Vikings gain reprieve with last-minute draw

Sebastopol’s Jake Romein attempts to get past Huse Cranalic (Maribyrnong) in Saturday’s state league four action.

Sebastopol’s Jake Romein attempts to get past Huse Cranalic (Maribyrnong) in Saturday’s state league four action.

A LAST-MINUTE clutch goal to Ryan Rykers spared Sebastopol Vikings a fourth consecutive loss in Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 4.

The Vikings ran out a 1-1 draw against the Maribyrnong Greens in thrilling circumstances at St Georges Reserve on Saturday.

A slow start for both teams was compounded by a thrilling finish which saw Rykers score the equaliser by way of a penalty in the 90th minute.

The sides entered half-time at 0-0 before the Vikings, as is their custom this season, allowed Maribyrnong to break the game wide open with a cheap goal soon after the break.

The home side looked dead and buried late in the match but was handed a reprieve in the 90th minute for a handball call in the attacking third.

Rykers calmly slotted it past the Greens keeper, but not before Vikings player Kuanyjal Tuany was red carded for kneeing, in retaliation to a soft jumper punch.

Vikings coach Michael Busija was happy the team was able to salvage something from the match he felt it should have won, and said the side had benefited enormously from the return of Will Georgiou and Alex Antonelli.

“It’s another game we should have won, but it was a much, much improved performance,” Busija said.

“We probably had four or five genuine goal-scoring opportunities, which we had problems generating in the past.

“Maribyrnong were tough to break down. They got a lot of numbers behind the ball but it was a credit to our players to hang in there.”

The Vikings nearly scored a miraculous win when Antonelli’s free kick in the dying seconds sailed inches over the cross bar.

Tuany is likely to miss 2-3 weeks through suspension.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop