Hakoah Sydney City East fought back from a goal down to storm to a 4-1 win over Sutherland Sharks during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Round 16 clash at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday afternoon.
The home side scored and incredible three goals in the last six minutes of the second half helping the home side to an outstanding win.
Sutherland’s Patrick O’Shea opened the scoring early in the first half, giving the visitors the lead at the break, but Hakoah came out strong in the second half to put four on their opponents, with substitute Jablonski chipping in with a double while Andre De Jong and Anthony Frangie also found the back of the net.
Hakoah appeared to struggle with Sutherland’s intensity during the opening exchanges, and were tested early on. Nathan Elasi stole the ball from a defender and hit a shot at goal which nearly caught out Hakoah ‘keeper Anthony Bouzanis.
Given their dominance in the opening 15 minutes, it was little surprise when Sutherland took the lead through Patrick O’Shea, who was in the right place at the right time to slam home a corner which had dropped into the six-yard box.
A series of fouls broke up play through the middle of the half, and inevitably led to a penalty in Sutherland’s favour.
The impressive Tomohiro Kajiyama stepped up to double the visitors’ lead, but his spot kick was clawed away by Bouzanis and the ball was eventually cleared upfield to ease the pressure on a stoic Hakoah defense, and leave the home side just a goal behind at the break.
Hakoah should have equalised when Kiwi Andre De Jong broke clear of the Sutherland backline to meet a bouncing ball ahead of Nathan Denham, but he sent his lob just wide of the far post to leave his side wanting.
He would make amends for his miss soon after though, latching onto a loose ball in the box and smashing a shot past a hopeless Denham to level the game at 1-1 with little over 20 minutes remaining.
A more physical approach was reaping rewards for Hakoah in the second half, and what should have been a nervy ending for both sides gave way to a flood of goals.
Neil Jablonski completed Hakoah’s comeback with six minutes left on the clock when he headed in Paul Orgad’s cross at the far post, and should’ve had another just two minutes later when he found himself in a one-on-one with Denham, but swiped too far across his shot.
With the final whistle fast approaching, Anthony Frangie gave Hakoah room to breathe when he ran clear of the Sutherland defense and hit a clean shot inside the far post to make it 3-1.
A few minutes later, Jablonski rounded out the scoring with his second, and Hakoah’s fourth, of the afternoon; three goals in the final six minutes of the match giving Hakoah a well-deserved win and three valuable points.
Gavin Rae was beaming after a result which saw the Hakoah support form a guard of honour to clap their team off the field.
“The first half was poor,” he said.
“And the goal that we conceded was disappointing, but the keeper kept us in it with a penalty save and then we really dominated in the second half.
“We wanted to up the tempo in the second half, and be a bit more direct – we weren’t going anywhere in the first half – and it paid off for us. I’m delighted.”
Sutherland’s Grant Lee reflected on a difficult second half for his young side.
“We gave away goals with schoolboy errors – whether it was ball-watching, not tracking runners, not reading the play, we just didn’t adjust. Once the first one went in, we got a bit negative and things fell apart,” he said.
“We should’ve been up by at least two at halftime, but we’ve got to learn how to dominate and make the most of our chances, and not let our heads drop when things go wrong.”
Hakoah Sydney City East FC 4 (De Jong 67′, Jablonski 84′, 90′, Frangie 89′)
Sutherland Sharks FC 1 (O’Shea 15′)
Sunday 25 June 2017, at Hensley Athletic Field
Referee: M. Weiner
Assistant referees: S. Edeling and N. McOrist
Fourth official: A. Brett
Hakoah Sydney City East FC: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony, 15. BEREVESKOS Dean, 10. DE JONG Andre, 14. FRANGIE Anthony (18. JONES Harry), 12. GREEN Jack, 36. JONES Lee (9. JABLONSKI Neil), 8. ORGAD Paul, 19. RAE Gavin, 33. SHADDOCK Connor, 17. SWEET Gideon, 4. WALKER Bradley
Subs not used: 6. DRAPER Cameron, 45. FIGUIERA Michael, 38. HAYHURST Finn
Yellow Cards: Orgad 21′, Frangie 68′
Red Cards: N/A
Sutherland Sharks FC: 1. DENHAM Nathan, 12. BROWN Blair, 13. COX Jeremy (15. LOPES Kevin), 11. ELASI Nathan, 19. FITZPATRICK Callum, 9. KAJIYAMA Tomohiro, 8. MCSTAY Christopher (6. GORDON Matthew), 3. MURAYAMA Takuya, 14. O’SHEA Patrick, 31. WATSON Rob, 27. QUIRK Harry
Subs not used: 18. DA SILVA SANTOS Matias, 20. EVERETT Lachlan, 21. LOE Nikolas
Yellow Cards: Fitzpatrick 29′, Brown 45′
Red Cards: N/A
– PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Max Grieve