Marconi Stallions have stunned National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition leaders Sydney United 58 to notch a shock 2-0 win at Marconi Stadium on Sunday.
It was the Stallions first win of the season which all but ended United 58’s flawless start to its 2021 campaign as Marconi re-entered as one of the club’s to watch out for as the Premiership challenge continues to throw up many surprises.
Goals either side of half-time courtesy of Anthony Frangie and Giorgio Speranza were the difference as an inspired Marconi attack proved too much for their local rivals.
The result gets Marconi’s season back on track after a difficult start to the season moving them only one point outside the top five.
It was a tense opening to the contest with the Stallions unlucky to take the lead after 12 minutes when Nathan Millgate hit the crossbar.
The home side were in control of the contest and made the most of their dominance in the 22nd minute when Frangie lost his marker and nodded home to open the scoring.
The Reds were not playing badly but Marconi had the bit between the teeth and realised, as other results filtered through, there was much riding on this result against their unbeaten visitors.
The tackling was fierce and United 58 veteran Glen Trifiro became an early casualty when he was forced off after a physical clash with Millgate.
Tensions were rising on the pitch with neither side willing to give an inch to their fierce rivals.
United 58 survived a late scare as Jordan Roberts cleared a Marko Jesic effort off the line to ensure Marconi didn’t double their advantage before the interval.
Tariq Maia replaced Anthony Tomelic at the resumption as coach Red’s Tomi Vidovic bolstered his attacking options in the search for an equaliser.
Yet it was Marconi who forced the pace and went close to a second goal as Connor Evans forced another diving save from Daniel Nizic before Millgate again struck the upright with a header at the back stick.
United 58 had their best chance soon after when Nenad Vekic was bamboozled by an in-swinging corner from Tariq Maia which hit the crossbar.
Slowly but surely the visitors were pushing Marconi deeper until Vella broke up an attack in midfield and put Jesic away on the left of the box however, it was high and wide of the mark and United breathed again.
A Mitch Mallia corner was punched away by Nizic but Speranza was quickest to react and power home Marconi’s second of the evening.
A Patrick Antelmi bicycle kick attempt accidentally connected with the face of Millgate however the Marconi centre-back is made of stern stuff and was able to carry on after a moment of treatment.
United 58 substitute Jackson Khoury forced Vekic into a near-post save late in the half and again the mood became strained with some push and shove in the box with no major cause for concern.
Frangie should have made certain of the points with two minutes left but somehow contrived to head wide of the mark.
Chris Payne fired a late free-kick wide late on but it was to be Marconi’s day.
Stallions coach Peter Tsekenis commended his side for taking up the fight against the league leaders.
“I didn’t make a change today and challenged the boys to finish games, we’re always good a goal or two, and we got our two and were solid at the back and it could have been a few more,” he said.
“We out-thought and outplayed them today and I don’t feel we were threatened once today to be honest.
“The challenge for us is we’ve always been ahead in the last few games and lost 2-nil leads. The task for us was our mental toughness and to keep going, finish games off and keep a clean sheet and that was the challenge I set them.
“The boys definitely came up trumps today and against a side that scores goals and were unbeaten and to do that and prove to ourselves we can do so is what we’re trying to do each week.
“We’ve scored six or seven in our last few games and that should be enough to win a couple but we haven’t and today we won our first match of the season because we were fully focused for the full ninety minutes.”
United 58 coach Tomi Vidovic said the result was a valuable lesson for his side.
“I don’t think we were out-thought today but possibly out fought certainly,” he replied.
“We knew what to expect and we didn’t deal with it.
“We had a plan and we didn’t execute it well, it’s a simple as that.
“We were prepared for this game but they were simply too good for us today and we just were not good enough ourselves.”
Marconi Stallions 2 (Frangie 22’, G.Speranza 65’ )
Sydney United 58 0
Marconi Stadium, Fairfield
Sunday, 28th March 2021
Referee: Matthew Riedy
Ast. Refs: Hugh Fenton-White & Amber Morris
4th Official: Aaron Block
Marconi Stallions: 1.Nenad VEKIC, 2.Nathan MILLGATE, 3.Girogio SPERANZA, 4.Roberto SPERANZA, 6.Mark RODIC, 8.Connor EVANS, 10.Marko JESIC, 11.Mitchell MALLIA, 14.Anthony FRANGIE, 16.Liam YOULLEY, 23.Brandon VELLA
Substitutes not used: 9.Anthony COSTA, 17.Martin FERNANDEZ, 20.Dion SHAW, 21.Emmanuel, 24.Poalo LAXAMANA, PETERS, 25.Blake ILICH
Yellow Cards: Evans 10’, Youlley 61’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United 58: 1.Daniel NIZIC, 3.Jordan ROBERTS, 4.Adrian VLASTELICA, 5.Anthony TOMELIC ((15.Tariq MAIA 46’), 6.Chris PAYNE, 8.Matthew SIM (7.Jackson KHOURY 73’), 9.Patrick ANTELMI, 10.Devante CLUT, 16.Jacob POSCILEIRO, 17.Matthew BILIC (2.Christian GONZALEZ 66’), 18.Glen TRIFIRO (14.Andrea AGAMEMNONOS 42’)
Substitutes not used: 21.Josip ORLOVIC, 22.Yianni FRAGOGIANNIS
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Connor Evans (MS)
2 – Brandon Vella (MS)
1 – Nathan Millgate (MS)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Micky Brock