Sydney United 58 continued their dominance of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition as they grinded out a 2-0 victory over Sydney Olympic at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.
Despite a poor first half showing, the Reds stood strong in the second to cement all three points in a professional manner against their traditional rivals.
Former Schalke 04 attacker Rene Klingensburg was given a start after signing for Olympic midweek and made an immediate impact in the first half.
Olympic started the match on the front foot creating an opening in the United 58 defence inside 2 minutes. After picking up the ball on the left hand side Jake De Marigny played a lovely curling through ball straight to the feet of a flying William Angel only for the latter’s shot to be well saved by Thomas Manos.
It didn’t take long for Sydney United 58 to move up the field with a Panni Nikas free kick from the right finding the head of Tomislav Ursok, only for his headed effort to go over the bar in the fifth minute.
Klingensburg showed his speed in the ninth minute of the match when he chased through a fantastic Angel through ball. Klingensburg dribbled into the box before his strike was well saved by an advancing Manos.
The home side kept the pressure on the United 58 defence and in the 22nd minute forced Manos into another save. After the Reds failed to clear a corner, Harris Gaitatzis sent the ball back into the box with Mitchell Stamatellis’ header falling straight to the chest of the waiting keeper.
United 58 started to control the middle of the park after 25 minutes, stringing a series of passes together but were unable to break Olympic’s tight defensive unit.
Despite being thwarted on a number of occasions, United 58 didn’t give up and in the 32nd minute Yutaro Shin’s cross found the head of Jacob Tratt who forced a save out of Olympic goalkeeper Paul Henderson.
As the scoreless game wore on both sides began to grow frustrated with the match becoming highly physical with minutes remaining in the half.
Olympic had the final chance of the half on the stroke of half time when Gaitatzis got on the end of a long ball, controlling before Eddy Bosnar got back to deflect his shot out for a corner.
The home side’s hard work was completely undone within 30 seconds of the second half as Nik Tsattalios gave away a sloppy penalty. Nikas stepped up to slam the ball into the middle of the goal to give his side a 1-0 lead.
In the 52nd minute Angel took it upon himself to fire Olympic back up as he went on a great run down the right hand side.
The winger beat Eddy Bosnar before finding Gaitatzis in the box whose shot was well blocked.
Seconds later Olympic went down the right hand side again with Klingensburg creating a three on two situation. The enigmatic German found Gaitatzis free in the box who took a touch before blazing his shot well over the bar.
Bosnar stepped up to a free kick in the 63rd minute with his trademark driven attempt stinging the gloves of Henderson before Olympic cleared.
Nikas was hungry to double his side’s lead but in the 69th minute but his curling shot sailed well wide of the right hand upright.
The chances kept coming for United 58 with Peter Triantis sending an inch-perfect cross to Chris Payne with the unmarked striker scuffing his header wide.
Gaitatzis took it upon himself to try and get his side back into the match but Ursok was back to again block the shot with 15 minutes remaining.
The game was put to bed with 12 minutes remaining when Sydney United 58 caught the Blues napping as a long ball from the right found Masato Mochizuki on the left whose cross was bundled in by Payne.
Following the match Sydney United 57 head coach Mark Rudan said he was content with his side’s disciplined and professional performance.
“I thought the boys implemented the game plan quite well,” he said.
“We spoke about a few things at half time that we were not happy with Olympic defending deep, so we had to change things and do things better.
“I thought we did that and were rewarded nice and early in the second half and continued on with the performance.
“In this point I time there is a long way to go. I’m not someone that looks at the table we just concentrate on making sure the attitude is right at training and performances at the game continue to be of discipline and always striving for excellence.”
In the home dressing room a dejected Grant Lee lamented a string of early missed chances and mistakes.
“I thought we did really well early and gave them something to really think about,” he said.
“But then you concede a penalty 20 seconds into the second half and unfortunately with young guys it has to affect you mentally.
“Then you drop your head and for young players it is very hard to get going again.”
Sydney Olympic: 0
Sydney United 58: 2 (Nikas 46’, Payne 78’
Venue: Belmore Sports Ground
Assistant Referees: A.Giev & R.Osbourne
Fourth Official: B.Lovric
Sydney Olympic: 1. Paul Henderson, 7. William Angel ©, 15. Jake De Marigny (8. Howard Fondyke 82’), 4. Leigh Egger, 10. Harris Gaitatzis, 16. Oliver Green (90. Joshua Gaspari 71’), 5. Jason Madonis, 6. Mitchell Stamatellis, 3. Anthony Tomelic, 33. Nik Tsattalios (37. Eoin Montford 77’), 9. Rene Klingenburg
Substitutions not used: 20. Denver Crickmore, 26. Cohan Morris
Yellow cards: De Marigny 64’, Stamatellis 77’
Red cards: nil
Sydney United 58: 21. Thomas Manos, 4. Eddy Bosnar, 10. Robert Mileski ©, 3. Masato Mochizuki, 23. Panni Nikas, 6. Chris Payne (11. Nikola Taneski 91’), 7. Yutaro Shin, 14. Nick Stavroulakis, 24. Jacob Tratt, 8. Peter Triantis (33. Nathan Sherlock 93’), 20. Tomislav Uskok
Substitutions not used: 30. Luke Babic, 2. Kristopher Vlismas, 25. Jack Stweart
Yellow cards: Mochizuki 24’, Payne 42’
Red cards: nil
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Chris Georges