Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Beijing Guoan beat Melbourne Victory 1-0 last night in their Asian Champions League Group E first-leg clash at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium.


And, it was Australian Joel Griffiths who scored to sink his countrymen.


The former Newcastle Jets striker was dangerous all night and, in the 51st minute, he collected a pass from the right and squeezed between Kevin Muscat and Roddy Vargas inside the box before shooting inside the near post.


The ball took a slight touch off Vargas’s outstretched leg and went through the legs of Melbourne keeper Mitchell Langerak.


Griffiths had been unlucky in the first half with a header that was cleared off the line by Surat Sukha.


The ball rebounded to Brazilian striker Otto, who saw his shot, aimed at the other post, cleared by Tom Pondeljak.


When the ball was fired in a third time in as many seconds, it was Kevin Muscat who finally cleared.


Melbourne had slightly more of the possession, but managed just one shot on target compared to Beijing’s eight.


Melbourne were unlucky not to take the lead late in the first half when a brilliant strike by Pondeljak brought an equally magnificent save from Beijing’s keeper, Yang Zhi.


Late in the match, excellent work down the right by Pondeljak saw a three-against-one situation in favour of Melbourne, but Pondeljak decided to pass instead of shoot and the ball was cleared.


Nick Mrdja had a disappointing game for Melbourne and should have managed at least a couple of strikes at goal.


Apart from Griffiths, Beijng were well served by their new international signings Otto, Scotland defender Maurice Ross and Bosnian midfielder Darko Matic.


The pitch was in a poor state, with straw-coloured grass reminiscent of the current dry hills of Tasmania and not a sign of greenery anywhere.


And, the temperature was hovering close to zero.













Premier League Section Summer Cup (Group B, South Hobart, Sunday, 21 February 2010)


__________________________________________________


Glenorchy Knights 1 (A Holmes 45)

Clarence United 0


HT: 0-0 Att: 150 Ref: P Galloway


Glenorchy Knights: Tatnell - Dzelalija, Grundy, Holmes, J Huigsloot - T Sherman, J Sherman, Fielding, Roberts - Smith, Koroma [Interchange: Robb, Garth, Hope] [Coach: Eamonn Kelly]


Clarence United: Sweeney - Toghill, Lewis, Parker, A McIntyre - Stevens, S McIntyre, L Huigsloot, Nandan - Cripps, Hamlett [Interchange: Rees, Ling, Reibel, Sweetten] [Coach: Andrew Brown]


________________________________________________________


Glenorchy Knights beat Clarence United 1-0 in this Group B match to top the group with six points and place one foot in the Summer Cup final.


Alex Tatnell, the Knights keeper and a former Clarence player, had little to other than to punch clear a couple of corners.


The Knights could and should have scored a few more goals, but they were guilty of poor finishing.


Corey Smith headed a good cross from Josh Fielding over the bar after just three minutes.


Fielding was in fine form, defending well at set-pieces and showing creativity in attack. He was an inspiration to his team-mates and looked like a Vic Tuting Silver Medal winner.


In the 19th minute, Will Roberts put an effort over the bar following Amadu Koroma’s pass, which created the opening.


Nine minutes after the resumption, Fielding fed Smith, who turned beautifully, only to blaze high and wide of the target.


Defender Alex Holmes ventured forward in the 41st minute but fired wide after Koroma had flicked the ball on from a position wide on the right.


Midway through the second half, a shot by James Sherman took a slight deflection for a corner.


Fielding took the corner from the right and Holmes popped up to head it home from 10 metres to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.


Smith had a shot blocked by keeper Cameron Sweeney8 minutes from the end as the Knights continued to dominate in the areas that mattered.


In the final minute, they created another good chance when Brendan Garth crossed low from the left and picked out Andrew Robb, but the youngster fired well over the bar.


__________________________________________________________


· Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:


“It was the same as last week. It’d be nice if we put 60 minutes together.


“I thought we were unlucky. A fair result would have been three nil.


“We missed a couple of goals in the first half and certainly missed two or three in the second.


