Friday, April 28, 2023

Four mouth-watering quarterfinals in Lakoseljac Cup

Photo:  Clarence Zebras and Launceston City meet for the second time in a week and their cup-tie should be close again. [PlessPix]

One could not have asked for a better quarterfinal draw in the Lakoseljac Cup.

The three cup ties tomorrow [Saturday] and the one on Sunday promise to be enthralling affairs.

Kingborough Lions United take on Devonport Strikers at 3pm tomorrow at KGV Park.

This is the Lions’ temporary home while their ground is being re-developed, so this game is for all intents and purposes a neutral venue.  It’s all a bit like playing Liverpool versus Manchester United at Wembley rather than at Anfield or Old Trafford.  Okay., I exaggerate a little, but I hope you get the drift.

Devonport, the holders, will face a stern test and, if their captain, Kieran Mulraney, is absent through injury, it will be even harder.  He went off in the first half of last week’s 2-1 league win over South Hobart.

The Lions are running hot and cold and the key to this game could be whether their defence can contain Roberto Garrido, the free-scoring Spaniard.

Photo:  Devonport's Roberto Garrido (Number 9) will be the man Kingborough must contain. [PlessPix] 

Devonport have other scorers such as Ali Dulleh (who may, in fact, be suspended after being sent off against South Hobart), Nick Lanau-Atkinson and Brody Denehey.

Kingborough have capable goalscorers in Noah Mies and Kobe Kemp, and they will need to be tightly marked by Devonport.

What is certain is that this should be a mouth-watering contest in which both sides are more than capable of winning and progressing to the semi-finals.

The battle of the midfields will be an interesting sidelight that could determine the outcome.  The coming together of Devonport’s Charles Bidwell and Kingborough’s Kobe Kemp could be explosive.

Sunday’s clash at 2pm at South Hobart Oval between South Hobart and Glenorchy Knights will be momentous.

Both sides have a lot of skin in this competition.

The Lakoseljac Cup is names after one of Knights’ most notable players, while his grandson, Bradley Lakoseljac, plays for South Hobart.

Knights won the league meeting between the sides 1-0 recently, but only because of a super human performance by the Canadian import goalkeeper, Jackson Gardner.

Gardner also saved them in the next game, a 1-0 win over Kingborough.

He cannot be expected to do this every week so the Knights are going to have to rely on their outfield players at some time or other.

They could be without captain and centre-back Eli Luttmer, who was injured in the win against Kingborough.

Knights’ chances will improve if he is fit to play.

South Hobart have been let down by poor fnishing in recent weeks.

They are creating numerous chances and if they can finish these, they should make it to the semi-finals.

Photo:  Matthew Pace of Clarence Zebras in pursuit of Launceston City's Stefan Tantari.  Pace has been playing in defence recently. [PlessPix] 

The other two ties on Saturday are between Launceston City and Clarence Zebras at Buckby Motors Park in Launceston at 5.30pm, and the clash between Riverside Olympia and second-tier Hobart United at Windsor Park at noon.

Clarence Zebras beat Launceston City 2-1 last week in a league match at Wentworth Park and this meeting should be every bit as close and may well requite extra-time for a decision.

Hobart United are the only second-tier side left in the competition and it remains to be seen whether the strange kick-off time of noon suits them as they may need to travel earlier than usual.

Hobart United have slumped a bit in form in the league in recent weeks, while Riverside earned their first points of the season in the NPL last week and will have gained some confidence.

In the State-wide Under-21 Cup, there are three games on Saturday:

Kingborough Lions United v South East United (KGV Park, noon)

Burnie United v Devonport Strikers (Montello Park, 2pm)

Launceston City v Glenorchy Knights (Buckby Motors Park, 2.30pm)

The fourth game is on Sunday:

Clarence Zebras v Riverside Olympic (Wentworth park, 12.30pm)  


Anonymous said...

HUFC loves to play 12 am especially when traveling is involved. HUFC went the night before and 9 am their players were the first to get to the ground.

Anonymous said...

Nothing mouth watering about the Kingborough v Devonport game today.
Only one team capable of playing passes and threatening goal.