Blacktown City FC secured their spot in the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Grade 20s Grand Final with a 3-1 win over Marconi Stallions last weekend but their opponent in that match is yet to be determined.
The Stallions and Sydney Olympic face off at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon with a place in next week’s decider at Leichhardt Oval at stake.
Marconi Stallions FC v Sydney Olympic FC, 1pm at Lilys Football Centre
A week after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Premiers Blacktown City FC in the major semi final, Marconi Stallions return to Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon to take on Sydney Olympic in the preliminary final; the last chance for either side to qualify for next week’s decider at Leichhardt Oval.
The Stallions struggled against the pace of Juan Zapata and strength of striker Jonathan Grozdanovski in their defeat to Blacktown, and Marconi defenders will busy again when dealing with Olympic’s James Andrew and Adrian Vranic, who have consistently performed throughout the back half of the season to help their team to the brink of a grand final.
Vranic in particular has been in remarkable form over the past fortnight, scoring a hattrick in each of Olympic’s victories over Sydney United 58 and Sutherland Sharks in the elimination semi final and minor semi final respectively.
Olympic hit five past the Sharks in that match at Sydney United Sports Centre last weekend; the seventh time in their last eight matches that they’ve scored more than three goals in a game. Their opponents on Sunday, Marconi, endured a slightly more difficult end to the regular season, dropping points to Sydney United 58, Blacktown City and Olympic to finish second before edging a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Sutherland Sharks in their preliminary semi final two weeks ago.
These sides were largely matched throughout the season: Marconi finished two points and two places above fourth-placed Olympic in second, while both sides traded victories away from home during the regular season; Marconi secured a narrow 1-0 win at Valentine Sports Park back in April, and Olympic returned the favour with a 3-0 defeat of the Stallions at Marconi Stadium in mid-July.
– By Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter