Gungahlin United FC showed on Saturday that they are ready to match it with 2021 Powerchair League champions, Woden Valley Soccer Club coming away from the season opener with a 1-1 draw.
In what was a hard-fought match, both teams showed great improvement in their defensive structures, and that was reflected in the cagey opening to the match, with the scores going into half-time level at 0-0.
In a game that was backwards and forwards, it took until the 26th minute for the deadlock to be broken. Woden Valley broke down the sideline and sent in a great cross into the box. Luckily for Woden Valley, but equally as unlucky for Gungahlin United, Giovanni Tiyce mistimed contact, netting an own goal.
After the own goal, the game freed up with multiple scoring opportunities from both sides. Woden Valley’s Cate Lyons used her chair perfectly to continually hit crosses to Brandon Stroud in the box, but Gungahlin’s defence proved too strong.
In the 34th minute, after continual opportunities for Gungahlin who had been knocking on the door for an equaliser, Tiyce positioned himself perfectly to deflect a pass into Woden’s goal to bring his side back on terms.
There were some very close chances by either side towards the end of the match. Stroud had a penalty opportunity, but Rob Oakley read the contact well. In the end, time beat both sides, with the match ending in a draw.
Upon reflection of the game, Woden Valley’s Brandon Stroud commented on the competitiveness of the fixture.
“That was a great way to start the season,” Stroud said. “Yes, we didn’t win, but it was awesome to see everyone getting used to our playing styles, as well as the improvement in positioning of everyone on the pitch. If the first match is anything to go by, the second match looks to be just as close”.
The absence of Gungahlin United’s Michael Foster in Saturday’s match makes the next game interesting. With players like Cooper and Lilly improving each week, as well as Will’s confidence in attack growing, the competition will look to heat up towards the back end of the season.
Will the next match have a winner, or will it be another entertaining draw? Come check out Round 2 at the Hockey Centre, Lyneham on Saturday 23rd July 11.30am.
Gungahlin United 1 (Giovanni TIYCE 34’) Woden Valley 1 (Giovanni TIYCE 26’ (og))
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Giovanni TIYCE (Gungahlin United)