LAMBERT Park in Leichhardt hosted the round seven clash of the IGA National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 between APIA-Leichhardt Tigers and Rockdale City Suns which ended scoreless after a hard-fought clash.
The match was officiated by Giuseppe Repace from Umbria in Italy who is here in Australia on an exchange program and in the 17’ minute the official sent off goalkeeper Tomislav Arcaba because he was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area. On the advice of the assistant referee, Rockdale City’s ‘keeper took an early shower.
On came reserve keeper David Bradasevic and Tony Lo was sacrificed as the visitors went down to ten players.
In the 24’ minute Matthew Mayora had the best chance of the first half when he ran clear and tried to chip the new goalkeeper Bradasevic who brilliantly turned it away for a corner.
In the 29’minute a delightful free-kick from the ever skilful Franco Parisi reached Marc Warren in the box who headed the ball into the side netting for the Tigers.
In the 33’ minute a corner reached Michael West who headed just wide of the crossbar and in the 41’ minute Matthew Castelnuovo received the ball square from the left and fired a shot that ended up just wide of the intended target.
Rockdale City Suns resisted and went into the break even with the Tigers but the second half was a different story and perhaps the visitors could have even sneaked a victory.
In the second half Mayora fired over the crossbar from just outside the box in the 52’ minute of play as the Tigers looked set to continue their dominance before Rockdale came back strongly indeed.
In the 68’ Takuya Murayama charged dangerously into the box for the visitors and, unfortunately, rushed his shot and sent the ball over the crossbar when he could have taken an option to find one of the two unmarked teammates who were clearly in a better position to fire home.
APIA replied immediately with a lovely cross by David D’Apuzzo from the left which was neatly turned away by a diving Bradasevic and in the 70’ minute Warren fired agonisingly over the crossbar for the Tigers. They were close chances for the Tigers.
In the 72’ minute Nikola Taneski, against his former club, won the ball neatly and then stabbed his shot just over Andrew Bazi’s net. It was the closest the Suns had been all game.
In the 76’ minute Taneski then created a brilliant chance when he galloped through space and found Daniel Barac who fired a rocket that was delightfully saved by Bazi coming off his line.
In the 85’ minute Bradley McDonald unleashed a rocket from outside the box which sailed just over the crossbar and this was to be the last chance of the game.
After the game both coaches were full of praise for their respective sides and rightly so they were both feeling somewhat unlucky not to have secured maximum points.
Billy McColl of the APIA-Leichhardt Tigers commented: “Disappointed – playing at home against ten men, but until we put the ball in the back of the net, we’re going to either draw or lose,” he said.
“As I said to the boys at the end, I was very happy with the individual performances in the team, we were structured but we did have to put the ball in the back of the net and then you get the three points.
“Rockdale is a very good team and every game is hard but we are looking forward to the challenge of Bonnyrigg next week where we are hopefully going to win,” he said with a smile.
His counterpart, the experienced Branko Culina, was also very pleased with his team.
“We had clear chances even though they had possession which is normal in a situation like this but we certainly wanted to win,” he said.
“I am disappointed that we dropped two points today because it was an extra two points that we expected.
“We were still closer to winning than they were. APIA is definitely not a bad side and they keep buying players. I watched them last week against Olympic and they were in the game for a long, long time.
“It is difficult when you play almost 80 minutes, when you take the extra time into consideration, with ten men but I am still very proud of our players,” he concluded.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Rockdale City Suns 0
Saturday, April 26th, 2014
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Giuseppe Repace
Assistant referees: Lance Greenshields, James Tesoriero
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers: 21.Andrew Bazi; 2.Travis Oughtred, 3.Jamie Lobb, 5.Michael West, 6.Marc Warren (7.Stephen Kayes 73’), 8.Bradley McDonald, 10.Franco Parisi (14.Blake Powell 66’), 12.Daniel Bragg, 13.David D’Apuzzo, 15.Matthew Mayora, 17.Matthew Castelnuovo.
Subs not used: 1.Stefan Giglio, 18.Blade Richards, 20.Ali Nasreddine
Yellow Cards: David D’Apuzzo 70’
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Tomislav Arcaba; 3.Steven Hesketh, 4.Sean Symons (16. Daniel Barac 64’), 5.Paul Reid, 6.Takuya Murayama, 8.Paul Kohler, 9.Tadhg Purcell (17.Hristijan Tanoski 83’), 11.Nikola Taneski, 12.Idriss El Hafiane, 20.Tony Lo (24.David Bradasevic 17’), 23.Askin Oygur
Subs not used: 13.Ben Cornish, 14.Joshua Da Silva
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Tomislav Arcaba 17’
3- Nikola Taneski (RCS)
2- Marc Warren (ALT)
1- Paul Reid (RCS)
– By Joe Russo, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Lambert Park