Sydney FC claimed the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s Premiership, after sharing a goal fest with Western Sydney Wanderers in a 4-4 draw.
It provides Sydney FC with their second trophy of the season following their Club Championship win last weekend.
Down at the bottom, Fraser Park fell to the tail of the Club Championship ladder after North Shore Mariners claimed a 2-1 win over Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
Match of the Round
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
Sydney FC officially won the PlayStation 4 NPL 2 NSW Men’s premiership with an exciting but scrappy four-all draw against arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers at Popondetta Park on Sunday.
The Sky Blues virtually claimed the title last week, leaving Western Sydney’s miniscule title aspirations dependent upon the improbable task of having to beat their old foes by six goals in the season finale. As expected, that mission proved to be impossible.
For the visitors, goalscoring ace Charles Lokolingoy and Juan Zapata grabbed two goals each; while for the Wanderers, Kyle Cimenti grabbed a double, with Keanu Baccus and substitute Matthew Lecce adding the extras.
Lokolingoy shocked the home crowd when he raced onto a long ball and beat Wanderers goalkeeper Matthew Symes after just 42 seconds. Many fans hadn’t even taken their seats at the ground when the big number 12 slotted the ball into the back of the net. The movement may have lacked panache but it was effective, and executed with clinical precision.
The tall, robust striker was at it again a few minutes later when another long ball pierced a hole in the Wanderers defence. But this time Symes was equal to the task, stopping Lokolingoy’s attempt at grabbing his second.
Sydney FC dominated the early stages of the match, with their direct approach and Lokolingoy’s pace and strength proving to be a handful for the Wanderers backline.
In the 16th minute Zapata passed to midfielder Chris Arditti, only to see his effort snuffed out by Wanderers defender Henry Davies. But slowly, the home side began to gather some momentum, striking gold in the 20th minute when the talented Kyle Cimenti struck home a brilliant curling shot that left Sydney FC goalkeeper Mitchell Evans grasping at thin air.
Both sides did their best to play quality football but a combination of fatigue and a bumpy pitch made for a scrappy encounter that had its fair share of ups and downs. Passes went astray and decision making lacked judgment. Shots missed by yards rather than inches, while ball control was at times indecisive and lacking.
But for all that, there were also some inspiring moments. The game meandered along until Sydney FC stopper George Timotheou took off on a great individual run before playing the perfect cutback to Brendan Curtis, whose shot hit the side netting. A fine move but definitely a golden opportunity missed.
In the 32nd minute Sydney FC probably should have taken the lead when Symes couldn’t hold onto a Sydney effort on goal. But unfortunately for the Sky Blues, Zapata couldn’t capitalise on the rebound.
Three minutes later, Keanu Baccus put the Wanderers ahead with a well-timed header, energising Wanderers fans and players alike. But Sydney FC didn’t lie down and in the 38th minute defender Nikola Kuleski tried his luck from long range, only to be denied by Symes.
Indeed it was the Wanderers that went to the break holding a slender 2-1 lead.
The sparring continued in the second half, with Cimenti taking off on a run before shooting wide. Then Sydney FC’s Arditti sent in a tantalising cross, only to see Zuvela’s header clear the bar.
Both teams went close but again it was the direct approach that worked for the visitors, with Lokolingoy outpacing his marker and blasting the equaliser past Symes. By this stage the Wanderers keeper must have been sick of the sight of the robust striker.
But Lokolingoy wasn’t done by a long shot. Two minutes later, he was again in the thick of things, this time initiating some wonderful interplay with William Mutch and Zapata, who slotted home from close range.
But despite being in arrears yet again, Western Sydney came back hard. In the 56th minute Maia showed his class from just outside the box, unleashing a left footer that just breezed over the bar.
Then substitute Jordan Morfitis tried his luck, shooting over the top after some good leadup work. Brenton Fox raced down the right and sent in the perfect low cross for Cimenti, who calmly steered home the equaliser. 3-3.
But the Wanderers fell behind again, with Zapata grabbing his second in the 81st to again give his side the lead. Wanderers sub Matthew Lecce replaced Tariq Maia and with his first touch of the ball, grabbed the equaliser. As the youngster celebrated, the small RBB contingent suddenly found their voice.
But again, there was more to come just a minute shy of fulltime, when Daniel Maskin almost stole the spoils of victory for Sydney FC. The sub’s shot beat Symes but the ball rolled beyond the far post by a whisker.
Should be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming finals series.
Despite the eight-goal extravaganza, Wanderers coach Trevor Morgan said he was disappointed with the quality of the game.
“The goals came from mistakes and not the way we wanted to play,” he said. “The pitch didn’t help but the game certainly wasn’t one that got the crowd going. The tempo of the match was slow and the mistakes were constant so it was a bit disappointing really”.
