Balga SC bowed out of the Football West Night Series competition having lost their quarter finals match against Division 1 side Shamrock Rovers in a penalty shootout. Balga, the only Division 2 side remaining in the competition, can count themselves unlucky not to secure passage to the next stage having been in front with only a few minutes remaining.
Shamrock took the lead early on. Former Balga SC striker Dinko Ahmetanovic converting a spot kick. Balga restored parity with a penalty of their own just before the end of the half with Daniel Nalat scoring his 3rd of the competition.
With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Dimce Jimmy Taneski put Balga in the lead with a classy chip over the advancing Shamrock keeper. Shamrock kept the pressure on and it paid off when 5 minutes from full time Shamrock equalised to send the game to penalties. They ultimately edged out Balga to win the shootout 6:5.
Bobby Taneski was happy with his team’s efforts in reaching the latter stages of the competition but feels that their tenacity was not there on Sunday “I am very pleased in reaching the Quarter finals as the only Division 2 side but quite disappointed in the way we played on Sunday. We feel that we never really hit our stride during the whole game” he said.
“It’s always a toss of a coin, there are so many variables in penalty shootouts, sometimes the players you think will score miss and vice-versa”.
“Well done to Shamrock on the win although we can hold our heads high as we have done the club proud. Where we were 12 months ago, we can comfortably say not one person expected Balga to top their group and push Shamrock to a penalty shootout to decide the tie, of course we did and some more”.
The pre-season competition has proven a great stage for the younger players to acclimatise to the demands of first team football and give the players and opportunity to see where they are in their development. It is also an important indicator of the results that all the work in the background is helping to achieve. “This is an important step in the right direction. It exposes the players to pressure situations and we can only be better from it in the future” says Taneski.