IT WAS billed as the real Sydney derby and it certainly delivered.
Led by the brilliance of Panni Nikas, Sydney United 58 secured a hard fought 3-0 victory against Sydney Olympic.
The action at Sydney United Sports Centre could be described as nothing less than no holds barred.
Competition points were at a premium with both teams at the top end of the table.
Sydney United 58 went on the front foot early as they pushed attack after attack through the flanks.
Robbie Mileski and Chris Triantis pressured the Olympic defence with crosses into the box.
However it was the scheming of Nikas which was causing the most trouble for the visitors, and fittingly it was he who broke the deadlock.
The midfielder hammered home from the penalty spot to give United a 1-0 lead.
The battle in midfield went to a new level after the first goal.
Olympic had its first true chance of the game in the 30th minute when Will Angel broke free of the defence.
However with only the goal keeper to beat, Angel failed to capitalise when he sent his shot into the side of the net.
On the cusp of halftime a moment of Nikas brilliance changed the game.
Finding the ball 25 yards from goal, the former North Queensland Fury star let rip with a sublime shot that beat Olympic keeper Paul Henderson.
It was the perfect confidence booster for Mark Rudan’s team as they went into the sheds with a 2-0 lead.
United went into the second half determined to build on its brilliant first stanza but were met with extra resistance from Olympic.
Defensively the Belmore side was better organised as United struggled to break down its opponents.
Scott Balderson was a constant presence up front for Olympic and was unlucky not to challenge United keeper Justin Pasfield with more regularity.
On the 80th minute some Nikas brilliance once again turned the game.
Breaking down the right flank, Nikas delivered a perfect cross at the feet of Chris Triantis who converted with a careful tap in from three metres out.
Sydney Olympic attempted a final push as the clock wound down but it was too little too late.
Sydney United 58 FC 3 (Nikas 24’, 45’, Triantis 80’)
Sydney Olympic FC 0
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Clark & Raymond Osborne
Fourth Official: Karl Davies
Sydney United 58 FC: Pasfield; Bilic Cardozo, Giannaros (Sherlock 78’), Haydar, Kofinas, Mileski, Nikas, Paric, Triantis (Bosma 86’), Zuvela (Stamatellis 83’)
Substitutes not used: Dragicevic, Makrys
Yellow Cards: Giannaros 19’, Mileski 29’, Cardozo 71, Haydar 90
Sydney Olympic: Henderson; Angel (Gaitatzis 60’), Balderson, Hatzimouratis (Egger 78’) Hooper, Markovic, Shirai, Soeda, Sorge, Spyrakis (Keir 70’), Tsattalios
Substitutes not used: Madonis, Sadaka
Yellow Cards: Balderson 23’,
3 – Panni Nikas (Syd Utd 58)
2 – Chris Triantis (Syd Utd 58)
1 – Ibrahim Haydar (Syd Utd 58)