“Some of the boys were away at national camps with different age-groups last week, which, while they were good experiences for them, proved to be a little bit disruptive and the boys were playing tired.”
Meanwhile, Sydney FC coach Robbie Stanton agreed that the bumpy pitch made life difficult for the players.
“Players struggled to get control of the ball which made things a little bit difficult,” he said. “It created a lot of triggers for players to lose the ball and to win the ball back. We adjusted our structure a little bit today but we’re a bit disappointed to concede goals, but I’m sure the Wanderers feel the same. It was one of those days, it was entertaining and both teams tried to play football but it was difficult to do under those conditions.
“I think we came out of the blocks well. Some of the players were a bit heavy because we’ve had a heavy week and we had to switch on mentally. We started well, our defensive structures were good and while we were loose at times, when we did things well, they worked well”.
Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (Kyle Cimenti 2, Keanu Baccus, Matthew Lecce) v Sydney FC 4 (Charles Lokolingoy 2, Juan Zapata 2)
Sunday 28 August 2016
at Popondetta Park, Emerton
Assistant Referees: J Casey, M Riedy
Western Sydney Wanderers: 18. Matthew Symes 2. Tate Russell (35. Lachlan Campbell 58’) 3. Henry Davies 4. Abdelrahman Kuku 6. Keanu Bacchus 7. Kyle Cimenti 10. Tariq Maia (42. Matthew Lecce 86’) 14. Brenton Fox 15. Ramy Najarrine 19. Malcolm Ward 20. Charles Abou Serhal (16. Jordan Morfitis 58’).
Subs not used: 1. Nicholas Suman, 25. Kosta Grozos
Coach: Trevor Morgan
Yellow Cards: 10. Tariq Maia, 19. Malcolm Ward
Sydney FC: 1. Mitchell Evans 2. Brendan Curtis 3. Patrick Flottman 4. George Timotheou 6. Nikola Kuleski 7. Daniel Araujo 8. Juan Zapata 11. Christopher Arditti 12. Charles Lokolingoy (9. John Iredale 71’) 13. Matthew Green 16. William Mutch (19. Daniel Maskin 63’) 17. Chris Zuvela (10. Andreas Agamemnonos 82’)
Subs not used: 13. Matthew Green, 20. Nicholas Sorras
Coach: Robbie Stanton
Yellow Cards: 7. Daniel Araujo, 2. Brendan Curtis, 12. Charles Lokolingoy
Match of the Round report by Derek Royal
Fraser Park v Bankstown City
There was a shattered Fraser Park team at the end of this tense afternoon, the draw not enough to prevent Fraser from slipping to the bottom of the club championship table.
Slumped to the turf, they could scarcely believe that for all their dramatic turnaround in results during the second half of the season, it had effectively come to nothing.
Heading into the final first grade fixture there was just two points separating Fraser and North Shore Mariners and it was clear that only a win would be enough.
After two minutes, it looked so early to be heading Fraser’s way after Bankstown City’s Chris Gomez handled on the goal line, received a red card and the referee pointed to the spot. Nikola Todoroski kept his nerve and shot the spotkick past Dion Shaw.
But though they received the perfect start, Fraser conceded an equaliser seven minutes later when Todd Halloran rose at the far post to sneak a header between Wayne Estavao and the upright.
Fraser Park tried valiantly for much of the game, but just couldn’t break through for the all important second. Dion Shaw denied Nathan Sansom a couple of times, Jordan Simpson came desperately close, and Ben Vidaic shot just over the bar.
With news filtering through that North Shore Mariners had taken a lead, there was nothing else but for Fraser to drive forward. But the Lions defence kept Fraser at bay, and the final whistle came all too soon.
Fraser Park 1 (Nikola Todoroski 2’ pen) v Bankstown City 1 (Todd Halloran 9’)
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Aleksandar Todoroski (18. Alvaro Malmierca 82’) 8. Zac Ribeiro 14. Nikola Todoroski 15. Jordan Simpson 16. Ben Vidaic 17. Nathan Sansom 20. Jordan Roberts (4. Peter Crevani 65’).
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez 11. Huseyin Jasli 13. Dhari Alsaad (30. Jack Musgrave 38’) 14. Dean Bereveskos 16. Kojiro Hori (4. Mato Lucic 66’) 20. Nicholas Mouzourakis (25. Shayne Ardle 66’) 23. Grant Lynch.
North Shore Mariners v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
They may have left it late but North Shore Mariners snuck in at the death to leapfrog to safety with a 2-1 win over the visiting Mount Druitt Town Rangers, the win taking them over Fraser Park right when it mattered.
It could hardly have been more tense for North Shore who were facing relegation while at 1-1, with a similar scoreline being played across town.
But a penalty, scored by Michael Cole for his second of the match, secured the points, and they were never more badly needed.
