A youthful SYDNEY United 58 showed composure away from home, coming from behind to record a strong 4-2 over Blacktown Spartans.
It was a cool crisp night in Sydney’s west and both sides started strongly, with corners traded in the opening 20 minutes, but neither side could make the most of the chances. The game continued at a frantic pace.
Sydney United 58 scored the opening goal in the 25th minute after the ball bounced around half-a-dozen legs in the 18 yard box before finding the back of the net, with Robert Mileski claiming the goal.
The joy would be short lived however, as Blacktown Spartans responded immediately, netting just 30 seconds after the restart thanks to Fuya Nakamura.
Blacktown then dominated the closing stages of the first half, eventually taking a 2-1 lead through a goal from the competition’s in-form attacker and Japanese import Shu Sasaki.
The home crowd could sense their team gaining momentum but the score remained the same as the teams headed to the break.
The second half began with high drama as Spartan’s Simon Valastro gave away a penalty in the 46th minute.
Sydney United 58’s Ante Tomic stepped up to the mark, and made no mistake, and slotting home the equaliser.
The away side then found themselves in front in the 54th minute when Stjepan Paric struck from the left side of the field, giving his side the lead for the first time in the match.
The left side of Sydney United 58 started to dominate the game as they continually attacked the Spartan defence.
The game intensified and and with that came some sloppy defending and some niggling fouls.
Spartans could have levelled when a glorious Douglas Cross ball into the box presented Shu Sasaki with the chance for 3-3, but his shot was wide of the target.
All hope was extinguished when Sydney United 58 substitute Chris Zuvela scored in the dying moments to seal victory, and send the home crowd away disappointed.
Spartans’ captain Carlos Saliadarre was disappointed with the loss and said it was a physical game.
“It was a real battle from start to finish. There were a couple of chances we created that we really should have taken," he said.
"They hit us early [in the second half] and they gained momentum then and it was really hard to get it back. We have to fix defensively.”
On the other hand, Sydney united 58 coach Mark Rudan was pleased with his side’s performance.
“It was a much better second half performance than the first half performance. It’s never easy coming to a place like this. The boys take full credit for turning the game around," Rudan said.
“It’s never good to concede straight after you score, but… they’re little mistakes we have to take out of our game and we will get better. We had a lot of young boys out there today and they did extremely well, I was very proud of them.”
Sydney United 58 4 (Mileski 25’ Tomic 46’ Paric 54’ Zuvela 89’)
Blacktown Spartans 2 (Nakamura 25’ Sasaki 35’)
Saturday March 28, 2015
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields, Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: David Haslett
Blacktown Spartans: Saliadarre (C); Crighton, Tomohiro, Valastro, Quigley, Da Silva (Douglas 18′), Fogarty (Kondek), Long, Nakamura, Sasaki, Tosi
Substitutes not used: Nascimben, Carluccio, Andricopoulos
Yellow cards: Fogarty 42’, Sasaki 55’, Long 73’, Quigley 77’
Sydney United 58: Pasfield; Camera, Cindric (Proia), Haydar (C), Kofinas, Mileski, Paric, Stavroulakis, Tomelic, Tomic (Zuvela), Vlasmis
Substitutes not used: McGing, Bilic, Diacono
Yellow Cards: Kofinas 86’, Pasfield 87’
3- Tomic (SU)
2- Sasaki (BS)
1- Paric (SU)
– by Harry Easton, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Blacktown Sports Park