MANLY United came and conquered as they caused the upset of the round, twice coming from behind to beat highly fancied Sydney United 58 FC 5-3 in a thrilling match at Sydney United Sports Centre.
Brendan Cholakian was the chief destroyer for the northern beaches side, scoring an impressive hat-trick within 46 minutes before strikes to Bastien Beuchat and Jamie Lobb completed the rout.
Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic was looking on in the stands, and United 58 looked in fine form early and did not seem to be a side about to suffer their second loss in as many weeks.
Inside the first three minutes United 58 created their first opportunity. After great lead up play, right back Daniel Dragicevic found space in the box, before snapping his shot wide of the mark.
The early chance seemed to awaken Manly United as they quickly took control of the possession pinning the Reds in their own half. Their first chance came in the 7th minute when Cholakian’s free kick from wide on the right curled over three attackers but out for a goal kick.
Despite sitting back for a large period Sydney United 58 took the lead three minutes later. Left winger Robbie Mileski delivered a pin point cross to the feet of Panni Nikas with the midfielder cutting back across the face of goal to Richie Cardozo, who volleyed the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
United 58 had their tails up and five minutes later almost made it two when captain Ibrahim Haydar rose well to head just wide of the right hand upright.
Former Sydney FC striker Chris Payne tried to get his side back in the game but a great strike in the 24th minute sailed wide.
Cholakian then took it upon himself to beat three defenders on the byline in the 28th minute before cutting the ball back to an oncoming Payne on the edge of the box only for the striker to skew his left footed shot.
The tide had definitely turned and the tricky winger made no mistake one minute later when he brought the scores level. Cholakian picked up the ball in the middle of the park, beat three defenders easily before curling his shot past a diving Jayden Diacono to make it 1-1.
Sydney United 58 was unlucky to not get their lead back in the 40th minute after Mileski went on a mazy run before putting Dragicevic on goal. The defender took a touch before blasting his shot over Manly keeper Tonu Liiband but not past the cross bar, as the ball cannoned back into play before it was cleared.
The home fans didn’t have to wait too much longer with United taking the lead for a second time in the 44th minute. After being fouled by Payne 20 yards out, Nikas dusted himself off to curl his free kick over the wall with a diving Liiband touching the ball into the net to make it 2-1.
The lead barely lasted three minutes, as Cholakian brought the scores level for a second time. As the Reds moved forward in numbers, Manly countered with pace via Daniel Saric on the right hand who sent in a stinging cross. Diacono dived forward to parry the ball into the path of Cholakian who took a composing touch before finding the bottom left hand corner.
Manly United took the lead for the first time within the first minute of the second half as Cholakian completed his hat trick. After picking the ball up in the middle of the park, the speedster left Diacono red faced again as his shot went right through the gloves of the young goalkeeper.
Diacono had his attacking trio to thank in the 52nd minute as United 58 equalised. Mileski sent in another teasing cross into the box with the outside of his boot towards Nikas with the attacking midfielder dummying for Cardozo to score his second and his side’s third.
The end to end action didn’t end there, as Manly immediately went to the other end of the pitch to score their fourth. This time Sydney United 58 failed to clear a corner and with Diacono sprawling, Bastian Beuchat volleyed the ball into the back of the net in the 58th minute. The lead however came at a cost with Beuchat injuring himself in the process. He was replaced by Bradley McDonald.
Manly continued the onslaught and took a two goal lead through Jamie Lobb in the 69th minute. The centre back moved forward to pick up the ball before his 30 yard shot crept into the bottom right hand corner.
United 58 would not give up and they believed they were hard done by in the 82nd minute when Nikas looked to have been pulled down in the box after two blocked attempts, but referee Katie Patterson waved away the penalty calls.
Following the match Manly United coach Paul Dee said his side’s performance was one of the best he has seen this season.
“This is a tough road trip to come to United, they are a tough team that is well coached so it is good to come away with a win,” Dee said.
“We came here with a plan and we didn’t want to sit back and absorb pressure, we wanted to apply pressure where we could and I think the score line reflects that.
“I just thought it was a good free flowing game, there were chances for both teams and entertaining to watch.”
Dee made special mention of Cholakian who he believes could make the step up to a higher level.
“He is a really gifted player and has ball skills that rival anyone in this competition and even the next competition higher,” he said.
“He is an exceptional talent and he performed really well for us today.”
In the home dressing room Sydney United 58 head coach Mark Rudan was disappointed with the result.
“The expectations at this club and everyone that plays against you treats it like a grand final which is what has happened in the last two games against both Rockdale and Manly. They treated it like they picked up some sort of silverware,” he said.
“That’s what comes with the biggest club in the competition. The goal just before and then after half time put a dent into us.” Match Stats Sunday May 10, 2015 Referee: Katie Patterson Sydney United 58 FC: Diacono, Cardozo, Dragicevic, Haydar (C), Kofinas, Mileski, Nikas, Paric, Tomic (Bilic 57’), Triantis (Bosma 63’), Zuvela (Tomelic 48’) Manly United: Liiband, Beuchat (McDonald 60’), Bragg (Kuleski 83’), Cholakian, Lobb, Oughtred, Parkhouse, Payne (Forbes 89’), Paull, Saric, Williams Player ratings: – by Chris Georges, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 will face Men’s State League 1 side Prospect United this Wednesday evening at Edensor Park with the winner progressing to the round of the 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup.
Sydney United 58 FC 3 (Cardozo 10’, 52’, Nikas 44’)
Manly United 5 (Cholakian 29’, 45+2’, 46’, Beuchat 58’, Lobb 69’)
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Assistant referees: Seb Brennan and Raymond Osborne
Fourth official: Adam Vainauskas
Substitutes not used: Babic, Cindric
Yellow cards: Mileski 18’, Paric 62’, Tomelic 79’, Kofinas 85’
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, Pandurevic
Yellow Cards: Payne 43’
3- Cholakian (MU)
2- Nikas (SU58)
1- Mileski (SU58)
Sunday May 10, 2015
Referee: Katie Patterson
Sydney United 58 FC: Diacono, Cardozo, Dragicevic, Haydar (C), Kofinas, Mileski, Nikas, Paric, Tomic (Bilic 57’), Triantis (Bosma 63’), Zuvela (Tomelic 48’)
Manly United: Liiband, Beuchat (McDonald 60’), Bragg (Kuleski 83’), Cholakian, Lobb, Oughtred, Parkhouse, Payne (Forbes 89’), Paull, Saric, Williams
– by Chris Georges, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Sydney United Sports Centre