A long-range strike from Alec Urosevski has helped Rockdale City Suns snap Wollongong Wolves incredible nine game undefeated streak with a 1-0 win at WIN Stadium on Saturday.
It was league leader Wollongong Wolves’ first defeat of the NPL NSW Men’s season and the first match they were unable to find the back of the net.
Urosevski’s 31st minute strike was the only goal of the encounter, with the visitors holding off a strong Wolves attack in the second half to secure their fifth league win in a row since interim boss Nick Porecca took over the side.
The result catapults Rockdale temporarily into second on the ladder once cuts Wollongong’s lead over the chasing pack down to two points.
Wollongong had the brighter start with Christopher Price coming close to finding the back of the net for the hosts in the 29th minute with his thundering header denied by a brilliant save from Rockdale keeper Daniel Bradasevic.
However, the visitors fired into the lead two minutes later thanks to Urosevski, who fired a powerful effort from range to beat Wollongong keeper Justin Pasfield and find the top-left corner of the net.
With their historic unbeaten streak on the verge of ending, the Wolves threw everything they had into a tense second half, but the league leaders were unable to create many meaningful chances thanks to a staunch Suns defence.
Wollongong’s Bul Juach had a golden opportunity to level the scores in the 87th minute after he picked up a loose ball off a scrambled cross but was unable to direct his effort past an oncoming Bradasevic.
Two minutes later another vital chance went begging for the Wolves, with substitute Stefan Dimoski’s long-range shot beating Bradasevic but not the Rockdale crossbar, ricocheting away from goal and ensuring the visitors secured a vital three points.
Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire was disappointed with the result but acknowledged the side needed to put in a better performance.
“Every week is an opportunity and we didn’t take that opportunity today.
“We struggled to create opportunities I think, we forced things in the first half [and] we were forcing balls too early, we were struggling to find our rhythm and some sloppy balls, giving balls away in bad areas.
“I’ve said to the boys before if a better team turns up and outplays us, you can take defeat, but if you lose or drop points of your own accord, then it’s disappointing.”
Meanwhile Rockdale City Suns’ interim coach Nick Porecca was pleased with the result, although he noted that the upcoming week will further test the strength and depth of the Suns.
“The boys are playing well and training well and I think this is the confidence boost we needed to kick things on.
“We’ve got an FFA Cup game on Wednesday [vs Sydney University SFC], so three games in a week its going to be a little bit of a task, but I think we’ve got the players to do a bit of a roll and continue on.”
Wollongong will hope to return to winning ways next round when the side travels to Marconi Stadium next Saturday to take on mid-table side Marconi Stallions, while Rockdale host Sydney University in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night at Ilinden Sports Centre before travelling to Seymour Shaw Park to face Sutherland Sharks on Saturday evening.
Wollongong Wolves 0
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Alec Urosevski 31’)
Saturday 11th May, 2019
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: M. Bailey
Assistant Referees: S. Edeling and J. Park
Fourth Official: S. Andrews
Wollongong Wolves: 1. Justin Pasfield, 2. Taylor McDonald, 6. Benjamin Tosi (13. Stefan Dimoski 75’), 7. Christopher Price, 9. Thomas James, 14. Harry Callahan, 15. Nick Littler, 16. Guy Knight, 17. James Stojcevski, 23. Jordan Nikolovski (11. Takeru Okada 52’), 25. Bul Juach
Substitutes Not Used: 8. James Markovic, 12. Luke Kairies (GK), 20. Liam Wille
Yellow Cards: Benjamin Tosi 50’, Harry Callahan 83’
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1. Daniel Bradasevic, 2. Daniel Petkovski (14. Brayden Sorge 75’), 3. Michael Neill, 7. Alec Urosevski (9. Jonathan Grozdanovski 79’), 8. Aleksandar Canak, 11. Leigh Egger, 12. Idriss El Hafiane, 17. Matthew Lecce (23. Panagiotis Nikas 63’), 18. Sasa Macura, 19. Patrick Savor, 45. Jordan Figon
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Howard Fondyke, 22. Max Rowston
Yellow Cards: Aleksandar Canak 44’, Michael Neill 69’, Idriss El Hafiane 81’, Leigh Egger 90+2’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Alec Urosevski (Rockdale City Suns)
2 – Daniel Bradasevic (Rockdale City Suns)
1 – Jordan Figon (Rockdale City Suns)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Reporter Cal Behrendt (@CalBehrendt)