The 2016 PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 began in style last weekend and round 2 promises to be another exciting set of matches with eye-catching matchups to be played all over the weekend’s action.
In this week’s match of the round, Hakoah Sydney City Easy host Rockdale City Suns with both sides looking to improve on their winning start to the season.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic FC v Manly United FC, 1.00pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic take to the pitch for the first time this season having had their opening round affair with APIA Leichhardt postponed due to the former’s current involvement in the Viareggio Tournament held in Italy.
They will begin the season against the side they defeated 10-3 last campaign in one of the standout results of the season, but Manly United will provide a far fiercer challenge than displayed on that occasion especially after their solid showing in their 2-1 win last round against Sutherland Sharks.
Sipan Berti scored twice against Sutherland and will look to continue his goalscoring form against a side who for all their attacking endeavour were renowned to concede goals last season, making Sunday afternoon’s affair an intriguing clash.
Sutherland Sharks FC v Blacktown City FC, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks will get round two off and running when they host defending premiers Blacktown City at Seymour Shaw. Blacktown City got their title defence off to the perfect start in round one, coming back from 2-1 down at half-time to win 3-2 in a result that underlined they are still arguably the team to beat again this season.
Meanwhile, Sutherland were defeated 2-1 by Manly United last weekend in a close encounter with the home side needing a brace from Sipan Berti to see off Sutherland, who had equalized through Thomas Papa.
Sutherland have been handed a tough opening raft of fixtures with a trip to Sydney United 58 and a date at Seymour Shaw with Sydney Olympic to come in the following weeks, increasing the importance of a good result at home here. It will be a tough test for Sutherland though, who were defeated 3-1 by Blacktown City the last time the two sides met back in the final round of the 2015 season.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Blacktown Spartans, 5.00pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles will look to bounce back from opening day defeat against a 10-man Rockdale City Suns at home against Blacktown Spartans. Blacktown were victorious in the opening match of the season last Saturday where they won a 4-3 thriller against Parramatta FC.
Samuel Jacob’s side showed fantastic determination to respond when going 3-2 down midway after presenting Parramatta FC the lead on the back of some simple errors in possession, but they will need to be wary of a Bonnyrigg side craving to get off the mark at home.
For Blacktown, this encounter represents a chance to build on a positive performance against Parramatta and to establish some of the consistency needed that was lacking last campaign. They were easily accounted for in the corresponding fixture of that season where they were defeated 3-1 in August.
Hakoah Sydney City East FC v Rockdale City Suns FC, Saturday 5.00pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah Sydney City East enjoyed a memorable return to the first division on the opening weekend after two late goals defeated Wollongong Wolves at WIN Stadium and they host a Rockdale Side fresh from a 1-0 victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
It will be a tough test for Rockdale with the home side sure to be heading into the clash with confidence after an excellent first result and with the chance to remain top of the table a distinct possibility. The visitors will be without Alexandar Lekoski who was sent off in last week’s win but there is a renewed sense of confidence around last season’s 11th placed finishers with their round 1 win keeping the momentum of a strong pre-season going.
Sydney United 58 FC v Wollongong Wolves FC, 3.00pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Both sides tasted defeat in the opening round and this encounter promises to be an exciting one with lots of quality on show.
Last round Sydney United looked like repeating their opening-day heroics of 2015 where they defeated Blacktown City 5-2 but after edging the champions at half-time they were unable to stop a second half onslaught.
Wollongong went down in similar fashion when two second half goals saw the Wolves collapse to a late defeat to Hakoah Sydney City East last weekend. Having defeated Sydney United 58 in pre-season Wollongong will fancy their chances of extending the host’s wait for a win for at least another round.
Postponed: Parramatta FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 3.00pm at Melita Stadium
This game was postponed due to the APIA Leichhardt Tigers currently touring Italy and taking part in the Viareggio Tournament.
-By Jacob Windon