Day one of the festival of football and multiculturalism expectedly produced some high quality football and attracted enormous crowds, reinforcing it being the best of it’s kind in Melbourne.
Game 1 Scotland vs Seychelles
The first game of the day was a clash between 2014 Cup winners Scotland, and Seychelles. The men in navy made a fast start with an early goal in the third minute scored by Wayne Gordon. Seychelles, although making a good contest, found it difficult to break through the tight structures of the Scottish who scored another goal late in the first half. The former Cup winners went into the break with a 2-0 lead that was maintained into second. Scotland defeated Seychelles two goals to nil, proving that they are yet again a force to be reckoned with.
Final Score: Scotland 2-0 Seychelles
BOG: Wayne Gordon (3), Liam James (2), Fraser McClaren (1)
Game 2 Chile vs Macedonia
The South American and European teams produced an entertaining start to their campaign with a 0-0 draw. With the building crowd behind them, both teams made valiant effort with both sides having various opportunities to put it in the net. While Chile made a good start and dominated in the first half, Macedonia took the momentum early in the second, which led to an even contest in the late stages of the game. The Macedonian goalkeeper made a game saving save in the dying minutes, cementing the drawn result. Although scoreless, both teams are ones to watch in the 2016 Cup competition.
Final Score: Chile 0-0 Macedonia
BOG: Dejan Radojicic (3), Nikola Markovski (2), Douglas Linberg (1)
Game 3 Albania vs Mauritius
With goals being scored in the final minute of both halves, this was one for the ages. A drawn result of 1-1 reflected the tenacity of competing teams Albania and Mauritius. With faultless structures across the board, Albanian Ajdin Merneti took his team into the break with a 1-0 lead after sneaking through a well-deserved goal in the 35th minute. A hard fought contest looked as though it would go in the way of the Europeans, but Mauritius’ determination resulted in a goal scored by Samuel Catherine in the 70th minute. With a huge crowd, a sunny sky and an indescribable atmosphere, Albania and Mauritius will undoubtedly be crowd favourites and quite possibly Cup favourites.
Final Score: Albania 1-1 Mauritius
BOG: Rini Mariqi (3), Samual Catherine (2), Jeremy Lin Fa (1)
Game 4 Gibraltar vs Italy
A relatively even contest led to Italy taking the points in a 1 goal to nil win. Italy’s Adrian Veroe scored the first, only and winning goal in the 23rd minute of the match. Both teams found it difficult to break through each other’s defence and each had their missed opportunities. Gibraltar and Italy will be looking to capitalize on these in their upcoming games, which should further showcase their potential to go far into the All Nations Cup.
Final Score: Gibraltar 0-1 Italy
BOG: Dom D’Angelo (3), Sam Shearer (2), Robbie D’Angelo (1)
Game 3 Greece vs Iraq
The fiery contest between Greece and Iraq was the perfect ending to a perfect first day. A 4th minute penalty foreshadowed the hard fought and intense game to come. The penalty hit the woodwork, but Iraqi Matthew Oghanna capitalized on the deflection to take his team to an early 1-0 lead. It was a back and forth contest with Iraq looking to be slightly on top until Italian Gianluca Pizzirani scored the equalizer in the 21st minute. The teams went into the break on an even ground that was maintained up until the 76th minute. Iraq’s Vani Shamoon scored the breakthrough and winning goal, with a final result of Greece 1-2 Iraq. Both teams have proved themselves as Cup contenders.
Final Score: Greece 1-2 Iraq
BOG: Gianluca Pizzirani (3), Cameron Ironside (2), Aymon Liyon (1)
Sunday Video Highlights
Australia v Solmalia
South Sudan v South Africa
England v France
Sunday’s games will be touched on in next week’s report.
Fixtures for Saturday November 12:
10:00 Australia vs Romania
11:30 Chile vs Greece
13:00 Mauritius vs Gibraltar
14:30 Seychelles vs Nigeria
16:00 Albania vs Italy
Fixtures for Sunday November 13:
10:00 France vs South Africa
11:30 England vs South Sudan
13:00 Somalia vs Serbia
14:30 Scotland vs Turkey
16:00 Macedonia vs Iraq