Box Hill United’s senior men halted the unbeaten streak of Melbourne City FC’s youth side in the NPL2 round 5, following a 2-1 victory at Wembley Park.
And our two-goal hero Sergio Azagane praised how the team combined together to get three vital points when called into action against the league’s high-flyers.
Head coach Con Karagiannidis was forced to ring in several changes, following injuries to key players including captain Nicholas Kokolakis and centre-back Theodore Aresti.
But when youngsters Jeremy Vun, Amr Mohd Sarip, Billy Skliros and Jamie Mammino stepped in, the reshuffle was hardly noticeable.
Looking back at the team’s gritty display last Saturday, Azagane said, “It was a really tough game. We played hard, but second-half was even tougher. They (Mel. City) were superior in terms of fitness, but we kept our shape and discipline.
“The communication and work rate were there [from the team] – 11 players running everywhere. We had a few [younger] players coming into this game and no matter who plays, [ultimately] everyone steps in and does the job.”
He added, “[There was a difference] in terms of how we shaped ourselves in defensive duties, [but] the instructions were the same – sit off and wait for that slip-up from the opponent, [then] to get the ball back and attack. So, we waited for the momentum to go forward.”
The former Hume City striker put in the hard yards and scored the winning brace, and reviewed his performance saying, “Whatever half-chance I receive, I’ll take it. I have never been gifted anything and if I get a half-chance, I’ll make sure and put it in the net.
“That’s the way I have been working since I started playing soccer – whatever [chance] I get in the box, I’ll put my body on the line.”
He further revealed the half-time talk in the dressing room was to “keep it disciplined and keep the work rate up, and as soon as you feel like you cannot go anymore, raise your hand and someone else will come and do the job.” Azagane added, “And that’s what we did.”
The fixture against City’s young guns was the first of consecutive home matches for Box Hill, and the 26-year-old relished the victory even more.
He said, “Absolutely, it’s our first win at home and it tastes so better when you play like that. Our first win was [against Goulburn Valley Suns away] but winning at home against this tough team, and the way we won it, tastes much better. It gives us a boost of energy for the next home and away games.”