Week one of the National Premier Leagues NSW Mens finals series delivered in spades with two epic clashes.
Sydney United 58 took on fierce Marconi Stallions at Sydney United Sports Centre in the elimination final with the game needing extra-time for a deciding goal.
The preliminary semi-final also went the distance with penalties required to settle the clash between APIA Leichhardt Tigers and Blacktown City at Lambert Park.
It was a brilliant first serve of finals football for 2019 and it is surely only going to get better on the path to the season’s decider at Bankwest Stadium on August 31.
Sydney United 58 1 – Marconi Stallions 0 (AET) at Sydney United Sports Centre
A dramatic extra-time brace from substitute Patrick Antelmi has helped Sydney United 58 eliminate fierce rivals Marconi Stallions with a 2-0 win in the elimination semi-final at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday.
It was a brilliant performance from Antelmi who added to his brilliant finals scoring record to lift United 58 at home after the match was deadlocked
The Substitute cooly finished after a Sim pass in the 92nd minute before wrapping up the win with a penalty in the 112th to end Marconi’s finals campaign.
The win keeps United’s finals hopes alive and sets up a semi-final clash against either Blacktown City on Wednesday night.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (5) – Blacktown City 1 (3) at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers have snatched an incredible 5-3 penalty shootout win against Blacktown City in a thrilling preliminary semi-final at Lambert Park on Saturday.
Ivan Necevski was the hero for APIA making a clutch save to deny Joey Gibbs in the shootout after the match finished deadlocked at 1-1 at the end of extra-time.
It was a rollercoaster ride for fans with Chris Payne giving the home side a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot in the first period of extra-time before Gibbs snatched an incredible equaliser in the dying seconds of the match to send the contest to a shootout.
The result means APIA will now take on Wollongong Wolves at WIN Stadium on Wednesday night for a spot in the Grand Final, while Blacktown have a second chance at life with a minor semi-final match at Lily’s Homes Stadium against Sydney United 58 also on Wednesday night.