It was goals galore at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon as Sydney United 58 FC secured a dominant 5-0 victory over Manly United FC with Patrick Antelmi bagging a hattrick as the boys from Edensor Park returned to the winners circle.
Goals to Matthew Sim and Patrick Antelmi in quick succession in the opening stanza saw Sydney United 58 grab a hold on the game early, cemented by a penalty converted by Antelmi moments before the half-time whistle.
A third goal to Antelmi in the early stages of the second half and a final fifth goal from Glen Trifiro saw the home side finish off a dominant attacking performance and huge defensive effort to maintain a clean sheet against Manly, who kept trying to claw their way into the game right up until the final whistle.
The win, and the all-important three points that come with it, helped Sydney United climb to third place on the NPL NSW Men’s ladder ahead of the second half of the season.
The opening goal came just 13 minutes into the match from a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box as Manly’s James Oates brought down Antelmi.
Sim and Trifiro both prepared for the free-kick, with Sim taking the opportunity and sending his strike over Manly’s defensive wall and out of reach of Manly’s goalkeeper Samuel Benton.
The home side used the momentum of the first goal to double their lead just one minute later, this time through the boot of Antelmi.
Sim played the ball back to Antelmi, who was positioned just outside the 18-yard box, who then fired a ball past Benton to the top left corner.
Cristian Gonzalez set up an opportunity for Jackson Khoury in the 22nd minute, however, Khoury fired the ball into the crossbar from close range.
Antelmi came searching for another in the 33rd minute after a handful of chances for Sydney United 58, but his effort was deflected by Benton.
Antelmi stepped up to the penalty spot in the 45th minute after being taken down by Oates inside the box.
The striker sent Benton diving in the wrong direction before steadily sliding his shot into the netting to give his team a 3-0 lead at the half-time break.
Antelmi earned himself a hat trick in the 54th minute through a brilliant left-foot strike from the edge of the 18-yard box after a well-played assist from Sim. It was the ace marksman’s eighth goal of the 2021 campaign as he rose up top on the goalscorer’s charts once more.
Dejan Pandurevic created an opportunity for the visitors in the 56th minute from a speedy run behind United’s backline, however, he sent his effort directly at Nizic who was solid under pressure to keep Manly without a goal.
Trifiro got on the scoreboard in the 58th minute, receiving a great through ball from Matt Sim and sending it just inside the sticks past Benton.
Kieren Paull had a chance from range or Manly in the 67th minute, but his effort went straight to the arms of Nizic.
Paull was back for more in the 70th minute, sending a ball to Luka Kmet at the goalmouth, but Kmet’s effort was misdirected and flew high over the crossbar.
Despite Manly continuing to mount pressure on Sydney United 58 in the final stages of the game, the home side were unyielding in defence and finished the match with a clean sheet.
Sydney United 58 coach Tomi Vidovic was pleased with his team’s incredible 5-0 performance.
“I think Manly were on the end of a month of frustration, so they bore the brunt of that,” he explained.
“It was definitely coming, and the players kept believing.
“We’ve had a tough period but there’s a lot of belief in the group and we knew that this was coming so I’m very, very happy for the players.
“I think even before this we had momentum in terms of performances… we’ve had good performances for a period of time so we just have to continue that.”
Manly United coach Adam Griffiths said, “it’s disappointing to lose 5-0 so we’ll just have to do a reflection on how those goals happened.”
“There were some good, bright moments in the second half where we did fight and we could have got a goal or two, but we didn’t.
“We’ll regroup and review this game and make sure we’re prepared for Marconi.”
Sydney United 58 FC 5 (Sim 13’, Antelmi 15’, 45’, 54’, Trifiro 58’)
Manly United 0
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: A. Arndt
Assistant Referees: Teleki and J. Park
Fourth Official: A. Naji
Sydney United 58 FC: 1. Danijel Nizic, 2. Cristian Gonzalez, 3. Jordan Roberts, 4. Adrian Vlastelica, 8. Matthew Sim (11. Jordan Ivancic, 84’), 9. Patrick Antelmi (15. Tariq Maia 58’), 10. Devante Clut (20. Sallu Kamara 84’), 14. Andreas Agamemnonos, 16. Jacob Poscoliero, 18. Glen Trifiro, 22. Yianni Fragogiannis (7. Jackson Khoury)
Substitutes Not Used: 21. Josip Orlovic, 23. Luke Vlastelica
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United: 2. Kieren Paull, 3. James Georgakilis, 4. James Oates, 5. Sam Gallagher (10. Richard Cardozo 58’), 7. Jack Fulton (31. Ben Gibson 58’), 12. Luca Kmet, 13. Scott Balderson, 14. Dejan Pandurevic, 15. Jesse Piriz, 16. Seiya Kambayashi, 19. Samuel Benton
Substitutes Not Used: 18. Lucas Rainbird, 20. Alen Aganovic, 24. Ashton Finn,
Yellow Cards: Sam Gallagher
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Patrick Antelmi (SU)
2 – Matthew Sim (SU)
1 – Daniel Nizic (SU)
By Football NSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)