Sydney FC and the Marconi Stallions concluded what was an entertaining round 12 of matches as the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sunday’s late fixture at the Ilinden Sports Centre.
The Young Sky Blues entered the game in last position but one would hardly have known as early in the second half Jimmy Van Weeren’s men led 3-1 before an excellent fight back by Marconi, thanks to goals from Anthony Frangie and Marko Jesic.
Marconi have drawn eight matches this season and will be kicking themselves once again for not securing all three points.
That’s 16 points out of a possible 24 that have gone begging for the Stallions.
The first real chance of the match arrived in the 5th minute and it was game’s opening goal.
A long ball from the left reached Callum Talbot on the edge of the box on the right side and he didn’t miss the intended target with a beautiful diagonal volley to give Sydney FC the lead. On a cold night, it was an even frostier reception for Marconi who conceded so easily and so early.
A few minutes later Luke Ivanovic did all the hard work down the right channel before finding Jordan Swibel in the middle, but he fluffed his chance and ‘keeper Nenad Vekic had no trouble collecting the spoils.
It could well have been two up there and then for the Young Sky Blues.
In the 15th minute a long-distance free-kick from Connor Evans sailed narrowly wide of the posts in what was Marconi’s first real half-chance of the encounter.
Marconi though did equalise in the 19th minute through Mallia. It was goal scored through sheer persistence as he worked his way into the box and with an acute-angle finish drilled the ball across the face of goal and into the bottom corner of the net.
In the 33rd minute it was Sydney FC with a great chance as the ball made its way from the left to Talbot in the middle but, from close range and under pressure from the Marconi defence, he fired over.
Late in the first stanza of play it was Ivanovic for the home side who went on a dazzling run from midfield through the heart of the Marconi defence before finding teammate Aidan Simmons who blasted over the crossbar.
The first opportunity in the second half was actually Sydney FC’s second goal in the 52nd minute when a cross from the right found an ever-present Ivanovic in the middle and he threaded the ball neatly home past an outstretched Vekic.
Sydney FC made in three in the 58th minute when Corey Hollman won the ball in a midfield challenge and then fed it through to a galloping Adrian Segecic who, on the left, was given far too much space before centring his run and scoring.
Despite the setbacks, Marconi were far from finished and in the sixtieth minute Jesic with a beautiful cross found Mallia lurking at the far post but his header was only a few centimetres too high.
Marconi though did hit back more accurately a minute later when Frangie made a determined run into the box despite some unconventional Sydney FC defence and fired past the out-coming goalkeeper Levi Kaye.
Marconi’s third arrived shortly afterwards. Manny Peters had only just entered the fray and did all the hard work down the right before squaring the ball into the centre for Jesic and the experienced captain turned the ball into the back of the net.
It was now 3-3 and really no more than Marconi deserved for not giving up the fight.
In the 78th minute Marconi, now with all the momentum, could have taken the lead when a forceful shot by Chris Hatfield was beautifully saved by Kaye as the Young Sky Blues breathed a collective sigh of relief.
The game ebbed and flowed to the end but in the end the spoils were shared.
After the game Sydney FC coach Jim van Weeren was pleased with his team’s efforts and but also knew that they too had squandered their chances
“Two really sloppy goals cost us the three points tonight,” he said.
“We were 3-1 up in this game but then those two goals occurred. However, we are young boys and Marconi is a really good team in this comp and to see the young boys do so well against them is a real positive.
“We have Sydney United 58 here at home next week and on their day they are one of the best teams in the comp, so we’ll have to be right up for that one and on top of our game. It’s always tough.”
Marconi’s coach Peter Tsekenis on the other hand was also pleased but he too knew that two points had slipped away once again.
“It was disappointing to be 3-1 down to be honest and it’s the same old story where we got punished for little errors,” he said.
“The positives were that we didn’t give up and we could have easily won that game.
“Their goals got us on the back foot whereas we got in position and didn’t take our chances. They got into position and took them in a 50-50 game, but only when we realised that our backs were against the wall, then we lifted.
“We didn’t get some calls tonight and again a draw sends us back to the drawing board.”
SYDNEY FC 3 (Talbot 5’, Ivanovic 52’, Segecic 58)
MARCONI STALLIONS 3 (Mallia 19’, Frangie 62’, Jesic 70’)
Sunday 16th May 2021
Bicentennial Park, Rockdale
Referee: Christian Verdicchio
Assistant Referees: H.White, M.Staples
Fourth Official: M.Limnios
SYDNEY FC: 1.Levi Kaye, 3.Aaron Gurd (16.Stevan Stanic-Floody 46’), 4.Patrick Flottman, 5.Thomas Fay, 7.Aidan Simmons (12.Jake Girdwood-Reich 80’), 8.Patrick Yazbek, 11.Adrian Segecic (9.Antonio Saracino 75’), 23.Callum Talbot, 24.Luke Ivanovic, 27.Jordan Swibel (13.Clayton Taylor 23’), 33.Corey Hollman.
Substitutes not used: 2.Cameron Fong, 60.Maz Vartuli
Yellow Cards: Yazbek 67’
Red Card: Nil
MARCONI STALLIONS: 1.Nenad Vekic, 2.Nathan Millgate, 4.Roberto Speranza, 5.Mason Ingram, 8.Connor Evans, 10.Marko Jesic, 11.Mitchell Mallia, 14.Anthony Frangie (21.Emmanuel Peters 69’), 17.Martin Fernandez, (7.Chris Hatfield 55’) 19.Zachary Cairncross (16.Liam Youlley 55’), 23.Brandon Vella.
Substitutes not used: 6.Mark Rodic, 20.Dion Shaw, 24.Paolo Laxamana
Yellow Cards: Millgate 25’
Red Card: Nil
3 – Luke Ivanovic (SFC)
2 – Mason Ingram (MS)
1 – Mitchell Mallia (MS)