The Playstation 4 Victory League kicked off with a bang on Friday night, with Hobart Jeep Zebras upsetting reigning Champions South Hobart 2-0 in front of a strong crowd of over 600 fans at KGV Football Park.
It was a game of two halves, with the Zebras shocking their fierce rivals with a two goal second half securing them all three points in the first match of the 2015 season.
South Hobart dominated the opening half but failed to make the Zebras pay with the new-look Zebras defence forcing long shots from the Champions, seeing just one of their 11 first half shots fired on target.
South Hobart should have opened the scoring through Harrison Thomas in the 20th minute, with the best chance of the opening half, Thomas scuffed a golden opportunity wide to the right following some superb service from Chris Hunt, who put it on a platter for the midfielder to finish off after robbing Zebras defender Tyler Harrison of the ball inside his box.
Chris Hey made two masterstroke changes at half time that ultimately went a long way to winning the game for the Zebras. Hey introduced fullback Mattias Toghill into the game, freeing up Kurt Engels in attack, the Zebras boss also introduced Engels’ brother Ethan, who proved a match winner, playing a part in both of the goals.
The changes had an almost immediate impact for Hey, with Ethan Engels netting a well taken instinctive reflex finish into the bottom right, finishing off a goal ward header from Adam McKeown from a deep corner.
South Hobart looked to have struck back through back to back golden boot winner Brayden Mann, with the sharpshooter expertly nodding home a ball over an approaching Graham Wright, but his celebrations were halted with the South Hobart spearhead ruled offside.
With South Hobart chasing the game, Zebras goal sneak Ethan Engels backed up his goal with an assist in the 83rd minute, with Adam McKeown finishing a follow up with a diving header after Engels fired off a dipping drive that forced a stellar diving save from South’s ‘keeper Kane Pierce.
The result sees Zebras shoot to the top of the table for at least a night with three matches to come tomorrow and it leaves South Hobart in the unusual position of point-less after the opening round with a road trip to Valley Road to face Devonport awaiting them next round.
FULL TIME: South Hobart 0 defeated by Hobart Jeep Zebras 2 (E. Engels 53′, McKeown 83′)