Football showdown: Why Pride's duel with City so important
FOOTBALL: After watching his team end its winning run, Western Pride coach Reg Davani welcomes a showdown with Brisbane City before the finals.
Last night's 2-1 state league loss to Redlands United left Western Pride at risk of losing a home semi-final it was on target to host.
Pride need to beat City in Brisbane this weekend to have any chance of reclaiming second spot and a home semi-final.
"We'll regroup,'' Davani said.
"It's good to play a team like City before finals because it will be a good hitout and I'm sure the boys will step up for it next Saturday.''
Defending grand final champions Pride had won five National Premier League matches in a row before going down to relegation-threatened Redlands at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
With experienced trio Cam-eron Crestani, Will McFarlane and Jacob Minett out completing suspensions, Pride failed to capitalise on their shots before conceding two goals in a five minute period in the second half.
"It wasn't a good night,'' Davani said.
"We were a bit undermanned but we just didn't turn up at the start.''
Although Pride addressed some issues at halftime and played better in the second half, they were unable to finish with their usual goal-scoring flurry.
"It was really more just getting the balance right in the midfield,'' Davani said.
Davani said his team created enough chances and the goals Pride conceded were "avoidable''.
Pride's only reward was an own goal that came when Alex Parson's shot was deflected in off a Redlands player.
"We should have won that game,'' Davani said.
However, the Pride coach was pleased to see the club's under-20 coach Jordan Manning make his senior team debut at centre back.
Goalkeeper Justin Weier also performed well having replaced regular custodian Max Davison, who is out for the season with injury.
Pride's loss leaves them in a battle for second spot with Olympic, their semi-final opponents in a fortnight.
Davani expected his team to rebound strongly this weekend, especially with Crestani, McFarlane and Minett back.
"For me, maybe a loss was a good thing to shake things up a bit in terms of us as a group,'' he said.
The Western Pride women went down 6-2 to Lions in their latest NPL match.
In other weekend results, the Ipswich Knights drew 1-1 with Wolves in their second last match of the Football Queensland Premier League season.
The Ipswich City Bulls are also playing for Pride after drawing 2-2 with St George Willawong on Friday night.
Western Spirit lost 3-0 to Toowong on Saturday night as they prepare to wind up their season.
State of play
NPL: Redlands United 2 def Western Pride 1 (own goal).
NPL women: Lions 6 def Western Pride 2 (Maddie Hartwig, Sophie Weatherby).
FQPL: Ipswich Knights 1 (Milan Sekulic) drew Wolves 1.
CL1: Ipswich City drew St George Willawong 2-2; Toowong def Western Spirit 3-0.