“It’s starting to come together slowly. We’re building week by week by week.


“We can see that we want to play football, and that’s what we’re here for. We’re not here just to keep bombing balls in the air. We’re here to play football with a bit of patience and definitely with a bit of discipline.”


· Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:


“I thought it was quite a dour, uninspiring game.


“We weren’t functioning well in the final third.


“We were managing okay and competing well, but we weren’t as creative and we weren’t as bright.


“Chris Hunt coming back in for us will be great, while Julian McMahon is back in training and Cannamela will be back next week and Andy Baron the week after.


“We’re building towards the future and I feel good that we’ve blooded these kids, but as for the game itself, I thought we made some elementary errors defensively which allowed them a lot of space.


“We weren’t organised and we weren’t bright and going forward we were naive in the way we tried to break them down, even though we had a lot of possession in the first twenty minutes.”









Premier League Section Summer Cup (Group A, South Hobart, Sunday, 21 February 2010)


______________________________________________________


New Town Eagles 0

Tilford Zebras 2 (Self 7, Walsh 60)


HT: 0-1 Att: 150 Ref: S Collins


New Town Eagles: Minty - Page, Wass, Louden, Hadfield - Vernon, Kent, Anderson, Whitehall - McKeown, Fennell [Interchange: J Clamp, Quan, Menzie] [Coach: George Krambousanos]


Tilford Zebras: Voss - Fagg, Telega, Smith, K Engels - Hall, Crosswell, Self, L Engels - Walsh, Welch [Interchange: Fisher, Thorpe, D Cox, Young] [Coach: Romeo Frediani]


________________________________________________________


Tilford Zebras went all out in attack from the opening whistle, while New Town Eagles tried to make the most of the limited counter-attacking opportunities.


Luke Engels went close for Zebras as early as the 4th minute when he shot just wide of the target.


But, it was Eagles who should have taken the lead when, in the 5th minute, Adam McKeown controlled a long ball forward on the edge of the box, turned, and played the ball perfectly into the path of Jamie Vernon steaming down the inside-left channel.


Vernon was presented with a marvellous scoring opportunity, but his inexperience told when he failed to beat Jason Voss because his shot was too weak and flew at waist height, which made for an easy catch by the Zebras keeper.


One lets Zebras off the hook in such a manner at one’s own risk and, two minutes later, they took the lead.


Ricky Self shrugged off the physical challenge of Michael Anderson in midfield and then advanced on goal before beating Craig Minty from 25 metres to make it 1-0.


This goal demonstrated the Zebras’ willingness to shoot from range, and they continued to do so throughout the match.


In the 23rd minute, Dwayne Walsh produced an incredible miss for Zebras. Ben Crosswell passed to Luke Engels on the left and his cross found Walsh inside the 6-yard box, but he somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar when it would have been easier to score.


On the stroke of half-time, Jayden Welch missed an absolute ‘sitter’ from Luke Engels’s pass.


Early in the second half, Anderson’s shot was charged down and the ball fell to McKeown, who had the ball in the net off a defender, but the assistant referee’s flag for off-side ruled out the effort.


Minty was then injured in a collision as he went for a cross and at first it was feared he would have to be replaced. After treatment, he was able to continue but looked shaky for the remainder of the match.


Eagles’ central defender, Chris Wass, also suffered a shoulder injury and had to be rested. Eagles’ coaching staff were hoping it was not a broken collarbone.


Zebras did not kill of the game until the last minute. Matt Hall’s shot was parried by Minty and Walsh swept home the rebound to make it 2-0.


Zebras can still qualify for the final, but it will depend on South Hobart losing their last match against Eagles.


Zebras reached the final and won through a similar miracle qualification last season, but lightning never strikes the same spot twice and they have probably run their race.


_________________________________________________________


· New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said:


“I think we’ve still got five or six very important players out.


“I don’t think we’re in trouble. I think it that’s the best they’ve got, they’d better start thinking a little bit.


“That’s not taking any respect from Zebras, but I think once our team gets those quality players back we’re going to give it a good go, a real good go.”


· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:


“I was happy. We played well and they gave us plenty of room in the middle of the park, especially in the first half.


“Ben Crosswell, Matty Hall and Ricky Self exploited that.


“We had a lot of opportunities, which we probably should have put away, so we were a little bit unfortunate there, but maybe a little more practice in front of goal will fix that.


“Overall, I was more than happy. Three points is good enough for me.”























Photos (Top to Bottom): Small crowds attended Saturday's matches at South Hobart; Kingborough's Tom McDonald takes on Taroona's Lucas Wyatt; Kingborough's Marcus Bremner holds off Taroona's Toby Dove; Taroona's Sam Johnson hurdles his keeper Richard Nettlefold; Taroona's Sam Johnson, in the strange brown shorts (Taroona wear black shorst) beats Kingborough's Trent Pearce to the ball; Marc Iseli about to tackle Sam Johnson as referee Ian Colhoun watches; Greg Freeman shoots at Taroona's goal; Kingborough's Brett Andrews climbs for a header; Kingborough's Greg Freeman shoots past the keeper for the only goal of the match; Freeman is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring; Brett Andrews gets in a shot before Sam Johnson can block [PlessPix]



Kingborough Lions United 1 (Greg Freeman 6)

Taroona 0


HT: 1-0 Att: 100 Ref: I Colhoun


Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - Palmer, Davies, Lucas, Bevan - Bremner, Andrews, Iseli, T Pearce - Freeman, McDonald [Interchange: Marchioli, Nugteren] [Coach: Geoff Freeman]


Taroona: Nettlefold - Tubb, Wyatt, Johnson, Darragh Carey - Duncan Carey, James, Atkinson, Dove - Luttmer, Gates [Interchange: Ryan, Tuantab, Hortle, Elliott] [Coach: Ben Horgan]


___________________________________________________________


Kingborough Lions United’s chances of reaching the final of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup final from Group B hang by a thread.


They beat Taroona by a solitary goal, scored by Greg Freeman in the 6th minute.


But most other sides would have beaten the Lions, given the same chances that Taroona somehow squandered.


Taroona seem to be able to score with ease in the northern Steve Hudson Cup pre-season competition each Sunday.


They have netted eight goals in two games in Launceston, but have yet to break the ice in Hobart.


Perhaps some witchdoctor from the veldt has jinxed them by burying something in the goalmouths.


How else to explain the chances they missed against the Lions?


On Saturday, they outplayed the Lions in the second half and might have scored three or four times.


Toby Dove should have buried his chance, but shot tamely, and then, when presented with another easy opening by Duncan Carey, he again failed to hit the target.


Near the end, Samuel Ryan might at least have squared the match, but he shot wide.


Taroona coach Ben Horgan has a full head of hair, but at this rate he will be pulling it out clump by clump and he could well be bald by the end of the season.


The goal came when Freeman was released down the right and, with a difficult angle for a shot confronting him, Taroona goalkeeper Richard Nettlefold made things easy for the striker by coming off his line.


Freeman doesn’t need help like that to score. But, when it is offered to him, he rarely spurns the opportunity.


With Nettlefold caught in No-Man’s Land, Freeman slotted the ball past him and inside the far post for what proved to be the winner.


___________________________________________________________


· Kingborough Lions United defender, Isaac Lucas, said:


“I thought we played very well in the first half. We played good possession football and let the ball do the work.


“I think we played more the shape we want to play this year, particularly with Brett [Andrews] up front as a target man and with two guys coming off him.


“The second half was fairly disappointing, really, because we kind of lost our shape, particularly defensively.


“It was a bit leaky and we had players playing in spots they weren’t used to across midfield.


“We were missing Ross Hinkley back there.


“Overall, it was good to get a win, but the second half was disappointing.”


· Taroona coach, Ben Horgan, said:


“I don’t know what we have to do to score.


“Today we missed three or four chances and it’s hard to know what to do because we worked on finishing at training during the week.


“I may have to look at giving some other players a run.”