PS4 NPL SA Round 1 Review

Para Hills Knights’ return to the top flight was spoiled by a 3-1 defeat to Adelaide Comets at The Paddocks.

Nathan Andijanto, Lewis Farquhar, and Andreas Wiens scored for the visitors with Yamin Jamal scoring the solitary goal for the home side.

Both teams started the match positively with the Comets applying high pressure and the Knights playing a smooth short-pass game.

However, the Comets’ high pressure would pay off as early as the fourth minute with the away side collecting the ball in midfield, and sending a through-ball to Wiens, who shrugged off his opposing defender inside the 18-yard box, to get a shot on goal.

Knights goalkeeper Deale Chamberlain managed to save Wiens’ shot, but was helpless when Andijanto arrived for the rebound.

The goal dealt a serious blow to the Knights’ confidence with their short-passing game suddenly plagued by errors.

In fact, it was one of the many errors that lead to the Comets’ second goal: In the 13th minute, Wiens intercepted a stray Para Hills ball to perform a quick one-two pass with Farquhar to make his way towards goal, and around Chamberlain, to give the Comets a deserved 2-0 lead.

The Comets almost made it 3-0 in the 26th minute, when a chip-pass found its way to Farquhar, whose shot was saved by Chamberlain at the edge of the 18-yard box, with the follow up sprayed over the top of the goal by Wiens.

Chamberlain denied the Comets again, seconds later, when he was one-on-one with Jack Bladen with the shot-stopper also coming up trumps to deny Comets co-captain Allan Welsh in the 32nd minute.

The home side was harmless for the majority of the first half, and didn’t get a shot on target until an Alex Mullen attempt in the 43rd minute, which Comets goalkeeper Alex Woodlands comfortably saved.

Para Hills returned from the halftime break a different side, with the hosts much more aggressive and attacking with intent.

The aggression and intent paid off 10 minutes into the second half, when a splendid move down the left wing was finished off by Jamal to cut the deficit in half.

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