Spirit on the rise after NSL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spirit on the rise after NSL win

By Guy Hand 10/02/2003 06:31:30 AM Comments (0)

Northern Spirit has emerged as the team most likely to gate-crash the national soccer league top six, with a stunning 3-0 win over Wollongong at Brookvale Oval continuing its resurgence.

Goals to Brad Groves, Stewart Petrie and Andy McDermott sealed the win - Spirit's fourth in five outings - to move into seventh place.

The Spirit has a game in hand over fifth-placed Adelaide City and sixth-placed South Melbourne, which are four points above it on the league table.

And the Spirit's timely rise is unnerving its rivals, with wins over fourth-placed Parramatta and the Wolves in the space of four days marking it the form side of the competition.

Adelaide City boss Zoran Matic, the league's most experienced coach, said Northern Spirit was the team to watch from here on in after being bottom of the league five weeks ago.

"Northern Spirit are coming like a bull at a gate," he said after his side's 2-1 win over South Melbourne at Bob Jane Stadium tonight.

"They must be dangerous - they're a problem for everybody.

"I don't think anybody is safe of staying in the top six with the exception of Perth and Olympic."

But Adelaide City is also in form, becoming the first side to beat South Melbourne at home this season with a deserved victory.

It leapfrogged South on goal difference with the win.

Olympic Sharks moved clear at the top of the table with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Sydney United tonight.

With nearest rival Perth having the bye, the Sharks had ample chances to win the game but couldn't convert in front of goal.

Striker Ante Milicic gave Olympic the lead in the 37th minute, but United's Anthony Doumanis equalised three minutes from time.

The Brisbane Strikers upset fourth-placed Parramatta Power 3-0 at Ballymore, with Jon McKain, Anthony Roche and Felixz Tagawa netting.

In other matches, the Football Kingz and Marconi played a 0-0 draw at Ericsson Stadium, while Newcastle and the Melbourne Knights drew 1-1 at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

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