The Young Reds Reserves took control of the First Leg of their PlayStation 4 National Premier League Semi-Final, with a 2-0 victory over MetroStars at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.
Given the aura of Finals football, a heated match-up was to be expected, and indeed it was.
Peter Katsambis drew first blood for United, and in the second-half, Aladin Irabona finished off a nice build-up play to double their lead.
The star Number 9, Ninko Beric, was a standout amongst the side, playing a major part in the win.
After an evenly-matched and tight opening 20 minutes, United’s first real chance came through Irabona, his close range shot coming off the boot, and flew into the wrong direction with the wind.
Katsambis broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, latching onto Jai King’s flick on the left flank, to put away a tidy finish into the bottom corner.
Katsambis’ lone-goal was the highlight of the first stanza, after a solid showing in the opening 45 minutes.
Beric had an opportunity to further the lead, but a stinging effort was struck across the face of goal.
71 minutes in, Irabona connected off a sublime Beric assist, and strolled the ball past Metro’s ‘keeper, and into goal casually.
Head Coach, Paul Pezos, was rapt with how his side performed and stood up with the physicality to win, and keep a clean sheet.
“We spoke about how physical Finals football will be, and we talk about the developmental side, but it will also be great to win something for the Club,” he said.
“And our mindset changed heading into this match and it was about winning, and to become young men.
“The whole team stepped up today and really impressed me, it was quite pleasing.
“We worked on our defensive structure all week, and we did have to make some changes which was a bit of a disruption.
“But in life, there’s always hurdles and you just have to overcome them, in which we achieved today.
“We scored two nice goals, and could have had a couple more and be a bit more clinical, but we came away with a two-goal buffer and a clean sheet which was enough.”