Brisbane City Youth crowned champions with a win in the National Premier Leagues Queensland Grand Final
Brisbane City completed an incredible season by winning the National Premier Leagues Queensland Under 20 Grand Final with a dominant performance over ten-man Western Pride at Corporate Travel Management Stadium on Saturday night.
City lead inside the opening ten minutes thanks so some sublime work from Kai Fiechtner down the right hand side, finished off by Owain Thomas.
Pride were reduced to ten-men shortly after when Jordan Manning was shown a straight red card for a foul on the edge of the box, but valiantly denied City until midway through the second half, at which point the floodgates opened.
Kai Fiechtner (twice), Jaiden Nightingale and Alex Sartori added four goals for City in a thirteen minute spell to dispel any hopes of a Pride comeback and put the game beyond doubt for the premiers.
Mitchell Herrmann momentarily threatened to take the shine off City’s victory with a consolation shortly before the full time whistle, but Jamie Dimitroff ensured the City ended on a high, burying a free kick in off the cross bar from all of 25 yards to wrap up a phenomenal victory.
City have been the dominant side in the National Premier Leagues Queensland Youth competition all year, and were rewarded with an NPL championship to go along with their Premiership, secured on the last day of the season against the same opponents that they conquered tonight.
There was no doubt that City benefited from a huge slice of luck with the early red card to Jordan Manning, but fortune rarely favours those who haven’t earned it, and City were firmly in the ascendancy long before they gained a numerical advantage.
The work from Kai Fiechtner for City’s opener being a case in point.
The youngster’s skill in deceiving his opponents was simply sublime, the 17 year old bewitching two defenders with a myriad of skills on the right, before sliding a cross in for Owain Thomas to deflect into the net from a yard out.
John Kosmina has described the younger of the Fiechtner’s as a “ghost” when he has stepped up into the senior team towards the end of this season, and he perfectly embodied that description in setting up the goal, skipping through would be tacklers as if an apparition.
However, for all their dominance – including after Manning was sent for an early bath – Pride were able to hold City scoreless for the rest of the half, and a good portion of the second to boot.
And the longer City’s lead was held to just a single goal, the more Pride gained in confidence. Two goal hero of the Pride’s under 18’s Championship winning team Jackson Bray was flung into the action and nearly had an immediate effect, forcing Clancy into a fine save.
Precarious as City’s lead was beginning to look, the hosts were still holding all the cards – and decided to go all-in mid-way through the second half by introducing Jesse Rigby – scorer of five goals in the semi-final and perhaps unfortunate not to start this evening.
Instead he turned provider, Kai Fiechtner juxtaposing his sublime skills for City’s opener for a more agricultural goal of his own, bundling untidily home from Gibbs’ cross.
Captain Jaiden Nightingale was next, embarking on a solo run to the edge of the penalty area, jinking this way and that before sliding a shot inside the near post before wheeling away an running straight to the bench and his coach Craig Collins.
The fourth was scored by the head of Alex Sartori, powering home from a corner to put City into dreamland, a state further enhanced by Kai Fiechtner’s second of the night, another tap in after a deft touch from another Gibbs cross slipped the ball away from any defenders in green and white.
Pride were in danger of being blown away, a harsh scenario for a side that had fought so valiantly despite their numerical disadvantage, and were rewarded with a goal of their own through Mitchell Herrmann.
But City were still to have the last laugh as Jamie Dimitroff capped off the night with a wondrous free kick from 30 yards out, that cannoned in off the underside of the bar, an emphatic exclamation point to a magnificent season for City’s Youth.
City – Owain Thomas 7’ – 1-0.
Owain Thomas pokes home from a yard out, but this was all Kai Fiechtner. City’s winger sliding his way through three tackles on the right before sliding a perfect low cross into the path of Thomas.
City – Kai Fiechtner 70’ – 2-0.
Owain Thomas picks up the ball after the Pride interrupt a City counter-attack and sprays it wide to Jesse Gibbs, whose flicked cross is bundled in by Kai Fiechtner at the back post.
City – Jaiden Nightingale 73’ – 3-0.
Nightingale picked up the ball in the attacking half and runs into the penalty area before sliding a shot past Weier at the near post.
City – Alex Sartori 80’ – 4-0.
Jaiden Nightingale whips in a corner from the right onto the head of Sartori who powers a header home from close range.
City – Kai Fiechtner 83’ – 5-0.
Jesse Gibbs crosses from the left and Fiechtner collects the ball, takes it around the defender and slams home.
Pride – Mitchell Herrmann 85’ – 5-1.
Alex Parsons swings a ball into the box and Mitchell Herrmann smashes home from two yards out.
City – Jamie Dimitroff 89’ – 6-1.
Dimitroff smashes a free kick from 35 yards out in off the crossbar after he was fouled.
Brisbane City: Clancy, Cabilan, Hood, Culpitt, Dimitroff, Sayers, Thomas, Fiechtner, Nightingale, Falso, Stuart. Subs: Gibbs, Docherty, Sartori, Phillips, Millard.
Pride: Weier, Midkiff, Barratt, Manning, Musial, Haspels, Parsons, Hermann, Paz, Sharples, Wilson. Subs: Kleinhans, Bray, Norris, Button, Cupac.