Brave Magic bow out of Australia Cup with heartbreaking extra-time defeat

July 21st, 2022

A brave Broadmeadow Magic side were eliminated from the Australia Cup national round of 32 on Thursday night after suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 extra-time defeat to Bentleigh Greens.

Magic travelled to Melbourne for their sixth appearance on the national stage but had to deal with a delayed flight on Thursday morning.

Magic coach Damian Zane introduced a change of shape for the match, with Broadmeadow lining up with five at the back as they looked to soak up pressure and hit Bentleigh on the counterattack  through Bailey Wells and Jacob Dowse, supported by Jarred Baker.

Wells tested Greens goalkeeper Pierce Clark with an early snap shot before the hosts started to dominate possession and field position.

Broadmeadow also lost goalkeeper Ben McNamara to a groin problem early on, replaced by young No.2 Zac Bowling.

Bowling, the son of Newcastle Jets goalkeeper coach and former Broadmeadow goalkeeper Chris Bowling, made a number of outstanding saves to keep the scores level.

But he could do nothing to stop Bentleigh from taking the lead on the half hour mark as George Lambadaridis fired home into the bottom right corner via a deflection.

Magic though were behind for less than a minute with Dowse finding an almost immediate equaliser.

Baker produced a surging run forward from midfield before slipping in Dowse who slid his finish under Clark to make it 1-1.

Bowling produced another pair of stunning saves just before half-time. The first to stop Aaron Oppedisano from turning the ball into his own net before Bowling dived at full stretch to deny a Bentleigh header.

Magic got to half-time with the scores level and went desperately close to taking the lead early in the second half.

Baker did brilliantly down the left before firing a cross into Wells, but the diminutive forward could only turn the ball onto the bar from four yards out.

Both sides traded half chances until the final moments when Bowling produced another incredible save to tip a Bentleigh effort from distance onto the bar.

It finished level at 1-1, with the match heading into extra-time.

Bowling made another pair of brilliant saves in extra-time to keep it at 1-1 before substitute Damon Green had a chance to put Magic in front, only for Clark to produce a fine save of his own.

But it was to be heartbreak for Magic as Ken Krolicki came off the bench to fire home a volley with three minutes to play in extra-time.

It was no less than Bentleigh deserved, with the hosts enjoying 70 per cent of possession and had 17 shots to four, with Bowling keeping Broadmeadow in the match.

Bowling was the player of the match despite the defeat, making 14 saves.

“[I wasn’t expecting to come on] at all. I just saw Benny go down and thought this was my chance,” Bowling told Channel 10.

“The boys did really well. We got a bit unlucky, I thought [Krolicki] was offside [for the winner]. But it was great we could put up such a good fight up against good opposition.”

Newcastle Jets will take on Adelaide United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday 30 July, while Newcastle Olympic host Melbourne City at No.2 Sportsground on Tuesday 2 August.

Related Topics:
Australia Cup round of 32 Bentleigh Greens Broadmeadow Magic

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