Matchday two of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s finals series is in the books and wasn’t it a crazy night of action.
APIA Leichhardt secured the first grand final spot with a huge win in Wollongong which forces the Wolves to take the long route to Bankwest Stadium
However, it was at Lilys Football Stadium on Wednesday night where things really got weird with Sydney United 58 eliminating Blacktown City in one of the more bizarre finals matches you will likely witness.
The results set up a massive preliminary final clash for Saturday afternoon as United 58 and Wollongong face off at WIN Stadium for a grand final berth.
If the finals matches so far are anything to go by then this clash should be one you won’t want to miss.
Wollongong Wolves 0 – APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 at WIN Stadium
The ‘underdogs’ APIA Leichhardt Tigers secured their place in the 2019 NPL NSW Men’s Grand Final at Bankwest Stadium with a gritty 1-0 victory over Premiers Wollongong Wolves at WIN Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was one of the competition’s most lethal marksman in Chris Payne that proved to be the difference with the prolific front man scoring in the 81st minute that sent the APIA troops into raptures.
Payne has been an absolute steal for the Tigers since moving to the club this year having come across from rivals Sydney United 58. The ace marksman has racked up a tally of 22 goals for the year and has firmly set his eyes on winning silverware.
John Calleja had a game plan to nullify the Premiers who were firm favourites from the get-go and it worked to a tee as the Wolves grew frustrated in not being able to play its normal game.
Coming from playing 120 minutes of football as well as penalties in their 5-3 win last Saturday against Blacktown City, it was always going to be a tall order for the visitors but determination and playing to a game plan worked wonders for the APIA side.
Blacktown City 3 – Sydney United 58 7 at Lily Homes Stadium
Two extra-time goals has helped Sydney United pull off one of the most spectacular finals comebacks in National Premier Leagues NSW history to snatch a 7-3 win against Blacktown City at Lily Homes Stadium
Locked at 3-3 at the end of 90 minutes, after fighting back from 2-1 and 3-2 down, United delivered a masterclass in extra-time to score four unanswered and secure the most incredible of victories.
Former City striker Patrick Antelmi came back to haunt his former club by scoring eight minutes into extra time before a Tarik Maia wonder strike and Matt Sim double at the death gave United 58 the historic victory and bundled City out of the finals.
The first 20 minutess of the match was nothing anyone could have predicted with five goals an a missed penalty in what was an explosive opening to the contest.
Peter Simonoski gave the visitors the lead after eight minutes before Blacktown hit back with a penalty for Matt Lewis. Dakota Askew spurned a brilliant chance moments later when he missed Blacktown’s second penalty of the night.
The two sides then traded goals with Grant Lynch finding the back of the net before Simonoski levelled from the penalty spot but only before Leroy Jennings would then give Blacktown the lead once again.
A Tomislav Uskok goal midway through the second half set up what would be a thrilling close to the match with the scores locked at 3-3.
It was a difficult way for Blacktown’s season to come to an end, but one Sydney United 58 and their fans will definitely not forget.