Diversity Cup kicks-off in Geelong
North Geelong and Corio kicked off the pre-season Diversity Cup at Myers Reserve in Geelong on Friday night. Hosted this year by Geelong Rangers the competition began in 1981 as the Geelong Advertiser Cup and this year was sponsored by the City of Greater Geelong as the Diversity Cup.
The clubs met in the final last year when North Geelong thrashed Corio by eight goals to one.
This time the result was much closer as it finished in a scoreless draw after Vedran Stojanovic missed a golden chance to give Corio an upset victory. The big striker was powering into the box in the 50th minute when he went down under a challenge. Referee Steven Kolar awarded a penalty kick, but after a delay Stojanovic struck it with the outside of his right foot and sent the ball wide of the post. Seven minutes later Stojanovic worked himself into another good shooting position but drove the all over the bar. Elton Savice also had a break but the final shot went into the side-netting.
Corio came out of the blocks and dominated the early exchanges with Elton Savice tearing the North defence to shreds on the left and firing over dangerous crosses and shot. Savice came in for some fierce challenges as North double –teamed him to nullify the threat. Gradually North worked its way into the game and had the better of the rest of the first half. Miles Shannon showed how the game should be played with some sterling defence and cool distribution which ensured that North retained possession. Michael Boyar was an all-action midfielder and got himself forward in support of the attack, but could not conjure a breakthrough goal for the Cup holders.
In the second half Corio was in control for much of the time and North gradually ran out of ideas. Alex Kitanovski was excellent in goals for Corio, while Drew Corry and Steven Luczo held the North attackers effectively for the most part. The match proved that both teams have good defensive strength but left queries about their goalscoring ability.
Caption for picture: Michael Boyar (left) of North Geelong and Dominic Versace of Corio vie for the ball watched by Seven Luczo (rear) in the opening match in the 2013 Diversity Cup at Myers Reserve in Geelong. Photo: Roy Hay.