State League Division One leaders Gwelup Croatia came from behind to overcome a resilient Fremantle City 3-2 at the Croatian Sporting Complex on Saturday.
With Rockingham City winning 2-0 at home to Ashfield, Taki Nicolaidis’ side knew the importance of taking maximum points.
Which is why the Gwelup coach was unfussed by how his side won, as long as they got the three points.
“I think with what’s at stake at the moment, we were 2-1 down, it wasn’t pretty and they were well on top at the time. But we made a couple of positional changes and instructional changes and it paid off,” Nicolaidis said.
“It wasn’t one of our better performances this year but I think at this stage of the year it’s all about results and I thought we grounded out a good 90 minutes and took our chances when they came.”
After a scrappy 15 minutes, the home side went ahead 1-0 thanks to a towering header from a corner by Bobby Wilson.
To their credit Fremantle dug in throughout the first half and were level after 36 minutes thanks to a goal from Callum Roberts.
The visitors came out in confident mood in the second half and deservedly took the lead through Kenel Mouithys in the 52nd minute as this time Roberts turned provider.
Fremantle looked firlmy in control until a resurgent Gwelup scored twice in three minutes.
First, a moment of brilliance from Isacc Koomson resulted in him breaking down the left before going all the way to level the proceedings at 2-2 on 70 minutes.
And minutes later Gwelup had turned the game on its head. Fremantle failed to clear a corner and substitute Stephen O’Leary got on the end of it to put the hosts ahead for the second time.
The result left Fremantle coach Marc Anthony downbeat at his side’s effort going unrewarded.
“I thought we were the better side but the game is all about scoring goals,” he said.
“I thought we were the slightly better side and we should’ve at least got a point in the game but the disapointing thing for us is we have now played them twice and lost both games 3-2 after being 2-1 up.
“They are a quality side, dangerous up front and all over the park. I just don’t think we got what we deserved today, 2-1 up and a good chance for a third and possibly could’ve got a penalty.
“It’s just the way sometimes football swings, sometimes you get decisions and other times you don’t.
“The boys gave everything. We played some great stuff at times against a good side and it’s just disapointing we came away with nothing.”
Gwelup Croatia 3 (Wilson 16min, Isacc Koomson 70, O’Leary 73)
Fremantle City 2 (Roberts 36, Mouithys 52)
Saturday, August 18
Croatian Sporting Complex
Referee: Arvin Shon
Assistant referees: Troy Malatesta, Julius Mkandawire
Gwelup Croatia: 1 GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Cameron YORKE, 24 Kyle MURRAY (16 Stephen O’LEARY 62) 14 Victor BRAUNER 28 Kwangmook LIM, 9 David HEAGNEY, 12 Benjamin KOUAKOU 11 Isacc KOOMSON, 5 Bobby WILSON, 30 Reece ABRAMS
Substitutes not used: 98 RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 40 Ralph MAWIRE, 50 Brian MASHINGAIDZE, 41 Nelson TSHONGO
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Fremantle City: 1 GK Tom CHUDY, 3 Sheldon NOGUEIRA 4 Aaron COSLANI, 5 Alan CARROLL, 6 Adam BLEWETT, 7 Kenel MOUITHYS, 8 Alec ROBINSON, 9 Connor THURSTON, 14 Wade FARMER, 15 Anthony LOMMA, (2 Josh WADE, 62) 11 Callum ROBERTS, (16 Giuseppe STELLITANO 83)
Substitutes not used: 10 Ben REYNOLDS, 13 Charlie WHITE, 20 Struan HERD
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil