A fantastic first half from Wollongong Wolves guided the side to an emphatic 6-2 victory over Sydney FC at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Supporters were treated to a goal fest in the first half starting with Wollongong defender Banri Kanaizumi inside five minutes.
Christopher McStay scored a brace while Takumi Ofuka and Alex Masciovecchio also got in on the act.
The young Sky Blues scored from the penalty spot through Mitchell Glasson in a dismal opening half for the side.
It was a less exciting second period with Sydney’s Oscar Fryer scoring early on before McStay secured his hat-trick with nine minutes to play.
Just four minutes into the match, the hosts opened the scoring.
Walter Scott’s deep right-sided free-kick finding captain Kanaizumi at the far post who directed a diving header low past Sydney goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic.
The side nearly added a second just four minutes later when another Scott set piece dropped to Ofuka in the box; the in-form attacker rattling the crossbar.
It was Sydney’s turn to threaten from a set piece in the 13th minute when Oscar Fryer saw his headed effort from a corner cleared from the line by Scott.
Wollongong immediately took the ball down the other end with McStay clattered into by Pavlesic just inside the box, seeing the award of a penalty.
McStay took responsibility lashing a strike towards the left side of the goal that made its way past Pavlesic despite a touch from the promising shot stopper.
With the Wolves sitting on a comfortable two-goal cushion, a penalty given away in the 29th minute by goalkeeper Tomas Butkovic threatened to put the pressure back on.
Mitchell Glasson stepped up and slotted the ball down the middle as Butkovic dived to his right.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to re-establish their two-goal buffer though finding the net again 31 minutes in.
Ofuka receiving the ball in the left of the box and firing an accurate shot into the roof of the net.
The goals just kept coming as Wollongong added a fourth with seven first-half minutes to play.
Jake Trew clipping in a left-sided cross that Masciovecchio nodded past Pavlesic from close range.
The Wolves notched their fifth in stoppage as another Trew ball in, this time found McStay who had the simple task of tapping into a vacant net.
That goal rounded out a five-star first half from the hosts in a game full of goals on the South Coast.
It was quieter start to the second half but just after the hour mark, Sydney pulled a goal back.
Fryer latching onto a ball into the left channel and squeezing a shot past Butkovic that eventually rolled into the net.
Chances continued to trickle through for the Wolves with Trew and Stevenson both drawing sharp saved from Pavlesic.
A big chance fell the way of McStay eying off a hat-trick in the 77th minute when Scott’s ball found the make-shift attacker in the box, but he scuffed it wide.
However, the Scotsman wouldn’t be denied his third, heading home Sebastian Hernandez’s right-sided cross only four minutes later.
It was the final gloss added to an outstanding day for the Wolves in their KidzWish charity match.
Wollongong Wolves coach David Carney was delighted with the conviction of his team in the first half but felt they slackened off in the second.
Carney noted the difference role for hat-trick hero McStay who featured in a more advanced attacking midfield role for the home side.
“He was absolutely outstanding to play there as a 10 where hasn’t played much this year,” Carney said.
“We were at it right from the get-go.
“We were aggressive, and I think Sydney turned it over in cheap areas and we were clinical.
“I though second half, being 5-1 up, we were a little bit slow.”
Sydney FC coach Jimmy van Weeren believed it was a fair result in the end, explaining that inexperience played its part in the scoreline.
“Consistency is a challenge,” van Weeren stated.
“The key learning for us is psychologically how resilient you are. If you cop one or two goals then you don’t end up with three, four or five.”
Wollongong Wolves FC 6 (Banri Kanaizumi 4’, Christopher McStay 14’ 45+1’ 81’, Takumi Ofuka 31’, Alex Masciovecchio 38’)
Sydney FC 2 (Mitchell Glasson 29’, Oscar Fryer 51’)
Sunday, 23 July 2023
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Wollongong Wolves FC: 13. Tomas Butkovic (GK), 5. Banri Kanaizumi (C), 6. Senna Stevenson, 7. Marcus Beattie, 8. Samuel Riak, 9. Takumi Ofuka (11. Nav Darjani 85’), 14. Jake Trew, 21. Ethan Beaven, 23. Walter Scott, 25. Alex Masciovecchio (99. Sebastian Hernandez 78’), 88. Christopher McStay (17. Jake Lavalle 90+2’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Nenad Vekic (GK), 4. Dax Kelly, 12. Thomas Dunn
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 30. Adam Pavlesic (GK), 6. Matthew Scarcella, 9. Mitchell Glasson (18. Joseph Lacey 78’), 12. Lachlan Middleton (2. Cameron Fong 46’), 13. Hayden Matthews (C), 15. Dylan Rose, 16. Joseph Calusic (8. Kealey Adamson 46’), 32. Oscar Fryer, 34. Max Buratto, 37. Bailey Callaghan (7. Ben Gibson 46’), 38. Zachary De Jesus (21. Louis Agosti 54’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Gus Hoefsloot (GK)
Yellow Cards: Adam Pavlesic 13’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Matt Staples
Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Matthew Harris
Fourth Official: Ethan Zvargulis
3 – Christopher McStay (WW)
2 – Walter Scott (WW)
1 – Jake Trew (WW)
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_