Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
All three Gold Coast City goals scored by the Saunders brothers, Morgan and Rhys, weren’t enough to claim the full three points for their side with Charles Mendy and Kado Aoci combining for three of their own in matchday two of the tournament. The match locked at 3-3 after ninety minutes, Gold Coast City won the resulting penalty shoot-out 4-3 to clinch their first points in the Macron Cup.
Gold Coast City again fielded a youth-based squad and had the better of early terms against their more fancied opponents.
Morgan Saunders was able to capitalise on an unusual goalkeeping error from Antony Hall. Exchanging the ball between both feet, Saunders was still in close proximity stretched his foot out at the ball and poked it away from Hall and into the empty net.
That momentarily spurred Power into action. Mendy delivered a wonderful cross into the box but slid just in front of a sliding Aoci.
Morgan Saunders could have claimed his second with Rees Duncan cutting back for him but was unable to get on target.
Immediately after, Mendy was able to break the Gold Coast defence, committed keeper Lucas Chicco inside the box before rounding him to bring the match back on level terms.
Gold Coast continued to threaten in the lead-up to the break. Ethan Grimley and Rhys Saunders having opportunities to send their side to the break with the lead.
Wet conditions contributed to Peninsula’s second goal. Mendy put a shot in that Chicco looked to initially grab low down but he was unable to hold on and Aoci scored a poaching goal.
Aoci forced Chicco into action again ten minutes later with the Gold Coast custodian doing better this time round.
Mendy picked out Aoci once more in free space but the resulting shot was fired wide.
With twenty minutes remaining, a convincing finish from Rhys Saunders restored parity.
A cracking finish from the edge of the box from Morgan Saunders with just under ten to play again gave Gold Coast City the lead.
Saunders could have put the match beyond doubt after a pinpoint cross from Duncan. Power kept in the contest by a wonderful save from Hall.
When all seemed lost for the hosts, Kado Aoci poked into the corner in the final moments of regulation time to reverse last week’s effort where Moreton Bay scored against Peninsula on the final kick of the match. Power going to penalties for the second consecutive week.
In sudden-death in the shoot-out, Peninsula’s Chris Swain put his penalty onto the crossbar with Mori Kone sending the winner home for Gold Coast City.
Gold Coast City move equal with Peninsula on the tournament table, each on two points.. Both sides still have a tough task though to qualify for the final.
Peninsula Power 3 (Charles Mendy 27’, Kado Aoci 49’, 90+2′) v Gold Coast City 3 (Morgan Saunders 16’, 81’, Rhys Saunders 71’). Gold Coast City won on penalties 4-3.
Peninsula: Antony Hall, Kado Aoci, Jarrod Austin, Myles Carseldine, Charles Mendy, Jani Puet, Luke Plummer, Matt Sauer, Chris Swain, Mitch Buhmann, Matt Sanchez, Trent McEvoy, Rinichi Mikami, Brett Holden, Brad Burrowns (GK)
Gold Coast City: Lucas Chicco, Riley Dillon, Tim Jackson, Roy Yonozama, Simon Bradley, Jason Campbell, Ethan Grimley, Zanin Tselespy, Rees Duncan, Rhy Saunders, Josh Mussel, Mori Kone, Harry Liebke, Riley Thomson, Reuben Douglas.