Sydney United 58 has snatched a dramatic late winner to claim a 1-0 victory against local rivals Marconi Stallions at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.
United 58 substitute Tariq Maia combined with Chris Payne and Patrick Antelmi to seal the win after a hard-fought battle with plenty of chances for both teams.
The offside flag was a source of pain for both sides, as goals to United 58’s Payne and Marconi’s Stefan Nikolic were disallowed.
It could prove to be a vital three competition points for United 58 as they keep pace with Blacktown City in the Premiership race while it was a painful result for the Stallions who although recorded its fourth loss of the year, has had a tough season due to its ten draws.
The first of the offside calls came in the 25th minute as Glen Trifiro fired a shot that was deflected in front of the goalmouth by Marconi custodian Nenad Vekic.
Vekic scrambled to get another hand to it, but his effort fell to Chris Payne who used his chest to direct it into the netting before the referee called the goal offside.
Unsurprisingly, th eNational Premier Leagues NSW Men’s leading goal scorer Patrick Antelmi managed to create a handful of impressive goal-scoring opportunities throughout the match, however he struggled to convert his chances.
A strike from Antelmi in the 33rd minute soared over the crossbar, while Vekic denied his opportunity in the 47th minute.
His forward run in the 59th minute was put under pressure by Marconi defender Mason Ingram, leaving his shot flying wide and his powerful strike from outside the 18-yard box in the 64th minute ricocheted off and over the top of the crossbar.
Despite lacking a number of their key players in the match, Marconi managed to mount pressure on a dangerous Sydney United 58 outfit, also creating a number of chances throughout the 90 minutes.
Giorgio Speranza played the ball in to young substitute Nikolic in the 77th minute, who then sent the ball into the goal, however the youngsters celebrations were interrupted by the offside flag being raised by the linesman to disallow the goal.
As fans prepared for the match to end in a goalless draw, Sydney United 58 managed to create some magic and secure a late goal.
Substitute Matthew Bilic played the ball in to Payne in a dangerous position, who fired a strike at Vekic.
While Vekic managed to pull off an incredible effort to deflect, the ball fell to the feet of Antelmi who tapped it to Maia to finish and take the lead in the 89th minute, securing all three points in the battle.
Sydney United 58 coach Tomi Vidovic was pleased his team were able to secure the result after telling the players at half time to “maintain the belief in our football.”
“I think it was a deserved victory,” he said.
“It was a really good performance from the players, and I think [the win was] thoroughly deserved.
Marconi coach Peter Tsekenis explained he was proud of his team’s effort with a number of players unavailable.
“United are a good side and they probably got us at the best time for them with so many players unavailable,” he explained.
“I’m proud of the boys that came on and they’ve earnt a spot to give it a go and they held their own.
“Unfortunately to cop a goal like that to decide a game was a bit disappointing.”
Sydney United 58 FC 1 (Tariq Maia 89’)
Marconi Stallions FC 0
Sunday 13th June, 2021
Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: K Patterson
Assistant Referees: H. Fenton-White and C. Wright
Fourth Official: H. Al-Nakeeb
Sydney United 58 FC: 1. Daniel Nizic, 2. Christian Gonzalez (17. Matthew Bilic 75’), 4. Adrian Vlastelica, 6. Chris Payne, 7. Jackson Khoury (3. Jordan Roberts 82’), 9. Patrick Antelmi, 10. Devante Clut (5. Anthony Tomelic 75’), 14. Andrea Agamemnonos (15. Tariq Maia 87’), 16. Jacob Poscoliero, 18. Glen Trifiro, 22. Yianni Fragogiannis
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Michael Marcic, 21. Josip Ortoric
Yellow Cards: Andrea Agamemnonos 38’, Adrian Vlastelica 68’
Red Cards: Nil
Marconi Stallions FC: 1. Nenad Vekic, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 5. Mason Ingram, 6. Mark Rodic, 7. Christopher Hatfield (8. Connor Evans 61’), 10. Marko Jesic, 16. Liam Youlley, 17. Martin Fernandez, 19. Zac Cairncross, 23. Brandon Vella (12. Stefan Nikolic 45’), 32. Jarrod McKinley
Substitutes Not Used: 18. Dimos Vlachos, 20. Dion Shaw, 25. Blake Ilitch, 41. Ahmad Taleb
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
By Football NSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)