Lions FC 0
Adelaide Utd 1 (Goodwin 32′)
Lions FC narrowly lost to Hyundai A-League side Adelaide United in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night at Perry Park but were comfortably the better side for large periods of the game and were desperately unlucky not to have found the back of the net as their 2018 FFA Cup run comes to an end.
An early chance fell to Lions in the 10th minute when Nathan Shepherd’s deep cross found Shaun Carlos at the far side of the box, but the Lions midfielder was unable to get control of the ball and saw his effort drift well wide.
Ten minutes later Jheison Macuace found space on the edge of the box but attempted to get a shot away when a ball across the box may have been the better option with two Lions players free.
United, who were looking to avoid the memories of their previous visit to Perry Park in the FFA Cup when dumped out by Redlands United, but struggled to get control of the game.
Their solo goal came under strange circumstances. Goalkeeper Paul Izzo going down and receiving lengthy treatment much to the bemusement of the partisan crowd and when play resumed, a ball played in towards the far side of the box was met by a miscued clearance from Josh Brindell-South, gifting the ball to Craig Goodwin who guided the ball past Lions keeper Luke Borean just after the half hour mark.
The visitors almost doubled their lead shortly after when a free kick towards the back post required a desperate clearance from the Lions defence.
The second half saw the hosts dominate but they almost went further behind when Mirko Boland’s deft header from just inside the box flashed narrowly wide of Borean’s far post.
From that point it was all Lions and only the post prevented them from levelling just before the hour.
Nathan Shepherd earning a free kick wide on the right following a crude challenge from Isaias which earned the Spaniard a caution from Referee Peter Green, with the resulting kick met by a firm header from Jean Carlos Solorzano which cannoned off the upright with Izzo beaten.
Soon after, Solorazno played in Macuace into the box and his header past an onrushing Izzo drifted just wide of the post.
Lions continued to search for the leveller and with just under 10 minutes remaining another golden opportunity came and went. More good work from Shepherd down the right flank saw him whip a cross into the box where Solorzano once again headed towards goal, but agonisingly his effort drifted wide much to his frustration.With United playing for time and using every trick in the book to run the clock down, Lions threw everything forward and almost repeated Redlands United’s effort two years ago with an equaliser deep in added time.
A cross played in across goal evaded everyone and found it’s way to Brindell-South unmarked towards the edge of the box, but the Lions defender, looking to make amends for his earlier error, fired wide of the mark and with it went Lions hopes of a berth in the last eight.
Despite the defeat, it was a solid performance by the Richlands side but once again, an FFA Cup defeat to A-League opposition will be a disappointment given their display. That said, Coach Warren Moon couldn’t have been prouder with his side and on another day, it could well have been Lions heading into the quarter final draw.
“We switched off from a long break and it’s one error from Josh who’s been fantastic all year so I can’t fault him for that.”
“We battled to find a way back into the game and had enough chances to do that but in the end we weren’t quite good enough.”
“What I can say is that we did the club proud tonight, we played well tonight and you wouldn’t have said we sat back and tried to jag a result, we were on the front foot pressing and showing we are the best side in Queensland and although I will be a bit disappointed by the result the next couple of days, I couldn’t be prouder of the way we played.”
Borean (gk), Thompson, Jarrard, Simic, Hore, Solorzano, Brindell-South, Macuace, Carlos, Kim, Shepherd.
Subs: Cuminao (rgk), Maher, Glockner, Cosgrove, Reardon.
Izzo (gk), Marrone, Galloway, Lia, Kitto, Isaias, Goodwin, Jakobsen, Elsey, Boland, Stamatelopoulos.
Subs: Larsen, Halloran, D’Arrigo, Wilson, Richards (rgk).