It was Rockdale City Suns’ new recruit Daniel Barac’s day.
Rockdale City Suns were dominant in the IGA Preseason Cup Final and Barac was the star.
Suns won 3-2, but it could have been many more as they outplayed a strangely flat Blacktown Spartans from start to finish.
Barac’s two goals were the highlights, and were it not for a typically outstanding performance from Carlos Saliadarre in the Spartans goal, the scoreline would have had an even more lopsided look.
Tadhg Purcell was excellent up front and scored a goal of his own in the second half, after a manic few minutes in which Barac scored his second and Elsid Barkhousir scored for Spartans.
Jacob Ott scored a late consolation goal for Spartans but it only served to make the scoreline closer than it looked.
It started as early as the seventh minute, when Tadgh Purcell, Rockdale’s new number 9, broke down the inside channel before unleashing a shot that flew across the face of goal.
It was a warning sign but one that wasn’t heeded by Spartans.
Two minutes later Toufic Alamaeddine, 2013’s Grade 20s Player of the Season whipped a free kick that Saliadarre athletically touched away.
Right on the quarter of an hour, Barac scored his first.
An inch perfect through ball from Purcell found Alameddine whose cross was turned goalwards by Idriss El Hafiane.
Saliadarre made a sharp save, but Barac was on hand to turn the ball home.
Spartans couldn’t get a foothold in the game, but they did have a shot when Emmanuel Giannaros found his way through to goal, only for David Bradesevic to make a good block save from a tight angle.
A manic opening to the second half provided the bulk of the highlights, with Barac’s second goal nearly breaking the net as he rifled in the rebound after Saliadarre denied Alameddine.
A minute later though, Elsid Barkhousir pulled one back for Spartans, giving them hope of a comeback.
It was poor defending from Suns, but in attack they were potent.
Purcell scored their third in the 51′ minute after a lightning break saw him race onto a through ball from El Hafiane.
Purcell made no mistake with a tidy finish.
Ott scored in the 86′ minute to pull one back from Spartans and for the first time in the match they sensed that they could take the game to Suns.
A late onslaught promised much, but delivered nothing as Suns held on through stoppage time to claim the 2014 IGA Preseason Cup, a much deserved first piece of silverware since their return to the top division.
Victorious captain Askin Oygur was delighted with the club’s first piece of silverware as he and his chargers looked forward to the season ahead.
“It was a great Preseason Cup run for the team.
“They all gelled well and did their bit in what was a great hit-out for everyone.
“It was a good result for us today against a good Spartans squad but now we are focused for our round one match up against the Bonnyrigg White Eagles.”
Rockdale City Suns 3 (Daniel Barac 15′, 47′, Tadhg Purcell 51′)
Blacktown Spartans 2 (Elsid Barkhousir 48′, Jacob Ott 86′)
Sunday 9th March, 2014
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields and Craig Fisher
Fourth Official: Chris Young
Rockdale City Suns: 22.David Bradesevic; 3.Steven Hesketh, 6.Takuya Murayama, 7.Toufic Alameddine, 8.Paul Kohler, 9.Tadhg Purcell; 12.Idriss El Hafiane, 13.Ben Cornish, 16.Daniel Barac, 21.Patrick Savor, 23.Askin Oygur (C)
Interchange: 5.Paul Reid, 17.Hristijan Tanoski, 18.Seung Woo, 19.Tony Lo, 20.Nicholas Petrillo
Yellow Cards: Tadgh Purcell 62′
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown Spartans: 1.Carlos Saliadarre; 3.Nathan Millgate, 4.Brett Studman, 5.Luka Dukic, 8.Raymond Miller, 9.Elsid Barkhousir, 11.David Gullo, 13.Corey Biczo, 14.Jacob Ott, 15.Kingsley Williams, 17.Kieran Dalton,
Interchange: 6.Greg Kondek, 7.Phil Makrys, 10.Emmanuel Giannaros, 19.Reid Taylor, 20.Tomislav Cirjak
Yellow Cards: Phil Makrys 44′, Luka Dukic 90′
Red Cards: Nil
-By Matthew Lopez