A two-goal flurry inside three second half minutes has helped Rockdale City Suns to a confidence boosting 2-1 win against Sydney FC at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
Aleks Canak and Alec Urosevski’s strikes midway through the second stanza lifted the Rockdale faithful and helped interim coach Nick Porecca to his second straight National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s win.
A first half dominated by the goalkeepers opened up after the break with Rockdale desperately pushing for an opening goal.
However, with 20 minutes let on the clock Canak broke through the resilient Sydney FC defence and Urosevski followed only moments later.
A late goal to Marco Tilio for the Young Sky Blues made for a tetchy closing minutes but a dramatic equaliser wasn’t to be as Rockdale climbed up the table with a big home victory.
It didn’t take long from the opening whistle for the home side to go on the offensive and they were unlucky not to have the lead after four minutes when a Matthew Lecce header clanged off the crossbar.
Hewerd-Belle pulled off a brilliant save midway through the half as Jordan Figon thrashed a shot at him from point blank range
Rockdale’s shot stopper Bradasevic had to make a clutch save of his own only moments later as Tilio broke free of his marker and unleashed a shot from inside the 18 yard box.
It was turning into a showcase for the shot stoppers with Sydney FC’s gloveman delivering another brilliant reaction save after a rasping shot from Khang Hoon Cho
The matched opened up into an end to end affair in the closing five minutes of the half but while both teams traded chances neither could find the back of the net.
Tilio’s elusive dribbling skills were creating headaches for the Rockdale defence after the restart with the zippy midfielder looking dangerous every time
Figon spurned a gilt-edged chance in the 55th minute firing straight at Heward-Belle.
Sydney FC’s shot stopper backed up moments later making a save at his near pot to deny El Hafiane.
However, after 67 minutes Sydney FC’s resistance was broken.
Canak fired Rockdale into the lead with a low drive into the bottom corner from just inside the 18 yard box.
Three minutes later Rockdale doubled their lead.
Substitute Urosevski popped up unmarked in the middle of the box to fire home a Canak cross to give his side a 2-0 advantage.
Rockdale appeared comfortable and in control but the threat of Tilio for the Sky Blues continued to trouble the home defence.
With nine minutes left on the clock, the elusive midfielder gave the travelling fans reason to smile .
Tilio latched on to a loose ball at the edge of the 18 yard area and fired low and hard into the net setting up a thrilling closing stages to the match with the score at 2-1.
The goal put the wind in Sydney FC’s sails and Rockdale, who only moments earlier were calm and in control, looked seriously under pressure.
Despite the late push from the visitors, Rockdale were able to cling on during the final minutes to snatch a valuable morale boosting win.
Suns assistant coach Matthew Ribarovski said the result was proof of his side’s progress in recent weeks.
“We’re starting to get our structure and movements right and as a team the chemistry is improving so It’s good we are able to see that development in our results,” he said.
“It was a massive relief when we scored and to follow it up with a second really lifted the weight off our shoulders. We did get caught out a little in the closing moments but thankfully we did enough for the three points.
“While it wasn’t a complete performance for the full 90 minutes I was happy with how we played and I think it is a good sign of what we can build towards.
Despite the loss, Sydney FC boss Jimmy van Weeren was upbeat and had special praise for goalkeeper Heward-Belle.
“I’m no goalkeeping specialist but some of the saves Thomas pulled out tonight to keep us in the game were incredible,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to get the result but the individual performances have given me plenty to smile about.
“Each week we set out to compete and we did that tonight. Of course we need to start pushing for better results but if we keep showing the same intent as tonight then winning games won’t be far away.”
Rockdale City Suns: 2 (Canak 68’ Urosevski 70’)
Sydney FC: 1 (M Tilio 81’)
Sunday, April 21 2019
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Rockdale City Suns: 1. David Bradasevic, 2. Daniel Petkovski, 3. Michael Neill, 6. Khang Hoon Cho (7. Alec Urosevski 57′), 8. Aleks Canak, 11. Leigh Egger, 12. Idriss El Hafiane, 17. Matthew Lecce (9. Jonathan Grozdanovski), 18. Sasa Macura, 19 Patrick Savor, 45. Jordan Figon (10. Josh Da Silva )
Substitutes not used: 22. Max Rowston
Yellow Cards: Savor 36′
Sydney FC: 1. Thomas Heward-Belle, 3, Benjamin Van Meurs, 4. Liam McGing,5. Patrick Scibilio, 6. Harry Van Der Saag, 7. Jerry Skotadis, 9. Hamish Lamberton (23. Harry McCarthy) 23. Harry McCarthy, 10. Marco Tilio, 12. Giuseppe Tilio (34. Calem Nieuwenhof), 13. Jordan Swibel. 14. Thomas Fay
Substitutes not used: 16. Paolo Bonanni, 30. Adam Pavlesic
3 – Aleks Canak (RCS)
2- Thomas Heward-Belle (SFC)
1- Marco Tilio (SFC)