Sutherland Sharks suffered a second defeat in as many weeks to let Blacktown City jump into first, with Sydney FC just a point behind in second place. Elsewhere, Sydney FC thrashed Sydney Olympic 6-0 in the Match of the Round at Lambert Park, while APIA Leichhardt overcame Wollongong in a thriller at WIN Stadium.
Match of the Round: Sydney FC 6-0 Sydney Olympic FC, Saturday 5.45pm at Lambert Park
With the finals fast approaching, Sydney FC put their competition on notice on Saturday afternoon with a comprehensive 6-0 defeat of Sydney Olympic FC.
Lambert Park was treated to a veritable goalfest as the hosts bolstered their reputation as the top scorers in the NSW NPL Men’s 20s; Finn Ballard McBride turning in a stunning performance with four goals to keep Sydney FC just one point behind Blacktown City at the end of Round 19.
Neither side produced much of note until Ballard McBride’s opener; a flick-on at the near post inside ten minutes which gave Sydney an early lead after an unremarkable start.
Soon enough the hosts doubled their lead to two, as Patrick Scibilio stole in at the near post to head in Sydney’s second just after the twenty minute mark.
As Sydney FC threatened to run rampant, Scibilio might have had a second just minutes after his first when he met a cross at the back post but the keeper scooped the header up to keep the deficit to two.
Fikret Berisha pushed forward to drag a shot just wide of Mitchell Evans’ post, before Marco Tilio skewed an effort of his own wide of the mark a few minutes later.
Halftime couldn’t have come soon enough for Olympic, but there was only a fifteen minute reprieve. Sydney FC rolled forward soon after the restart, the attack coming in from the right as the keeper parried a shot straight to Ballard McBride who duly put his side up 3-0.
It was four just two minutes later; Giuseppe Tilio smacked a ball across the face of the goal and Ballard McBride nipped in to complete his hattrick just five minutes after halftime.
Evan Tsakos jinked inside his man before unleashing a shot that spun over the bar with a deflection, shortly before Ben Van Meurs tested the goalkeeper with a strong shot at the back post.
Sydney FC refused to sit on their lead – and Ballard McBride on his hattrick – and scored a fifth in the closing stages of the game; the in-form striker touching the ball on from the right to register his fourth of the night.
It only seemed fitting that the final action of the game resulted in a goal for the hosts. Breaking into the penalty area in numbers, the ball was squeezed out to Daniel Blachura on the right side of the six yard box where he hit his shot cleanly inside the near post to round out the scoring; capping a 6-0 win for Sydney FC.
Giancarlo Italiano was delighted with the win that saw his side go second.
“I’m very happy with all the boys, everyone that played was excellent, and it puts in good stead for the finals.
They all worked really hard, they have been all season. They’re probably the youngest team in the competition, so I’m really proud. Our confidence really showed.”
“Sydney FC are a very well conditioned, well drilled team and they play good football,” said Sydney Olympic’s Anthony Harb. “Well done to them.
“We worked hard and we didn’t execute our game as well as we should’ve today – that’s what it came down to.”
Sydney FC 6 (Ballard McBride 9’ 48’, 50’, 87’, Scibilio 22’, Blachura 90’)
Sydney Olympic FC 0
Saturday July 21, 2018
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Sydney FC: 21. BALLARD MCBRIDE Finn, 24. BLACHURA Daniel, 28. BONNANI Paolo, 1. EVANS Mitchell, 29. FAY Thomas, 27. LAMBERTON, 5. SCIBILIO Patrick, 19. TILIO Giuseppe, 17. TILIO Marco, 22. VAN DER SAAG Harry, 26. VAN MEURS Ben
Substitutes: 18. KOOP Benjamin, 40. MALISHEV David, 31. TEAGUE Ryan, 32. TSAKOS Evan, 25. MATTISON Mitchell
Yellow cards: N/A
Red cards: N/A
Sydney Olympic FC: 21. ATHANSERIS Stephen, 41. BERISHA Fikret, 20. CONSONI Ezequiel, 42. HAMAYOUN Wahid, 32. HRISTODOLOU Adam, 25. JUNG Taewoo, 17. MORRISON Benjamin, 35. OKUDA Luke, 26. PATRAMANIS Billy, 43. QAYUMI Kamran, 38. SUTOMO Brian
Substitutes: 29. EHIOZEE Ericson, 10. TAOUIL Andre, 9. SINACORI Christian, 6. HARB Samuel
Yellow cards: Qayumi 71’
Red cards: N/A
Sydney United 58 FC 1-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, 12pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United’s hopes of making a late charge into the finals places were dealt a blow at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon where they were held 1-1 by Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
The hosts remain unbeaten in July and are still a real chance to leapfrog Hakoah or Wollongong above them into fifth, though three points would have been far more useful ahead of next week’s crucial match against APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
The draw does little for Bonnyrigg too; the White Eagles stay tenth after Marconi’s win at Rockdale. They face Hakoah in Round 20, with hopes of a place in the finals surely resting on a perfect run-in and favourable results elsewhere.
Sutherland Sharks FC 1-2 Manly United FC, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland’s slide continued in Round 19 as they went down 2-1 to Manly United at Seymour Shaw in their fourth loss in five games.
The Sharks remain six points clear of fourth-placed Manly but have dropped right off the pace in the last few rounds of the regular season, now sitting three points off the top ahead of next week’s match with a sore Sydney Olympic.
Kye Connor and Jamie Glover were on the scoresheet for the visitors at Seymour Shaw as Manly closed the gap on Sutherland to six points. Still, the race for the final places in the top five is as tight as ever: just goal difference separates fourth to sixth, with Sydney United and APIA Leichhardt only a few points behind.
Manly will look to hold Wollongong out below them when they host the Wolves in their match at Cromer Park next Saturday.
Hakoah Sydney City East FC 0-1 Blacktown City FC, 5pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Blacktown City FC leapt to the top of the table after edging a 1-0 win away to Hakoah Sydney City Eat on Saturday afternoon.
Adolph Koudakpo scored the only goal of the game before the break to put the visitors into a lead that they wouldn’t give up, with the three points setting Blacktown up to go three unbeaten when they take on Rockdale next week.
Hakoah have a favourable run-in to the finals as they chase fifth place; the side from Hensley Athletic Field presently caught up with Manly and Wollongong on 28 points with Rockdale, Bonnyrigg and APIA to play.
Wollongong Wolves FC 2-3 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 5pm at WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves remain winless in July after a 3-2 loss to APIA Leichhardt Tiger in Round 19 but still sit in fifth at the end of Round 19, level with Manly and Hakoah on 28 points.
Manly’s surprise win over Sutherland means next week’s clash at Cromer Park takes on extra significance, with the winner potentially going clear in fifth depending on results elsewhere.
APIA, meanwhile, take their third win in four matches back to Lambert Park for next week’s match against Sydney United 58. A late run of form gives APIA faint hope of sneaking into the finals, but the Tigers need to keep winning and hope that at least one of the sides above them slips away.
Rockdale City Suns FC 1-2 Marconi Stallions FC, 3pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Marconi Stallions recorded a routine 2-1 win over Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre in the only Sunday match to move in two points behind the pack in the race for fifth.
The Stallions suffered a loss by the same scoreline to the Suns at Marconi Stadium earlier in the season and were only too happy to return the favour in Round 19, setting up an all-important encounter against Sydney FC next weekend.
Rockdale, meanwhile, remain bottom of the ladder, with Sydney Olympic’s 6-0 defeat to Sydney FC leaving the Suns just one goal adrift of 11th place on goal difference.
-By Max Grieve