Sydney FC went down 3-0 in their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition clash against APIA Leichhardt at Lambert Park on Friday.
In a match of end to end action, APIA looked in control for almost the whole 90 minutes with goals to Tasuku Sekiya, Sean Symons and Matthew West securing the result and all three points.
It was a tough day at the office for Sydney FC who could not make the most of their expansive play and never truly looked threatening.
The result gives APIA five wins from six starts and has the side firming as one of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition favourites
It was an open slather start to the match with both sides showing no signs of sitting back.
True to form the young Sky Blues stretched the field with their fast and expansive style. APIA fought fire with fire.
Jordan Murray, Sean Symons and Sekiya led the charge for the home side and forced Sydney’s defence onto the back foot.
It didn't take long for APIA to break the deadlock with Sekiya firing past the outstretched arms of FC goal keeper Heward-Belle after a slick assist from Murray in the 13th minute.
It was end to end action but it was APIA who had better control of proceedings.
In the 20th minute Murray missed a key chance from only 8 yards out when he delayed his shot for a second too long.
Sydney FC striker Charles Lokolingoy was locked in a fierce battle with APIA centre back Themba Muata-Marlow but the burly marksman still found a way to pressure the defence
APIA were the next to truly threaten when Muata-Marlow headed over the bar from a corner kick.
Heward-Belle saved Sydney FC from going into the half 2-0 down with a diving save to his right from a Murray shot from the edge of the box.
APIA refused to take their foot off the pedal in the second half and it didn't take long for the home side to take a shot on goal.
Paul Galimi headed narrowly over the bar from only five yards out.
Sydney had their best chance of the match in the 60th minute when Nicola Kuleski made a driving run from midfield and delivered a splitting through ball which narrowly missed the run of Antoniou.
In the 62nd minute Symons doubled the lead with a powerful shut from inside the box after a weighted through ball from his brother Josh Symons.
Muata-Marlow was in inspired from and marked Lokolingoy out of the match as the APIA defence held firm through the second half.
The home side wrapped the match up in the 90th minute thanks to a thunderbolt strike from Matthew West to secure a three-goal win and all three competition points.
APIA Coach Danial Cummins said his side delivered an impressive performance.
“The boys executed the game plan really well and minus a bit of a lapse late in the first half I think we did a really good job,” he said.
“Defensively we kept it tight at the back and was a perfect way to fight back after last week’s result.
“Sydney is a really good side and they play better football than their position on the table suggests.”
It was a different story for Sydney FC coach Robbie Stanton who felt his side failed to play to their usual standards.
“We were off the pace tonight and even though we had our chances I wasn't impressed with the overall performance,” he said.
“Maybe it was fatigue or something else but i felt we were not completely on the mark.
“If we play to our best the results will come.”
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 3 (Sekiya 13, S Symons 62, West 90)
Sydney FC: 0
Friday, April 14 2017
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant Referees: J. Tesoriero & D Horstead
Fourth Official: Toby Plasto
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 22. Luke Turnbull (GK), 2. Nathan Millgate, 3. Paul Galimi, 4. Joshua Symons, 8. Corey Biczo, 11. Jordan Murray (9. Matthew West), 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 16. Sean Symons, 18. Adrian Ucchino, 19. Brandon Lundy, 20. Tasuku Sekiya
Substitutes not used: 1. Blake Tuxford, 7. Sean O’Connell,, 10. Franco Parisi, 17. Adrian Vlastelica
Yellow Cards: J Symons
Red Cards: N/A
Sydney FC: 20. Thomas Heward-Belle, 2. Brendan Curtis, 3. Patrick Flottmann, 4. George Timotheou, 6. Nicola Kuleski, 9. Bai Antoniou (38. Daniel Maskin), 10. Aaron Avery (8. Juan Zapata), 12. Charles Lokolingoy 16. William Mutch, 17. Chris Zuvela, 21. Andrea Agamemnonos
Substitutes not used: 1. EVANS Mitchell, 11. Chris Ardititi, 39. MCGING Liam,
Yellow Cards: nil
Red Cards: nil