VPL 2 Men Match Report: Goals galore in 3-3 draw with Essendon Royals

Wembley Park was ablaze with anticipation as Box Hill United FC clashed with Essendon Royals SC in a highly-anticipated VPL 2 encounter, captivating fans from start to finish in a gripping 3-3 draw.

The atmosphere crackled with excitement as Box Hill’s faithful filled the stands, ready to rally behind their beloved team. Captain Michael Romas, sporting the iconic number 7 jersey, led his squad onto the pitch, radiating confidence and determination.

In the pre-match huddle, Romas’ words of encouragement reverberated, instilling belief and unity among his teammates. On the sidelines, supporters roared with anticipation, eager to witness the spectacle unfold.

Pythagoras in the huddle pre-match.

From the opening whistle, Box Hill surged forward with intent, determined to seize control of the game. Essendon Royals, however, proved to be a resilient adversary, putting up strong defensive plays against Box Hill’s relentless attacks.

Despite the Royals’ resistance, Box Hill’s Ryo Okamoto showcased his attacking prowess with daring runs into enemy territory. Meanwhile, Anthony Rizk anchored the defence with poise and determination, thwarting any threat posed by the opposition.

Just after the half hour mark, Essendon Royals struck first, capitalising on a defensive lapse to take the lead. Yet, Box Hill refused to falter, responding swiftly to the setback. Seven minutes later, amidst a chaotic penalty box scramble, Ryo Okamoto rose above the fray to nod home a thunderous header, igniting the crowd as Box Hill drew level.

Moments before halftime, Anthony Rizk displayed impeccable timing and vigilance, pouncing on a rebound to slot home from close range, propelling Box Hill into a 2-1 lead.

Both teams poured forward in search of a decisive goal, thrilling spectators with end-to-end action. Box Hill were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box, where captain Michael Romas stepped up to take the spot-kick. He unfortunately missed, denying Box Hill a chance to go ahead further.

Encouraged by their first-half resurgence, Box Hill emerged from the break with renewed determination, eager to extend their advantage. 10 minutes into the second half, Rhys Jones showcased his clinical finishing, capitalising on a precise cross to extend Box Hill’s lead to 3-1 with a clean finish into the bottom left corner. 

The Royals refused to surrender, mounting a spirited fightback to claw their way back into contention. Midway through the second half they found their breakthrough, narrowing the deficit and setting the stage for a tense finale.

In the dying moments of the game, Essendon Royals capitalised on a late chance to snatch an equaliser, ensuring the spoils were shared in a dramatic 3-3 draw.

Despite the disappointment of not securing victory, Pythagoras could take pride in their resilient performance and unwavering spirit. As the players left the field, heads held high, they carried with them the knowledge that they had fought valiantly until the final whistle.

With lessons learned and strengths showcased, Pythagoras will regroup and prepare for their next challenge in the next matchday. 


Match details:

Box Hill United 3 (Okamoto 38′, Rizk 44′, Jones 52′) – Essendon Royals 3 (Guzzardi 32′, Kelly 63′ 89′)


Written by Gareth Poon

Images credit: Passion Creations