NPL review: Hakeem returns while Avondale stay perfect in NPL Victoria

There may have been no Hyundai A-League action over the weekend but there was plenty of incredible football played right around the country.

From NSW to WA, the National Premier League action was thrilling over the weekend, with some huge results, sensational goals and jaw-dropping comebacks.

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Here’s a wrap of some of the big stories from the weekend right around the country.

Victoria

It was an emotional night at CB Smith Reserve on Friday as Hakeem Al-Araibi made his long-awaited return to the pitch for Pascoe Vale.

And it was a memorable comeback for the new Australian citizen, with Pascoe Vale overcoming South Melbourne 2-0 thanks to goals from Dimitri Hatzimouratis and substitute Philippe Bernabo-Madrid.

But the moment many had been waiting for came through minutes into the second half when Al-Araibi came on in place of Stephen Hatzikostas to a rousing reception.

Elsewhere, Avondale made it a perfect six wins from six to start the campaign thanks to a 5-2 drubbing of Green Gully.

Liam Boland scored a brace for Avondale – against his former club – while ex-APIA Leichhardt star Tasuku Sekiya also got on the scoresheet.

CLICK HERE for more from the NPL in Victoria over the weekend.

Liam Boland
Liam Boland in action for Avondale

New South Wales

Defending champions Sydney Olympic pulled off a superb comeback to salvage a draw in a six-goal thriller against Blacktown City.

It was 2-0 to the visitors inside 15 minutes through goals from Grant Lynch and Leroy Jennings before goals from Nikola Kuleski and Alex Sanchez either side of the break got Olympic back on terms.

Joey Gibbs restored Blacktown’s lead soon after before the hosts ensured they would take a point thanks to Jason Madonis’ goal 19 minutes from the end.

Elsewhere, Luke Wilkshire’s Wollongong Wolves dropped their first points of the season after a 2-2 with Sydney United while APIA Leichhardt edged out Sutherland 2-1.

CLICK HERE for everything you need to know from Round 3 of the NPL NSW.

South Australia

It was raining goals at Valo Football Centre as Raiders proved too good for West Adelaide with a 7-2 drubbing.

English forward Terence Carter stole the show with four goals for Raiders, taking his tally to seven in his last three appearances for the club.

“He’s doing well, but I believe that he can still get better,” said Raiders coach Nik  Kuzman of his in-form import.

“He’s still adjusting to the league and we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

“The challenge for him is he’s earning a reputation in the league and once you get that target on your back as a striker, it’s tough to keep putting them away.

CLICK HERE for all the results from Round 5 of the NPL SA.

Western Australia

Armadale went top of the ladder in the west thanks to a clinical 3-0 win over Rockingham City.

The home side made the most of their chances in a scrappy encounter with Adriano Jelenovic grabbing two goals, while Sam Garces also got on the scoresheet.

Armadale is the only team with a 100% record after two rounds.

Elsewhere, Cockburn City and Inglewood United played out the match of the round in a thrilling 4-4 draw at Dalmatinac Park.

Hamza Hina netted twice for Inglewood, including equaliser deep into added time, while Daniel Robinson bagged a hat-trick for Cockburn.

CLICK HERE to find out everything that happened in the NPL WA in Round 2.

Northern NSW

It was the Weston Bears who came out on top in the opening ‘El Clasicoal’ of the season with a 2-1 win over Maitland FC.

Cooper Buswell opened the scoring for Weston on 17 minutes when he slammed home the rebound before Jason Tjien-Fooh doubled the lead just after the hour mark.

Alex Read pulled one back for Maitland two minutes from time but there would be no late comeback.

Elsewhere, Lambton Jaffas remain at the top of the ladder after a 4-1 win over Adamstown Rosebud, with former Melbourne City striker Braedyn Crowley scoring a double.

For all the details from the latest round in the NPL Northern NSW CLICK HERE.

Braedyn Crowley
Braedyn Crowley during his time at Melbourne City

Queensland

Peninsula Power maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the ladder after a professional performance in a 2-0 win over the Magpies Crusaders.

Gold Coast Knights stayed second with a 2-0 win of their own over Moreton Bay, while at the other end of the ladder SWQ Thunder’s first triumph of the campaign was an 8-1 shellacking of Redlands United.

For all details from another high-scoring round of NPL Queensland CLICK HERE.