Young Sky Blues Shine At Lambert Park

Sydney FC have dealt a crushing blow to Rockdale City Suns FC finals hopes with a Marco Tilio brace led 3-1 success on Saturday at a wet Lambert Park.

The victory was the Sky Blues first since Round 12 when they downed Hakoah Sydney City East.

The Young Sky Blues were made to work for it, coming back from a goal down with a pair of highlight reel strikes from Marco Tilio. Substitute Benjamin Koop added a late chip to confirm the result as they move to 17 points for the season.

Tonight was a tough result for Rockdale City Suns FC. The Suns had the lead through a first half injury time strike from Aleksandar Canak but some errors in the second half have them on the edge of elimination.

Much of the best work for Sydney FC in the first half came through talented midfielder Marco Tilio. Sydney FC’s number ten had their first shot from a rapid counter that was always rising.

Rockdale City Suns FC found joy through the set piece. On several occasions, the hard work of Alec Urosevski and Aleksandar Canak earned cut through the Sydney FC defense but unable to find the final pass.

After a tense opening passage, the game opened up as the chances flowed. Harry Van Der Saag and Tilio both tested Rockdale City Suns keeper David Bradasevic before an audacious chip from Jordan Swibel almost caught the custodian out.

Chasing the top five, Rockdale City Suns started to find their rhythm. Urosevski had a pair of chances blocked then Sasa Macura unleashed a rocket that flew wide of the right post as the game searched for the opener.

Sydney FC opened up Rockdale’s defense but Joel King thrashed his effort wide. The young side showed they weren’t going to be bullied by their more experienced opponents.

Tilio was again the talisman and he stabbed an effort straight as the Sky Blues searched for their first victory since their Round 12 success against Hakoah Sydney City East.

It was Rockdale who struck deep into injury time. The visitors refused to let Sydney FC clear their lines which allowed Urosevski to cut the ball back to a free Canak. He slammed the ball home making it 1-nil at the break.

Coming out to make amends right away, enter Marco Tilio. The Sky-Blue star won the ball clearly in midfield then in the wet conditions, glided like a duck through the Rockdale defense before a calm finish into the roof the net for 1-1.

Not content with the first act, Tilio produced an encore. Sydney FC swept up field again, the ball onto the foot of King before he cut it back for Tilio to nestle it into the corner first time, 2-1 Sydney FC.

Rockdale knowing a loss would deliver a hammer blow to their finals hopes, pushed forward in numbers. They threw on Jordan Figon for some extra thrust but the set piece remained the option.

The delivery from Sasa Macura was perfect on the right as he lifted it onto the head of Leigh Egger but the defender wasn’t able to crane his neck enough, as it flew over.

Nikola Taneski had the chance to snatch a point for Rockdale City Suns. The attacker turned smartly close to the box, unleashed a low shot that Sydney FC custodian, Thomas Heward-Belle flew to the left to deny him.

Sydney FC confirmed their first three points in five weeks when through substitute Benjamin Koop. After clearing a dangerous Rockdale raid, the ball was lofted for Koop to chase against Trent McClenahan. The youngster got in front of his man then chipped home for 3-1 as the Sky Blues saw out the contest.

A delighted Jimmy Van Weeren enjoyed the effort from his young Sky Blues which he believes is a due reward for their persistence.

“The boys were first class tonight. We were disappointed to be 1-nil after gifting them a goal. We showed some mental toughness to get the points.” said Van Weeren.

“There were some real special moments from Marco tonight. He has shown that he can be a match winner. Now, we look to finish off the season with as many wins as possible.”

For Rockdale City Suns coach Nick Porreca it was another night his side paid the ultimate price for a few moments of madness.

“I thought we battled hard in the first half. The boys are battling hard with some injuries but a few defensive breakdowns cost us tonight.” He said.

Match Stats

Sydney FC 3 (Tilio ‘50, ‘52, Koop ‘90)

Rockdale City Suns FC 1 (Canak ‘45+2)

Saturday,6 July 2019

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Referee: T. Danaskos

Assistant Referees: B. Wright & H. Fenton-White

Fourth Official: C. Wright

Sydney FC: 1. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas, 5. SCIBILIO Patrick, 6. VAN DER SAAG Harry, 8. KING Joel, 10. TILIO Marco (24. HOLLMAN ‘90+2), 11. IVANOVIC Luke (18. KOOP ‘68), 13. SWIBEL Jordan, 15. TEAGUE Ryan (34. NIEUWENHOF ‘76), 16. BONANNI Paolo, 17. TALBOT Callum, 54. MILINARIC Anton

Substitutes not used: 14. FAY Thomas, 40. KAYE Levi

Yellow cards: Scibilio

Red cards: nil

Rockdale City Suns FC: 1. BRADASEVIC David, 3. NEIL Michael, 7. UROSEVSKI Alec, 8. CANAK Aleksandar, 10. TANESKI Nikola, 11. EGGER Leigh, 12. EL HAFIANE Idriss, 15. PETRILLO Nic (9. GROZDANOVSKI ‘83), 17. LECCE Matthew, 18. MACURA Sasa (45. FIGON ‘70), 19. SAVOR Patrick (4. MCCLENAHAN ‘74)

Substitutes not used: 16. MALFARA Alex, 22. ROWSTON Max

Yellow cards: Macura, Taneski

Red cards: nil