A dominant Sydney United 58 has cruised to a 3-0 win against bottom side Hakoah Sydney City East at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday.
It was the Red’s first win in five games ending a horror run of results and keeping their finals fate in their own hands.
Patrick Antelmi gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break with a clinical finish from a Glen Trifiro assist, while Second half goals to Tariq Maia and Josh Macdonald wrapped up the win which was to be Gavin Rae’s last in charge of the Hakoah club who parted company post match.
However, the win was soured in the dying minutes as centre back Yianni Fragogiannis was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a cynical tackle on Amaury Gauthier.
Sydney United 58 had the best of the opening stages and it didn’t take long for them to put the Hakoah defence under pressure.
The visitors creating the first real chance of the game through Glen Trifiro who forced a save from Ryan Norval.
United 58 kept up the early onslaught through half chances to Patrick Antelmi and Cristian Gonzales but neither were able to capitalise.
Hakoah could have very easily stolen the lead after Harry Jones delivered a brilliant pass through the United 58 defence fro Jordon Koton, but the striker failed to make the most of the opportunity.
The Reds maintained control of the contest but Hakoah were beginning to find their shape in defence making cut and dry chances harder to come by.
However, their persistence would pay off in the 37th minute.
United 58 won the ball in the centre of the park with Glen Trifiro dispatching a cutting through ball which Antelmi clinically finished into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Manos had little work to do for most of the first half but was forced into two big saves in the closing stages after two stinging counter attacks from Hakoah.
It would prove to be the last real chances of the opening stanza with the home team left with plenty of work to do after the break.
Hakoah raced out of the blocks from the restart with Harry Jones denied what appeared a sure goal by an incredible desperation save from Manos.
Sadly for the home fans the early intensity was merely a flash in the pan with United 58 going back on the ascendency and once again pinning Hakoah on the back foot.
A spectacular diving save from Norval denied an absolute howitzer of a shot from Liam Rose in the 62nd minute.
Norval’s efforts proved futile only moments later with Macdonald firing past the shot stopper after finding space in the box to make it 2-0 for the visitors.
The goal proved to be a shot in the arm for United 58 who upped the ante in attack despite holding a comfortable lead.
Striker Antelmi once again found himself in a brilliant position 73 minutes in but his powerful shot was saved by Norval.
The introduction of Michael Ruhs proved to be a inspired decision from United 58 boss Miro Vlastelica with the striker having an instant impact on the match after his introduction in the 78th minute.
Norval made a low save to his left to deny a Ruhs’ effort but he couldn’t stop Maia firing in the rebound.
Despite having complete control of the fixture, Sydney United 58 were reduced to 10-men after a bone headed play from defender Yianni Fragogiannis where he pulled down a Hakoah attacker meant he received his second yellow was sent off.
Hakoah thought they finally gave their fans something to smile about when they found the back of the net in the 87th minute, but such was their luck the assistant referee flagged for offside and the goal was disallowed.
Tempers flared in the dying minutes with some tetchy play in the middle of the park with the final whistle coming just at the right time as United 58 cruised to victory.
A relieved Miro Vlastelica felt it was a result which was a long time coming.
“I’m really happy for the boys. Goals have been a hard thing to come by for us the past few weeks so to score three shows that we can find the back of the net against tough defences,” he said.
Vlastelica was not too impressed with defender Fragogiannis for getting sent off on the eve of their FFA Cup Round of 32 clash.
“It’s not good for us ahead of such a big game but it just means we will have to shuffle things around.”
For Hakoah coach Gavin Rae, who post match stated it was to be his last for the club. said it was yet another frustrating defeat in a season of frustrating defeats.
“Once again it just wasn’t our night,’ he said.
“It has been a very tough season for us and again we just weren’t able to find the back of the net.”
Hakoah Sydney City East: 0
Sydney United 58: 3 (Antelmi 39’, Macdonald 63’, Maia 79’)
Sunday, 28 July 2019
Hensley Athletic Field, Eastgardens
Referee: B Abraham
Assistant Referees: N Wotton, J Bell
Fourth official: C Wright
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1. Ryan Norval, 2. Connor Shaddock, 6. Dominic Cox, 8. Oliver Green, 11. Jack Green, 12. Jack Swadling, 13. Robert Ezekiel (4. Brad Walker,), 14. Jordan Koton ( 24. Amaury Gauthier) 15. Pedj Bojic, 17. Harry Jones, 23. Adrian Vranic (9. Shohei Okuna)
Substitutes not used: 25. Max Ephraim, 60 Taka Noji
Yellow Cards: Shaddock, Bojic
Sydney United 58: 21. Thomas Manos, 3. Jordan Roberts, 4. Adrian Vlastelica, 5. Anthony Tomelic, 8. Matthew Sim (11. Yianni Perkatis,), 9. Patrick Antelmi, 12. Liam Rose, 18. Glen Trifiro (15. Tariq Maia), 19. Josh Macdonald (34. Michael Ruhs) , 20: Cristian Gonzalez, 22. Yianni Fragogiannis,
Substitutes not used: 1. Daniel Sadaka, 17. Matthew Bilic, 34. Michael Ruhs.
Yellow Cards: Gonzalez, Fragogiannis, Antelmi
Red Cards: Fragogiannis
Player Ratings have now been hidden due to the second half of the season commencing.