s pretty demanding, they work, university etc., but to win the comp by 11 points when you’re tipped by many not to possibly even make the semis, it’s an amazing effort.

“We’ll get over the grand final loss, and realise what an achievement it was.”

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