A barrage of second half goals from Panny Nikas, Chris Payne and new recruit Thomas Uskok has seen Sydney United 58 defeat Blacktown Spartans 3-0 during the Round 6 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Blacktown Football Park.
Nikas made the breakthrough shortly after half-time with his third goal in two weeks before Payne added a killer second on the break.
Uskok added a third late on after bundling home from a corner to round off a dominant evening for the visitors.
The Spartans rallied for large periods of the second half and were unlucky not to have pulled a goal back on several occasions with Sydney United 58 custodian Thomas Manos, aided in small part by the woodwork, enjoying another fine evening between the sticks.
A cagey, physical opening under the lights at Blacktown Football Park set the tone for the evening with both sides defensively organised to the hilt.
But the encounter would quickly shift through the gears and it wasn’t long before the two outfits were trading blows in what was end to end action.
Yutaro Shin curled an effort agonizingly wide of the post for Sydney, before Carlos Saliaderre pulled off a sensational save to deny Theo Kofinas from a corner.
The chances continued to open up after the half-time break, with Jacob Ott somehow denied at point-blank range by Manos.
It would be a telling save by the gloveman, with the visitors going ahead shortly after through Panny Nikas who buried Yutaro Shin’s cutback at the back post and registered his sixth goal of the year.
The Spartans thought they’d salvaged an immediate equalizer when Futa Nakamura broke free down the right and squared to an unmarked Yianni Perkatis but Manos once again came up trumps to deny the midfielder with a brilliant save.
The home side’s inability to profit from another gilt-edged opportunity proved fatal when an errant pass from Ben Tosi was snared upon by Nikas, who raced towards goal before presenting Payne with a simple finish. Like Nikas, it was Payne’s sixth of the season propelling the two to the top of the goalscorer’s charts.
Blacktown Spartans were denied a goal back in extraordinary circumstances with the ball rocketing off the woodwork twice in quick succession, before new recruit and ex-Central Coast Mariners’ Uskok added a third late on, tucking home after a goalmouth scramble.
On a night littered with agricultural battles, Sydney United 58 were fittingly reduced to ten men when defender Yianni Fragogiannis was dismissed for his second yellow card of the evening.
It was a tough end for Fragogiannis who was celebrating his 25th birthday.
But even the late dismissal failed to take any sheen off what as a supreme performance from the visitors.
Spartans boss Ben de Haan lamented his side’s failure to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities created but praised his ranks for a gritty display.
“It was the most physical game I’ve ever been involved in.
“For us as a young side, I’m proud of the football we’ve played, we’re a spirited bunch of guys and you can see that in our football”.
Blacktown Spartans 0
Sydney United 58 3 (Nikas 54’, Payne 68’, Uskok 83’)
Saturday 16th April 2016
Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans: 5. DUKIC, Luka, 14. MORTON, Hayden, 10. NAKAMURA, Futa, 8. OTT, Jacob (11. CRIGHTON, Jordan), 6. PERKATIS, Yianni 9. PROIA, Anthony (25. GAUTHIER, Amaury), 1. SALIADARRE, Carlos 7. SASAKI, Shu 17. TOMOHIRO, Hyams, 20. TOSI, Benjamin (4. MUTCH, William), 15. WHITESIDE, Thomas
Substitutes Not Used: 41. NASCIMBEN, Dominic, 23. DULLAK, Ogun
Yellow Cards: Nakamura
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United 58: 19. BILIC, Matthew, 22. FRAGOGIANNIS, Yianni 17. KOFINAS, Theo 21. MANOS, Thomas 10. MILESKI, Robert 23. NIKAS, Panagiotis 6. PAYNE, Christopher (11. TANESKI, Nikola), 7. SHIN, Yutaro, 14. STAVROULAKIS, Nicholas 8. TRIANTIS (20. USKOK, Tom), Peter 2. VLISMAS, Kristopher
Substitutes Not Used: 1. DEPTA, Andrew, 3. MOCHIZUKI, Masato, 12. VRLIC, Anthony
Yellow Cards: Stavroulakis, Fragogiannis, Kofinas, Triantis, Mileski
Red Cards: Fragogiannis
3 – Panni Nikas (SU)
2 – Yutaro Shin (SU)
1 – Tom Manos (SU)
-By Jacob Windon