By Lance Jenkinson
Home-grown youngster Anthony Duzel played a stellar role in the Melbourne Knights dominant 2-0 win over Dandenong City in the National Premier League on Friday night.
Duzel capped an outstanding performance in the midfield with the game-sealing goal late in the second half.
Post-match, Knights’ coach Micky Colina sung the praises of Duzel for his promising start to the season.
“I’m really happy for him,” Colina said. “He’s worked hard and he’s had quite a few good weeks.
“We’re a young squad and someone like that, who you give an opportunity to from round one, it’s good to see that he’s been effective and influential in the games … and deservedly got himself on the scoresheet with a well worked goal.”
The third-placed Melbourne Knights have been one of the more impressive teams in the opening five rounds. Despite their top-three spot, Colina was wary of the threat Dandenong City presented at Frank Holohan Soccer Complex.
“We highlighted the fact that with these derby games, form can go out the window,” Colina said.
“Where you are on the ladder doesn’t really mean a lot.”
Crucial for the Melbourne Knights was to control the tempo early on.
The Knights did just that, taking the strong home crowd out of it.
While the Knights attacked in waves, it was only a lucky own goal that had them in front at half-time.
Colina was frustrated to see all parts of his team working like clockwork, only to be wasted by some poor finishing.
“If anything, we were disappointed that we weren’t ruthless enough in the first half to really make it a cruisy night,” he said.
“We could’ve been three or four up at half-time. We still managed to control the tempo as much as possible.”
Defensively, the Melbourne Knights were rock solid.
In particular, Nikola Jurkovic, Ayden Brice and Corey Sewell were nigh on impenetrable.
The midfield of the Melbourne Knights was in total command too.
Duzel’s hunger was matched by the endeavour of Tomislav Uskok and Joseph Franjic. Captain Marijan Cvitkovic was influential early, making some nice runs and delivering with precision.
Another young Knight to emerge in the early rounds has been goalkeeper Harry Cakarun.
Cakarun has achieved a clean sheet in his past two games.
“Another young boy, another product of the club that is getting an opportunity,” Colina said. “He’s shown that he can be a player that the club rely on for many years to come and for a player that young, he should think of bigger and better things too.”
Melbourne Knights will host 10th-placed Port Melbourne Sharks at Knights Stadium on Friday night.
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