After every round of the PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues Men’s season Team of the Week brings to focus the best players from that weekend.
A thrilling match opened the round at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre, with the White Eagles hosting Blacktown City in a battle that renewed hostilities from last year’s Grand Final. Both sides were searching for a win that had eluded them since the start of the month, ensuring some brilliant attacking football was played. Yuta Kokado impressed in midfield with some sparkling runs down the left edge, proving a constant threat in attack for the hosts. The Japanese import set up countless chances, only to see the City defence withstand the pressure. However, Kokado finally struck in the 68th minute with a stunning goal from the edge of the box to bring Bonnyrigg back on level terms at 2-2. It would be the final goal of the match, each sides walking away with a point.
Parramatta FC proved too strong for Sutherland Sharks in a comfortable 3-1 win. Dynamic Parramatta striker Marco Sama was deadly up front, the young striker picking up a well-deserved brace. The outstanding efforts of Ante Tomic were also a key factor, the defender shining on the wing. A wonderful set piece from Tomic’s corner paved the way for Parramatta’s opener before Sama netted his first in the 19th minute, his excellent ball control outfoxing the Sharks defence. Tomic combined brilliantly with Sama in the second half to score Parramatta’s third. The classy left back manoeuvred the ball dangerously into attack before squaring to Sama who finished clinically.
Sydney United 58 extended their lead at the top of the ladder with a two-goal victory despite an average first half showing against Sydney Olympic. The old rivals played out a scoreless first half which saw some dogged defence from both sides. Eddy Bosnar was strong at the back for United 58, saving a goal with a courageous deflection after Olympic looked certain to score. Bosnar combined well with central defender Tomislav Uskok. The former Mariner showed his class with a great display to shut out the Olympic attack, almost scoring a goal himself when his headed effort nearly opened the scoring in the 5th minute. United 58 came out firing in the second half and took the lead through a penalty from Panni Nikas. The striker was deadly up front and nearly had a brace, but his curling shot just missed the mark.
A tough encounter between Blacktown Spartans and Rockdale City Suns provided a scrappy match on Sunday at Illinden Sports Centre. Both sides lacked the composure in attack to finish off some excellent chances, but Rockdale held on for a tight win. Goalkeeper David Bradasevic was kept busy throughout the match, pulling off some spectacular saves at full stretch to deny the Spartans attack. With the game locked at 1-1 and approaching the final 30 minutes, Bradasevic produced a great save with a tap over the crossbar. The Spartan attack continued peppering the goal, but a lapse in concentration saw Rockdale escape with a 2-1 win.
APIA travelled to Wollongong looking to leapfrog the hosts on the ladder in a contest where both sides were desperate for a win. In his first season with APIA, Tasuku Sekiya has quickly become an x-factor in attack and the Japanese striker again proved tough to contain for the opposing defence. Sekiya unleashed shot after shot in the first half and kept the Wolves defence scrambling. He finally opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a brilliant goal form outside the box. Despite conceding a goal on the stroke of half time, APIA grabbed the lead again thanks to a clinical strike from Nathan Millgate. After impressing at the back for much of the first half, Millgate latched onto a cross to score his side’s second. APIA kicked on to score a third to record a 3-1 victory.
A ruthless performance from Manly that saw them score 6 goals has fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition. The cracking win over Hakoah was set up by some outstanding displays from young guns Dejan Pandurevic and Adam Parkhouse. The talented youngsters combined in the 1st minute to open the scoring; Parkhouse showcasing his blistering speed on the left wing before sending a beautiful cross that Pandurevic finished perfectly. The pair continued to terrorise the defence, helping their side rocket to a 4-1 half time lead. Parkhouse had a hand in Manly’s fifth with another superb cross that was met by Brendan Cholakian. Meanwhile, Pandurevic was unlucky not to have scored a brace, such was his dominance in the 6-1 rout.
-By Harry Easton
GK – David Bradasevic – Rockdale City Suns
LB – Ante Tomic – Parramatta FC
CB – Tomislav Uskok – Sydney United 58 FC
CB – Eddie Bosnar – Sydney United 58 FC
RB – Nathan Millgate – APIA Leichhardt Tigers
LM – Yuta Kokado – Bonnyrigg White Eagles
CM – Panni Nikas – Sydney United 58 FC
RM – Adam Parkhouse – Manly United
ST – Marco Sama – Parramatta FC
ST – Tasuku Sekiya – APIA Leichhardt Tigers
ST – Dejan Pandurevic – Manly United