Almanac Soccer: Corio v Whittlesea United

Corio 2 Whittlesea United 2



Whittlesea in white and red defend a corner-kick against Corio.


Corio and Whittlesea United played out a two-all draw at Hume Reserve in Geelong on Saturday afternoon.


Corio was formed in the mid-1950s and won the Caledonian Shield, when this was the prize for a Cup style competition in 1956. In succeeding years that trophy became the league championship and was won for three years in a row by Geelong Rangers. In 1958 Corio joined the metropolitan competition for the first time and won the Second Division North in its first season, by a point from Croatia. There was a strong Dutch influence in early Corio, many of the players and officials being employees of the Shell Company’s refinery. Corio remained in the Melbourne competition till the arrival of the Victorian Soccer Federation when all the Geelong clubs were banished to the Ballarat and Geelong Districts Soccer Association despite their support for Federation. It was not till 1968 that Corio was the first of the Geelong clubs to be readmitted to the Metropolitan leagues. In 1982 Corio won the second iteration of the local Geelong Advertiser Cup.


Over the years Corio has changed character more than once. In 1987 it merged with the Italians at Geelong United. Later the Hungarians from Northern Suburbs took over the club and now the club is probably everybody’s second team in Geelong. In recent times they won the successor to the Geelong Advertiser Cup in 2017, after four losing appearances in the final in succession. Now the club plays in Division One North West of the Victorian State League.


Darcy Rapa of Corio on the ball.


Saturday’s match was a classic game of two halves, with the visitors in control in the first and deserving their two-nil lead. Though Corio had a number of efforts from distance, it was no surprise when Mark Saric ran through unopposed to open the scoring for Whittlesea in the 23rd minute. Vedran Stojanovic almost replied for Corio but his shot went outside the post. Just before the half-time break Musa Kamara wriggled through a retreating defence to put Whittlesea two ahead.


Corio coach Chris Balaburova, who had an excellent playing career with Geelong, revved up his team at half-time and Cameron Lee almost got on the end of a cross from the left. The goal was only delayed until the 54thminute when Alisson Lima da Rosa broke free of the defence to pull a goal back for Corio. Corio forced a series of corner kicks and on the hour mark one of these caused chaos in the Whittlesea goal area and Rosa got the final touch from very close in. Corio should have gone ahead when Stojanovic was clean through but once again the ball went narrowly wide. Baki Efe had two great chances to restore Whittlesea’s advantage only to shoot straight at Corio keeper Seth Szkuta, who had an excellent game, on the first occasion. The second went wide. At the other end Corio had a couple of chances too but both were blocked by the defence and so the game ended all square.


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE



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