Young Sky Blues Battle Against Blacktown

Sydney FC battled against Blacktown City on Saturday, but ultimately went down 1-0 after Danny Choi’s second half strike claimed the points in their clash at Lily’s Football Stadium.

Choi guided in his first goal of the season four minutes after the half time interval to settle any simmering nerves around Seven Hills and ultimately defeat the visiting Sky Blues who had impressively gone toe to toe with the competition heavyweights throughout the contest.

The win is also Blacktown’s first shutout in five matches and despite Crittenden’s men lacking a degree of sharpness in the final third, City will take plenty of positives from a defensive standpoint particularly after a run of matches that has seen the side lose twice to Marconi Stallions and Sydney Olympic and concede five goals in their last two.

Although Robbie Stanton’s Sydney FC gave the hosts some scary moments in a typically quick start from the Sky Blues, Blacktown made the clearer opportunities in the opening half and were denied by the frame of the goal twice: first through Danny Choi’s fizzing volley from outside the area before Yianni Spyrakis was soon after denied by the foot of the post.

Sydney FC haven’t kept a clean sheet all season but largely took the sting out of Blacktown’s most dangerous attacking options in the opening half, particularly Mitch Mallia – an impressive feat considering the City winger netted a hattrick in his side’s 5-3 win over Rockdale City Suns last Sunday.

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Jeremy Cox takes on the Blacktown defence. Photo by Jaime Castaneda (@jamcas50)

But after labouring to the half time whistle it only took four second half minutes for Blacktown’s other danger man Choi to break the deadlock after the attacker drove at a retreating Sky Blues defence before cutting inside and curling a low shot past Sydney goalkeeper Duro Dragicevic into the corner.

Blacktown had a few chances to double the advantage following Choi’s strike with the former Adelaide United man and Giorgio Speranza stinging the palms of Dragicevic as the Sydney FC defence tired.

For all their control of the second period, City lacked their usual sheen and edge in the final third but remained resolute and foiled Sydney FC's tired attempts at pressing for a late equalizer.

Despite another encouraging display the Sky Blues remain rooted to the bottom of the table after their seventh loss of the campaign. Stanton’s men host Rockdale City Suns at Lambert Park next Saturday afternoon.

Match Stats

Blacktown City 1 (Choi 49’)

Sydney FC 0

Saturday 12th of May 2018

Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills

Referee: K Patterson

Assistant Referees: M McOrist & E Kocbek

Fourth official: S Andrews

Blacktown City: 8. Daniel Araujo, 19. Zachary Cairncross (4. Roberto Speranza 45’), 11. Danny Choi (18. Mason Versi 78’), 7. Devante Clut, 10. Connor Evans (6. Matthew Lewis 73’), 9. Joey Gibbs, 5. Grant Lynch, 14. Mitchell Mallia, 1. Tristan Prendergast, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 22. Yianni Spyrakis

Substitutes not used: 20. Stevan Savicic

Yellow cards: N/A

Red cards: N/A

Sydney FC: 30. Duro Dragicevic, 6. Andreas Agamemnonos, 15. Jeremy Cox, 2. Brendan Curtis, 3. Patrick Flottmann, 11. Luke Ivanovic, 9. Hassan Jalloh (18. Finn Ballard-Mcbride 86’), 4. Liam McGing, 8. Sam McIllhatton, 16. William Mutch (14. Joel King 73’), 12. Harry Van Der Saag (10. Cameron Devlin 74’)

Substitutes not used: 1. Mitchell Evans

Yellow cards: N/A

Red cards: N/A

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Celebrations in the U20's clash as it rained goals. Photo by Jaime Castaneda (@jamcas50)

U20's Report:

Blacktown City 4-4 Sydney FC, Saturday 5.00pm at Lily’s Football Centre

Blacktown City conceded two late goals to draw 4-4 with Sydney FC in a drama-packed top of the table encounter at Lily’s Football Stadium on Saturday evening.

After trailing the Sky Blues 2-0 after 20 minutes following goals from competition top scorer Hamish Lamberton and Finn Ballard-Mcbride, Blacktown clawed their way to parity before the break through Lachlan Campbell and Adolph Koudakpo.

John Carnevale’s side looked to have completed a remarkable turnaround when Koudakpo and Campbell netted their second goals of the match early in the second stanza but a late double from Jordan Swibel saw the Sky Blues snatch a draw in an end to end finale.

The draw leaves second-placed Blacktown in striking distance of leaders Sutherland Sharks who hold a three point buffer over Blacktown and a further six over third-placed Sydney. With the halfway mark of the NPL NSW Men’s 20’s season closing in, both Blacktown and Sydney remain the only genuine challengers to Sutherland’s title defence.

But on a night where both sides wasted their chance to make a statement of championship intent after each squandering two-goal buffers, it was clear that the pair of competition heavyweights have plenty of work to do in order to prevent Sutherland from claiming back to back titles.

Blacktown will get an opportunity to do exactly that and make up for their late collapse against the Sky Blues when they face the Sharks next Saturday afternoon at Seymour Shaw.

However, the visitors will likely emerge from Saturday’s contest with the greater regret after surrendering their two goal lead before half time and conceding three of Blacktown’s four goals from corners.

The Sky Blues opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Lamberton tucked away Ballard-Mcbridge’s cross for his 13th goal of the campaign and doubled the lead ten minutes later when the Sydney winger’s shot deflected off City defender William Salinas and squeezed past Stevan Savicic at the near post.

Blacktown clawed their way back into the encounter when skipper Campbell planted a superb header home from John Azar’s corner and restored parity on the stroke of half time when Lachlan Rose’s acrobatic effort fell to the feet of Koudakpo who duly dispatched his first of the game from close range.

The City attacker clinched his fifth goal of the season after looping a header over Sydney goalkeeper David Malishev from Azar’s corner and it was another superb delivery from the Blacktown midfielder that led to the hosts’ fourth, with Benjamin Parkinson smashing the crossbar before Campbell prodded in the rebound.

Carnevale’s men appeared to be heading for a crucial win but the match swung with the arrival of late substitute Marco Tilio who was awarded a penalty after a challenge from Mark Rodic, allowing Swibel to place the resulting spot kick past Savicic low to the left.

And Tilio played a starring role in his side’s 88th minute equalizer after a sensational darting run from deep inside the Blacktown half before rifling a shot across goal that deflected of Swibel and in to salvage a share of the points.

Sydney take on Rockdale City Suns next Saturday lunchtime and will hope that both Blacktown and Sutherland drop points when the top two face off at Seymour Shaw later in the afternoon.

Match Stats

Blacktown City 4 (Campbell 26’, Koudakpo 43’, 48’, Campbell 60’)

Sydney FC 4 (Lamberton 9’, Ballard-Mcbride 19’, Swibel pen. 79’, Swibel 88’)

Saturday 12th of May 2018

Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills

 

Sydney FC's night of nights the Sky Blue Ball in on Saturday 19 May at The Star, Sydney! Book your table now, or purchase gallery seating for only $25 and see your Sky Blue stars rewarded for all their achievements in 2017/18!