The sons' of Club Italia's George Molnar and John Esposito shone brightly in the latest edition of the Aldo Cuccurullo Memorial Trophy match in Nelson.
by David Da Vanzo
The annual Aldo Cuccurullo Cup football match was played out over Labour weekend in Wellington. The venue for the game was Te Whaea park, the new artificial pitch by the Wellington Show Buildings, and proved to be a wonderful surface on which to play a game of football. The game started at a high tempo, with both sides looking to attack in the knowledge that a drawn result would lead to a penalty shoot-out (thanks to a foolish change in the rules initiated by the writer after last year's game!).
Club Italia opened the scoring with a nicely placed lob over our keeper. While there was no panic in Club Garibaldi ranks, there was a noticeable lift in urgency, and our increased efforts led to a wonderful, headed equalizing goal from Paul Scoringe. We dominated proceedings for a time after the goal, and were rewarded with another goal before halftime, when a neat interchange in the Club Italia goal-box between Tom Kelly and Luciano Colucci, led to a brilliantly taken goal by Luciano Colucci. The second half carried on in the same vein as the first, with both sides playing with speed and purpose. It was apparent that Club Italia were not going to lose without a fight, and they pushed forward in search of a levelling goal. The equaliser eventually came, when Joe Lupi pounced onto a through ball, and thundered the ball into the far corner with the outside of his boot.
With the game level at two-all, a penalty shootout beckoned, and despite the best efforts of both sides to force a result in normal time, a penalty shootout duly eventuated. Both sides proceeded to convert their penalties with composure and decisiveness, until the Club Italia keeper made a good save to repel one of our kicks. The task of winning the shoot-out then fell on P.J. Lupi, who buried it with aplomb, and sent the Club Italia players and supporters into raptures, as Club Italia had reclaimed the Cup after 5 years of unsuccessful challenges.
A wonderful dinner followed the game at the Garibaldi Club, and both sides celebrated what had been an epic clash. Thank you to Maria Colucci for all her work in making the weekend run so smoothly, and to Club Garibaldi for generously supporting the event. We may have lost the Cup this year, but as Club Garibaldi President, Ginette Toscano Page, so humorously put it, "it was Club Italia's turn to polish it anyway!"
Antonio e Luisa Cacace Fondatori Della Bella Italia in New Zealand
Antonio and Luisa Cacace Founders of La Bella Italia in New Zealand
Are proud to sponsor the Club Garibaldi website.
Joe and Gino Cuccurullo
Founders of Mediterranean Foods