North Shore Mariners 2 (Michael Cole 2, 1 pen) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 1 (Abraham Majok)
Marconi v Spirit FC
It has been a sad past few days for Spirit FC and the broader football community with the sudden passing of Technical Director John McLafferty during the week. A minute’s silence preceded the game at Marconi in memory of a fine gentleman whose friendliness and humour touched many.
For Spirit FC, the result on the day was not so important, but rather to play in the spirit that John always desired.
They did that, and got the result too. First half goals to David Mavisa and Brad Gibson, were supplemented by a second half strike to Reuben Agyei-Danso.
Marconi 0 v Spirit FC 3 (David Mavisa 17’, Brad Gibson 18’, Reuben Agyei-Danso 50’)
Referee: James Lewis
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor 4. Simon Valastro 5. Peter Pelekanos 8. Sean Rooney 9. Kenta Hasegawa 14. Petar Markovic 16. Noah Chianese (24. Christopher Godoy-Boscur) 17. Steven Drewery (15. Robert Perre) 18. Brandon Vella 22. Jake Douglas 25. Christian Bozinovski.
Red Card: Simon Valastro 85’
Spirit FC: 51. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham 4. Michael Streeter 5. Andrew Robertson 8. Grant Cornwell (6. Alexander Doyle) 10. Kim Changyu 11. David Mavisa (3. Henry Wells) 13. Philip Reilly 16. Mark McAlpine 18. Brad Gibson (21. Reuben Agywei-Danso) 19. Tom Lovell
Bankstown Berries v St George
Bankstown Berries finished off their season with a win, doing the double over St George with a 4-1 victory.
Jake Bradshaw got the ball rolling for the Berries midway through the first half before Tai Smith doubled the lead five minutes later, for a 2-0 half time score. Gavin Forbes then stretched the lead out to 3-0 just after the hour before Yuta Konagaya pulled one back for the Saints with fifteen minutes to go, for his seventh of the season.
But the three goal buffer was re-established when Bradshaw got his second, with two minutes left on the clock.
Bankstown Berries 4 (Jake Bradshaw 21’, 88’, Tai Smith 26’, Gavin Forbes 57’) v St George 1 (Yuta Konagaya 73’)
Referee: Katie Patterson
Bankstown Berries: 1. Tonu Liiband 2. Andrew Vitucci 3. Daniel Di Ruocco 4. Alex Becerra 6. Perry Fotakopoulos (27. Nathan Rayner) 7. Kyle Ewart 9. Gavin Forbes (29. Terry Bradshaw) 11. Tai Smith (30. Travis Ornelas) 15. Mat thew Trotter 16. Hyams Tomohiro 18. Jake Bradshaw.
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine 4. Johnathan Kontalis (26. Tayfun Buyukkopru) 5. Billy Darwich 6. Reuben Lagos 9. Stevan Ilic (11. Wassim Hijazi) 10. Bruno Pivato 13. Peter Vassilis 16. Thomas Menton 18. Yuta Konagaya 19. Dimitri Zakilas.
Northern Tigers v Central Coast Mariners
A hatrick to Liam McConaghy highlighted the afternoon at Valentine Park as Northern Tigers and Central Coast Mariners shared six goals and the points to finish off their respective seasons.
A goal in the first half and a double in the second took McConaghy’s tally to eleven for the year, while the point for the Tigers ensures a top half finish.
The Mariners kept pace throughout and scored through Shelford Dais, Jordan Lane and Liam Rose.
Northern Tigers 3 (Liam McConaghy 3) v Central Coast Mariners 3 (Shelford Dais, Jordan Lane, Liam Rose)
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Northern Tigers: 1. Matthew Nemes 2. Russell Farrell (14. Julian Lim) 4. Michael Rolston 6. Paul Davies 7. Joel Hardwick (12. Braden Cheng) 9. Liam McConaghy 10. Lucas Dawson (13. Jun Arima) 11. Mitchell Smith 15. Josh Ward 16. Steven Baveas 19. Alexander Brown.
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Adam Pearce 2. Cade Mapu 5. Jordan Lane (11. Christopher Hurley) 6. Liam O’Dell 8. Liam Rose 9. Shelford Dais 10. Ryan Peterson 12. Trent Buhagiar 13. Thomas Lyons (4. Sean Pratt) 14. Nathan Verity 18. Steve Whyte.
Macarthur Rams v Mounties Wanderers
Macarthur Rams finished their year on a high with an impressive 4-1 victory over finals bound Mounties Wanderers.
A double to Yotaro Hagiwara and one each to Elsid Barkhousir and Ben Cornish set the Rams on the path to victory with Mounties’ sole reply coming from George Codrea.
The win lifted Macarthur into eighth, with Barkhousir finishing as the Rams’ top scorer with eleven.
Macarthur Rams (Yotaro Hagiwara 2, Elsid Barkhousir, Ben Cornish) v Mounties Wanderers 1 (George Codrea)
Source FNSW - by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter