In their second match of the Tournament, Rangers easily defeated A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers by three goals to nil. Watching the highlights on-line, they created a number of scoring opportunities. Playing on an artificial surface, the R’s took the lead when Alberti laid off a wonderful pass out to Rose wide right, who then cut in and slotted the ball away with a low drive. QPR went further ahead when as a result of a long ball, Josh Parker raced into the box to score. Soon after, a long header all the way from inside the R’s half caused confusion between their keeper and centre back. Antonio German was on hand to take full advantage. He nipped in and tapped the ball into an empty goal to make it 3-0. Steve Brown said after the game: “The recovery time is very short between the games here, so the players are being pushed hard, but they’re responding brilliantly to the demands we’re putting on them.”
The R’s line-up was: Bulmer, Waters, Oastler, Harris, Brown, Maguire (Davenport 82 mins), Smith (Perring 46 mins), Alberti, Rose (Vanterpool 70 mins), Parker, German
Subs Not Used: Putnins, Brittain, Ehmer, Nanetti.
Here’s an extract of the report (with their errors left in) from the opposition’s website:
‘The match was always going to be a scrap early on, both sides trying to test each other out without committing too many men forward. Apia and QPR both needed maximum points from this match if they were any hope of progressing to the next round, both having suffered first up losses. There was no real opening till QPR scored the first goal of the match in the 36th minute. A brilliant switch of direction by Italian Matteo Alberti, a QPR first team regular, had Apia scrambling to shuffle across. Ramon Rose, who was impressive throughout, cut in from the right hand side of the park. The winger accelerated in the penalty area un-apposed facing goal-keeper Adiano Varnier beating him with a low strike at the near post. English central midfielder, Danny McGuire had the only other chance of the first half, his free kick from 25 metres sizzled towards goal, Varnier keeping it out with some brilliant footwork, diverting the ball out for a corner.
It wasn’t until the 65th minute that QPR doubled their advantage. Josh Parker, a player that had been quiet up until this point, was released down the left facing Apia defenders Sebastien Collard and Daniel Ramirez. With a few deft touches, the winger got into the penalty area and side footed his effort into the far corner. A lack of communication between Varnier and central defender Nejdet Sahin allowed the wide man the chance to steal the bouncing ball from in between the two Australians and sliding his finish into an empty net. “It really wasn’t a 3-0 match, commented Apia coach Barry Walker. “A couple of lapses of concentration really killed us.”
The R’s went into their third match against Palermo hopeful of reaching the next stage of the competition and lined up as follows: Bulmer, Cox, Waters (Olley 70 mins), Harris, Brown, Oastler (Smith 68 mins), Maguire, Parker, Rose, Alberti (Nanetti 83 mins), German.
Palermo scored their first after Bulmer could only push the ball onto the post and they added a second after 31 minutes with a header from a corner. Their third came amid offside appeals from the Rangers defence but with Bulmer stranded their player had the easy task of slotting the ball into the net from close range. Half time: 0-3. Danny Maguire did pull one back from the penalty spot ten minutes from the end. Luke Olley came on for Aaron Waters but not for long. Unfortunately he received two yellows in the space of a minute or so and was sent off. Steve Brown gave a special mention to Niki-Lee Bulmer and said: “This was a fantastic competition, a great learning curve and a privilege to have been involved in. My only disappointment is that we’re coming home as soon as we are.”
This competition was good prestige for the club and a great experience for the players. Well done everyone.