TWO late penalties were not enough to get Sebastopol over the line against Strathmore at St George’s Reserve on Saturday.
Trailing 0-3 with just minutes left in their Football Federation Victoria state league four match, the Vikings found the back of the net for the first time on 84 minutes when Ryan Rykers converted a penalty after Will Georgiou’s shot was hand-balled by an opponent en-route to goal.
Vikings coach Michael Busija said he believed the penalty should also have constituted a red card as the strike was going to be a goal, but a decision two minutes later left him even more frustrated.
In his first game back at the club this season, Paul McClounan danced around the goalkeeper and appeared to be on his way for a certain goal, before being taken down by the opposition gloveman in the box, with a second penalty in as many minutes going Sebastopol’s way.
Again, Ryan Rykers converted from the spot to bring the Vikings within a goal, although Busija said the goalkeeper should definitely have been red-carded.
“I think he should have been sent off and we should have been left to chase the equaliser against 10 men,” he said.
“But, at the same time, we should have been better with our chances before that.”
Earlier in the match, Sebastopol conceded the first goal at the 20-minute mark, having been forced onto the back foot for the majority of the opening.
They then went on the attack, but as has been the norm this year, were unable to convert opportunity into goals.
Conceding two goals in the second half made a three-goal deficit almost insurmountable, although they certainly went close.
“It was the same old story. The scoreline might flatter us a bit in the end, though,” Busija said.
“We’re not playing badly.
“We’re dominating parts of games without
taking our chances.”
Despite winning just one of six games so far this year, the Vikings have actually scored as many goals as they have conceded, an indication of their competitiveness in each encounter.
However, they could find the going tougher in coming weeks, with Georgiou the latest to succumb to a hamstring injury on Saturday, with Alex Antonelli and Kyran Taylor already sidelined.