Mosquitoes hold on in a thriller

Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 03:30 am ACST

Contributed by: Matthew Guthrie

Papua New Guinea held out a fast finishing USA outfit by the smallest of margins in the second match at City Oval in Wangaratta in an action packed display of International Australian Rules football. The crowd really got behind both sides as the USA fought back from a 15 point deficit with 3 minutes to go to get within 1 point at the final siren.

In a match that could have gone either way both sides had scoring opportunities after the siren in each of the quarters with the USA converting after the first quarter siren, PNG after the second term siren and the USA missing a golden opportunity after the siren in the third.

The Mosquitoes got off to a great start after a spectacular mark by Mondo (9) in the goal square. The USA quickly replied with two goals by Pope (24) and James Brunmeier (31) who looked a lively target up forward and then again after they were awarded a free kick right on quarter time. They went into the first change ahead 3.0 (18) to 1.2 (8).

PNG got back on target in the second and kicked the first goal early to get within two points after some great team work and movement down the grandstand side of the ground. They added five for the term to have some great momentum going into the long break 10 points ahead after a goal from a set shot after the siren by (17).

Soon after the break Gibson added another after some slick work by the PNG midfield to gain the ascendancy. They started to show the ball around and attempted to break the tackles only to come unstuck by a solid brick wall of US defenders. USA got their reply by Bradley (3) and had a chance to bring the game within a point on the siren only to have it fade to the right for a minor score. At three quarter time the balance of the game was in dispute and Papua held a 6 point advantage.

A quick goal in the fourth gave the Mosquitoes some breathing space and a tireless USA defence kept out most most of the attack but with the Revolution stacking their backline they had no avenue to the forward line. After holding out a barrage from the Mosquitoes and a strong breeze against them, against the odds, the USA ran a good move down the outer wing a strong mark by Butler (6) was taken. He converted truly and the Revolution were within 7 points. With the siren ready to blow and the crowd on the edge of their seats USA cleared the ball and moved into the forward line. After a succession of passes Brunmeier (we believe his number is listed wrong in the match Record) took a mark near the goal square. Time was taken by the umpire to get the angle right for the set shot and only seconds after he kicked his third the siren screamed and the Revolution fell short by the solitary point.

Final scores

PNG 7.5 (47)
USA 7.4 (46)

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