Capital Football NPL1 Men’s Side Cooma Tigers FC have lost by three goals to New South Wales NPL side Apia Leichhardt in a thrilling encounter that saw the hosts reduced to nine men for a long period
The visitors started off strong, dictating the pace of the game in the opening stages but struggling to break down a solid Cooma defensive outfit.
Despite being under the pump for most of the opening 10 minutes, the first real chance of the game fell to the Tigers, as Nik Popovich slipped in behind the Apia defence but failed to keep control of the ball.
An injury forced the visitors into an early change as David D’Apuzzo went off with a suspected hamstring injury, replaced by Josh Symons.
Matthew Cahill proved to be a danger man for Apia, as the striker was able to get multiple shots off at Jakob Cole in the Tigers net before succumbing to an injury of his own.
Plenty of chances at either end in the closing stages of the half but neither side could convert and would head into the sheds with scores level.
It was an end to end start in the second half as both sides traded blows. Franco Parisi found himself in space at the edge of the box but sent his shot straight into the grateful arms of Cole.
Tigers were dealt a big blow late on as Popovich was shown a second yellow card after an off the ball incident, reducing Tigers to ten men for the remainder of the game.
Apia soon found their advantage gone as substitute Corey Bizco was carried off injured, but in yet another twist to this enthralling cup encounter as Tigers found themselves with nine men as Borgna was sent from the field.
With the scores still locked, the game headed into extra time and Apia made their final change of the night and went out to a two-man advantage.
Apia struggled to make their man advantage count, partly due to a pair of stunning saves from Cole. Getting down to save a close-range shot, the Tigers keeper backed it up with an even better save out of the top corner.
Headed into the second half of extra time and Apia were still struggling to capitalise as Cole led some heroic play.
Tigers could not hold out forever though, as a well hit shot in =to the top corner from Sean Symons Gave them the lead with little over five minutes remaining.
Jason Romero would put the game to bed as he slotted the ball past Cole and Jack Armson sson followed with Apia’s third.
That goal would bring an end to an enthralling cup encounter, the visiting Apia Leichhardt running out three goal winners.