Casuarina held onto second spot on the premier league ladder with a 3-0 win in Round 12 against Port Darwin.
It wasn’t as simple for Rowdies as the score reflected . Port had a number of chances to level the game at 1-0 and it wasn’t until late in the match that the Casuarina secured victory.
The best opportunity of the first 20 minutes came the way of Anniel Mpongo Ndjamba who was released in space on the left flank. Striding towards goal, he had enough pace to make room and strike, but it fired slightly too far to the right and escaped from the goal mouth.
Casuarina took the upper hand through a penalty kick when Imam Mukhlis was fouled in the centre of the box. Mukhlis put it away powerfully into the bottom left corner. They should have made it two when a neat phase of short passes in the area ended in Rodrigues getting another clear chance at goal, but he sprayed his shot wide to the right.
Port almost restored parity on the hour mark. Mpongo Ndjamba released Christopher Alexander in front of goal. One on one with Casuarina ‘keeper Manoli Simeon, he was unable to beat him with his right foot. They continued to create chances as the second half wore on. Testing the Rowdies defence with his tall frame, Alexander had another solid strike on target but Simeon was again up to the task in goals.
Port thought they had found a late equalizer when substitute Alsiter Poyenr jumped above the pack and headed home, but Simeon once again saved the day with a spectacular save which saw him propel the ball over the crossbar.
Casuarina would close the game out when substitute Daniel Marimbe finished from close range. Only a minute later they got their third through McRoberts who scored with a shot that took a deflection on its way to the back of the net.
Casuarina: 1. Manoli Simeon, 3. Horacio Ingles, 4. Gordon Pereira 7. Jackson Dempster 90’), 5. James Hamilton Jnr. (2. Ryan Newell 64’) 6. Reza Passmore, 8. Alberto Serra, 10. Imam Mukhlis, 11. Zelio Casimir (14. Ethan Cameirao 90’) o, 12. Mark Casimiro (16. Daniel Marimbe 64’), 13. Bailey Upton 15. Luis Rodrigues (9. Matthew McRoberts 62’)
Port Darwin: 1. Conan Franks, 2. Martin Kelleher (Jacob Gittens 55’), 3. Samuel Binnie, 4. Jacob Ransley (Isidro Hernandes 64’), 5. Nathan Bennett, 6. Colin Brown (Alister Poyner 64’)e, 8. Ben Blomfield 10. Christopher Alexander, 11. Anniel Mpongo Ndjamba, 12. Ian Foley (13. Bryden Huxtable 82’), 17. Benjamin Harrison
Follow the Match Action on Twitter and Facebook
#FootballNT #FFNT #2017MPL