Eighteen goals flew in across five matches as Round One of the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition began over the weekend.
The Match of the Round saw Blacktown Spartans host Parramatta FC in an enthralling encounter at Blacktown Football Park.
Match of the Round – Blacktown Spartans 4-3 Parramatta FC, Saturday 5pm at Blacktown Football Park
The PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 season opened in exhilarating style as Blacktown Spartans came from behind against Parramatta FC to win a 4-3 thriller at Blacktown Football Park.
A long distance special from Blacktown midfielder Adrian Epifanino minutes before stoppage time turned out to be the winner for Samuel Jacob’s men in a topsy-turvy affair that included six second-half goals.
Parramatta fought back from 1-0 down at the interval to take the lead midway through the second half thanks to a well-taken brace from Nicholas Chymiak and a goal from Alex Boyadijan, but late goals from Leyton Hinton and Epifanino ensured Blacktown began the new campaign with three points.
An energetic opening from both sides set the tone for a physical and fast-paced affair.
The home side made the breakthrough after the ten minute mark when Michael Konestabo’s cross was met by a sensational glancing header from Alex Mooy – brother of Melbourne City and Socceroos star Aaron.
Parramatta grew back into the match on the back of some eye-catching individual flair from Matias Da Silva Santos who teased the Blacktown rear-guard with his trickery.
The visitors created several chances in the first half with Da Silva Santos scampering across the final third but Domenic Nascimben remained largely untested in the Blacktown net, but for one exceptional reaction save to deny forward Alex Boyadijan from equalizing shortly before half time.
However, Parramatta began to dominate proceedings in the early stages of the second half and eventually levelled the scores when Nicholas Chymiak capitalized on a Blacktown error to fire home at the near post.
The home side survived another Parramatta barrage before restoring their lead on the transition.
A quick-fire interchange between Mooy and Abdullah unleashed the former down the left wing, where he stepped inside and unleashed a low drive that skipped into the bottom left corner.
The lead was short lived for the home side who quickly found themselves a goal down.
Chymiak completed his brace with a towering header from a Da Silva Santos corner, before another Blacktown error coming out of their own half led to Parramatta’s third, this time Alex Boyadijan seizing possession and rifling past Nascimben from inside the area.
Despite letting their lead slip twice, Blacktown refused to accept defeat and rallied in the final ten minutes with Leyton Hinton restoring parity after getting the crucial touch in a goalmouth scramble.
It seemed a draw was on the cards but the match took its final twist when Abdullah went on another barnstorming run down the left before weighting the perfect pass into the feet of Epifanino who thundered home a stunning first time effort.
Both sides return to action next Saturday where Parramatta will host APIA Leichhardt whilst Blacktown will look to build on their winning start to the 2016 PlayStation 4 NSW NPL season when they travel to Bonnyrigg Sports Club to face Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Blacktown Spartans 4 (Mooy 13’, Abdullah 60’, Hinton 80’, Epifanino 88’)
Parramatta FC 3 (Chymiak 51’, 68’, Boyadijan 73’)
Saturday 12th March, 2016
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Blacktown Spartans: 18 A. Abdullah, 19 B. Bezzina, 21 L. Catania, 22 S. Dukic, 24 A. Epifanino, 34 M. Filipovic, 32 G. Gray, 36 C. Hanna, 26 L. Hinton, 27 J. Irwin, 29 M. Konestabo, 40 N. Kotevski, 30 C. Loucos, 31 A. Mooy, 41 D. Nascimben, 33 D. Sestan
Yellow Cards: Bezzina, Gray, Hinton, Irwin, Konestabo
Red Cards: None
Parramatta FC: 34 A. Awaz, 27 T. Borovickic, 31 A. Boyadjian, 22 B. Brown, 38 C. Carboni, 18 N. Chymiak, 21 M. Da Silva Santos, 39 M. Davidson, 25 D. Di Ruocco, 33 J. Diacono, 16 C. Finch, 37 A. Gioiosa, 30 J. Jung, 24 P. Katsetis, 34 J. Taunton
Yellow Cards: Borovickic, Carboni, Da Silva Santos, Katsetis
Manly United 2-1 Sutherland Sharks, 12pm at Cromer Park
A brace from Sipan Berti has got Manly United’s 2016 campaign off to a winning start after they defeated Sutherland Sharks 2-1 at Cromer Park.
Thomas Papa got one back for the visitors in the second half but Berti notched his second of the match to seal the match for United.
Sutherland will look to bounce back next Saturday when they host Blacktown City at Seymour Shaw, whilst Manly travel to Belmore Sports Ground to face Sydney Olympic on Sunday afternoon.
Blacktown City 3-2 Sydney United 58, 1pm at Lily’s Football Centre
Blacktown City kicked off the defence of their 2015 title by coming from behind to beat Sydney United 58 3-2 at Lily’s Football Centre.
United led the champions 2-1 at the break but Blacktown staged a stirring second half comeback to start the year unbeaten and avenge their 5-2 loss to their opponents on the opening day of last season.
Blacktown face Sutherland next weekend whilst Sydney United will aim to respond at home to Wollongong Wolves.
Rockdale City Suns 1-0 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 3pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
A solitary strike from Darcy Burgess was enough for Rockdale City Suns to see off the challenge of Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Ilinden Sports Centre.
With both sides fixed on improving on their poor 2015 seasons, it was Rockdale who proved too strong in their second consecutive win against Bonnyrigg, who they met in the final round of last campaign.
Burgess netted in the first half for the home side who were then reduced to ten men when Aleksandar Lekoski was sent off.
Rockdale travel to Hakoah Sydney City East late Saturday afternoon in round two whilst Bonnyrigg will hope they can get off the mark when they face Blacktown Spartans.
Wollongong Wolves 0-2 Hakoah Sydney City East, 3pm at WIN Stadium
Hakoah Sydney City East celebrated their return to the top division in style with a 2-0 away win at Wollongong Wolves in a result that will see the side claim top spot after round one.
A late two-goal blitz from Hakoah sealed the victory with Nicholas Sullivan and Luke Burke netting a goal apiece inside the final ten minutes to consign Wollongong to opening day defeat.
Hakoah Sydney City East welcome Rockdale City Suns late Sunday afternoon while Wollongong face a date with Sydney United 58 at Sydney United Sports Centre with both sides searching their first win.
Postponed: APIA Leichhardt v Sydney Olympic, 1pm at Lambert Park
This game was postponed due to the APIA Leichhardt Tigers currently touring Italy and taking part in the Viareggio Tournament.
– by Jacob Windon