NPL Wrap: U18s defeated by St George

The Wanderers Academy U18s were defeated on the Semi Final stage on Saturday after going down 2-0 to St George FC at Valentine Sports Park after a first-half double from Mark Younes. 

Wanderer Presley Oritz looked lively early on for the Red & Black and in the seventh minute, did well to beat an opponent but his cross was cleared. 

The Red & Black then fell behind on the quarter-hour following a counter-attack that saw Younes put St George FC 1-0 up.

The Wanderers kept their heads up and a good play in the 20th minute saw Dimtri Kostopoulos and Alessandro Lopane combine to set up Bilal Chahine who was unlucky to see his shot deflect wide of the target. 

St George were quick to respond to the Red & Black's attacks and defender Dylan Craus threw his body in the way of a goalbound shot. 

Wanderer Griffin Barry was also called upon as the squad tried to hold out, pushing a Kane Arduin shot wide of the post with seven minutes until the interval.

Unfortunately, the Red & Black headed into the dressing rooms at half-time two goals down after Younes scored on the stroke of half-time. 

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The Wanderers came out for the second half firing with Emmanuel Dolo sending the ball over the crossbar while Lopane shot straight at the keeper. 

In the 65th minute, Kostopoulos pounced on a loose ball and had a shot deflected to safety. Soon afterward he created a chance for Dolo, who fired wide from the edge of the area.

Chahine was next to try his luck and his header was saved, then there was a close call at the other end as Wanderers defender Evan Ball cleared a shot off the goal line. 

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To the team's credit, they pushed until the very end. Three minutes from time, Tom Ruperto whippedin a dangerous cross which was somehow scrambled away by the defence. Stoppage time saw shots from Ruperto and Chahine, but neither player was able to trouble the St George FC goal. 

Despite the defeat, the U18s can look back on what was a very successful season, one in which they claimed the Premiership with a nine-point margin. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 0
St George FC 2
(Mark Younes 15’ 45’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Griffin Barry, Leonardo Belz (Jonathan Maras 46’), Dylan Craus, Bilal Chahine, Evan Ball, Dimitri Kostopoulos (Tom Ruperto 74’), George Antonis (c), Alessandro Lopane, Jacob Casha, Stephan De Robillard (Jake Lavalle 71’), Presley Ortiz (Emmanuel Dolo 46’)
Unused substitutes: James Husoy