Saturday, 22 August 2009

Narrabundah FC 0

Juventus 2
11′, 32′

On an overcast day in south Canberra, Narrabundah turned in a tepid display to hand Juventus a comfortable 2-0 win thanks to two gifted goals in the first half. Despite improving in the second half, Narrabundah rarely troubled the Juventus backline with the midfield struggling to link up with Dziubinski and Paulo up front.

The match kicked off with Narrabundah looking lively, squeezing the space in midfield and stringing together some good passages. But as has become customary, the Reds quickly contrived to put themselves on the backfoot by giving away a soft goal. Once again it was the hopeful long ball that proved Narrabundah’s undoing with several miskicks and miscommunications leading to a scene resembling a three stooges sketch, the Juventus striker managing to control his laughter long enough to tuck the ball away from close range. 1-0 and that sinking feeling had begun to set in.

The goal seemed to spark a little life into Narrabundah and they went on the create some decent chances, culminating in a McConkey effort which was drilled narrowly past the far post with his weaker left foot and moments later a scramble in the box which saw the ball cleared off the Juventus goal line. But then, with a sense of inevitability, the Juventus sucker punch came. Once again the long ball was the Reds undoing as a ball over the top wasn’t dealt with, the Juventus striker nipping in between defender and goalkeeper to poke home. Narrabundah managed to get to half time without conceding any more goals, but heads had dropped as they played out what remained of a disappointing half.

After some soul searching at half time, the Reds came out in the second looking to restore some pride but it looked as though it would be business as usual as the Reds continued to hand chances to the limited Juventus attack. Somehow the Juventus strikeforce contrived to miss some guilt edged opportunities and the Reds did improve throughout the half. Despite the improvement though, the Reds never really threatened Juventus’ lead and failed to really test the Juve keeper. The best opportunities falling to Dziubinski who was unfortunately unable to beat the shot stopper when played through and McConkey who latched onto a bouncing ball outside the box but whose effort sailed well over. As the match petered out, it was a despondent Narrabundah side that left the field, now on a 5 game losing streak.

Narrabundah will have to regroup once again for another midweek fixture on Tuesday night as they face Belwest. Although Belwest have struggled in the bottom half of the table all season, they managed to knock off the Reds 2-0 the last time they met, a scoreline Narrabundah will desperately want to avenge. Narrabundah though are a team low on confidence after a series of losses and below average performances and will need to re-find the winning mindset which served them so well  earlier in the season. This Narrabundah side is more than capable of producing a performance to punish an average Belwest side.