ROMANS CONQUER W.A., BUT ONLY JUST
The West Australian State eleven had two major engagements during 1966 and emerged from both with flying colours. Against A.S. Roma early in July, W.A. looked as though it might cause the only major upset of the Italian team's tour when the local side led 2-1 with only 20 minutes to go. But greater experience combined with a couple of slices of luck enabled the Romans to score twice in the closing stages and preserve their unbeaten record in Australia with a 4-2 victory in their farewell match. A crowd of nearly 15,000 watched the match at Perry Lakes Stadium, the first appearance by an overseas touring side at the magnificent $2,000,000 stadium, but by no means the last.
Seven weeks after the Roma encounter, W.A's State men were hastily reassembled following 11th-hour negotiations to play a match against Sing Tao, of Hong Kong, who came to Perth ostensibly to meet East Fremantle-Tricolore. This time W.A., without displaying the verve and zest it had shown against Roma, forced a draw through a late goal from centre-forward Johnny van Oosten under the W.A.C.A. Ground floodlights.
On the whole, it was a successful season for W.A.'s State men who no longer are haunted by the debacle of the 14-1 thrashing by Everton in 1964 and who are now starting to develop into a cohesive unit under the capable coaching of Ziggy Pieda. Now one could even be pardoned for thinking that the day might not be far off when W.A. will chalk up their first victory over a visiting overseas team. With floodlights at Perry Lakes and an even greater number of teams visiting Australia - some strong and some not so strong - the prospects of a W.A. success in the international sphere may not be as remote as some imagine.
In the Tricolore-Sing Tao game, played before about 4,000 at Bayswater Oval, a hat-trick by centre-forward Bev Allan was a feature of a thrilling 4-4 draw. Tricolore's players excelled themselves and kept the nippy Orientals under pressure from the start. Leading 4-2 after 12 minutes of the second half, Tricolore had the chance to spoil Sing Tao's hitherto unbeaten record in Australia and New Zealand. But the visiting side's superior fitness told in the end, more evidence, surely, that 100 per cent stamina is a must for any local side - State or club - that takes on professionals from overseas.
In the junior sphere, W.A.'s under-16 lads gave a praiseworthy performance to finish third in the Australian Youth Carnival held in Melbourne. Starting with a 3-1 win over Australian Capital Territory, W.A. then lost by an odd goal to Northern N.S.W. - one of the eventual finalists - and then went down 6-3 to the champion N.S.W. side in a semi-final, being unable to stem an early avalanche of goals.
Details of games against overseas teams in 1966
July 3 - at Ferry Lakes Stadium - A.S. Roma 4 (Da Silva 2, Carpenesi, Musial own goal) v W.A. 2 (Reid, Lukoszek).
W.A. team: Ivanoff, Simpson, Morson, Marchant, Atkinson, Musial; Ireson,Reid, Sobek, Lukoszek, Magennis. Reserves: Norwood, Cairns, Andrioff.
August 21 - at Bayswater Oval - Sing Tao (Hong Kong) 4 (Au Pang Nin 2, Kwong Yin Ying 2) v East Fremantle-Tricolore 4 (Allan 3, Magennis)
August 24 - at W.A.C.A. Ground - Sing Tao 1 (Cheung Chi Doy) v W.A. 1 (van Oosten)
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