Sutherland Sharks clinched the 2017 Premiership with a narrow victory at Parramatta while results elsewhere mean APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sydney FC, Sydney United 58, Rockdale City Suns and Hakoah Sydney City East will compete for three remaining positions in the top five next Sunday.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City 1-4 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 1.00pm at Lily’s Football Centre
APIA Leichhardt Tigers have their semi-finals aspirations in their own hands after hammering an under-par Blacktown City side 4-1 in a convincing performance at Lily’s Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Spearheaded by the sensational Aedon Kyra and equally impressive Jordan Morfitis, Franco Consentino’s side ran in four second half goals to steal third position from Sydney FC and go within two points of second-placed Blacktown.
The competition golden boot leader increased his tally to 15 for the season and played a key role in goals for Morfitis, Nicholas Chymiak and Dominion Nasrabadi as the Tigers delivered one of their standout offerings of the campaign.
City skipper Mason Ireland netted a consolation to ensure he remains level with Kyra in the race for the golden boot with one round of the normal season remaining.
The result sets up an exciting third-versus-sixth matchup between APIA and Rockdale City Suns next Sunday afternoon with participation in the finals series on the line for both outfits.
Consentino’s men will no doubt be boosted significantly ahead of Rockdale’s visit given the emphatic nature of their victory against Blacktown.
The visitors were by far the stronger side and ought to have taken a lead into half time following a string of first half chances with Morfitis particularly guilty of stroking a great opportunity wide on the cusp of the interval.
However that miss would prove to be a blip in an otherwise exceptional performance from the elusive attacker who helped APIA break the deadlock early in the second half after robbing City goalkeeper Tomislav Romic inside the box before squaring to an unmarked Chymiak.
The former Western Sydney Wanderer played a key role in the Tiger’s second, which was a fabulous moment of composure and flair from Kyra who exchanged passes with Morfitis before stepping inside a defender and sending Romic to the ground before poking the ball home.
APIA soon made it three goals in little over ten minutes when Kyra threaded a superb ball through for Samuel Gulisano whose pass squeezed through the legs of a Blacktown defender before being tapped home by Morfitis.
With Sutherland sealing the Premiership on Saturday evening, John Carnevale’s side were well below their usual intensity but still managed a consolation goal when Ireland interchanged with Adolph Koudakpo on the edge of the area before slotting the ball past Luke Turnbull.
The midfielder’s 15th goal of the season failed to spur City into action though and APIA put an exclamation point on an already impressive result when Nasrabadi added a fourth ten minutes later with Kyra once again chief orchestrator.
All eyes will be on APIA’s encounter with Rockdale at Lambert Park next weekend, while Blacktown City could find themselves slipping as low as fifth if they fall to a resurgent Sydney United 58 side on the same day.
Blacktown City 1 (Ireland 65’)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4 (Chymiak 53’, Kyra 61’, Morfitis 63’, Nasrabadi 75’)
Sunday August 6 2017
Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills
Blacktown City: 32. John Azar, 34. Jarrod Dodds, 29. Lewis Fraser, 35. Anthony Gallo (36. Dean Pelekanos 64’), 39. Mason Ingram, 26. Mason Ireland, 30. Adolph Koudakpo, 27. Dan Machara, 24. Jake Mamone, 25. Benjamin Parkinson, 20. Tomislav Romic
Substitutes Not Used: 31. Lachlan Rose, 33. Franco Maya Valiante, 23. Alen Aganovic
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 32. Stephan Adattini, 28. Gino Cerasoli, 24. Nicholas Chymiak, 29. Mathew Cook, 38. Samuel Gulisano, 25. Aedon Kyra, 33. Jordan Morfitis, 37. Dominion Nasrabadi, 39. Samuel Paslis, 30. Rainer Smahel, 22. Luke Turnbull
Substitutes Not Used: 26. Christian Theuma, 41. Zander Regan, 36. Vinko Gacic, 28. Matthew Taverniti, 35. Nicholas Azzone
Yellow Cards: 29. Mathew Cook 40’, 28. Gino Cerasoli 55’, 24. Nicholas Chymiak 77’
Red Cards: N/A
Parramatta 0-1 Sutherland Sharks, 5.00pm at Melita Stadium
Deren O’Brien’s first-half strike was enough for Sutherland Sharks to seal the 2017 premiership after beating a spirited Parramatta side 1-0 at Melita Stadium on Saturday.
Sutherland have led the competition outright since round one and will enter the finals series as huge favourites.
The loss is Parramatta’s sixteenth loss in a row but will no doubt restore a huge amount of pride to the struggling Eagles who managed to hold off the Premiers with a vastly shuffled and inexperienced line-up
The Melita Stadium outfit will aim to break their duck in next week’s fixture against Bonnyrigg.
Sydney FC 2-3 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 5.45pm at Lambert Park
Bonnyrigg White Eagles ensured it will be a far more nervous round 22 for Sydney FC than anticipated after upsetting the Sky Blues 3-2 at Lambert Park.
A Liam Ivanovic strike and brace from Michael Guse were enough to make it back to back losses for Sydney who found the back of the net through Benjamin Kop and Marco Tilio.
Due to their significantly inferior goal difference the White Eagles are almost certain to miss out on the top five even if a win over Parramatta next week is followed by losses for Sydney, Sydney United 58, and Rockdale.
The Sky Blues will need to take maximum points against Wollongong Wolves or risk what would be a disastrous slip out of the top five.
Manly United v Sydney United 58, 1.00pm at Cromer Park
Sydney United 58 retained their position in the top five after beating Manly United 3-2 in a thrilling match at Cromer Park.
Goals from Sam Perre, Liam Ivancic and Stjepan Paric made it five wins on the trot for the Reds who can assure themselves semi-finals football if they defeat Blacktown City next Sunday.
Jamie Glover netted his ninth of the campaign for Manly alongside a Todd Balneaves strike but it wasn’t enough for the Cromer Park outfit to avoid their twelfth defeat of the season.
Manly will finish a disappointing campaign at Hensley Athletic Field against Hakoah Sydney City East.
Rockdale City Suns v Wollongong Wolves, 1.00pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale remain in the hunt for finals football after edging Wollongong Wolves 1-0 at Ilinden Sports Centre.
James Temelkovski was the man once again for the Suns with the forward claiming his eighth goal in four matches to set up an exciting match up against APIA Leichhardt next week.
Rockdale are in sixth position as a result of Sydney United 58’s win over Manly and will need to beat APIA to claim a position in the top five.
Wollongong play host to Sydney FC as the eleventh-placed Wolves bid goodbye to an underwhelming campaign.
Sydney Olympic 0-4 Hakoah Sydney City East, 3.00pm at Lambert Park
Hakoah Sydney City East defeated Sydney Olympic 4-0 in Sunday’s final fixture to keep their finals hopes alive.
Goals from Connor Eldridge, Nathan Roberts, Josh Orchard and Harry Jones move Paul Hubbard’s side onto 32 points ahead of their must-win encounter with Manly on Sunday.
Hakoah must defeat the 2016 premiers and hope Sydney United 58, Rockdale and Sydney FC all lose to scrape into the top five.
Sydney Olympic will finish their season away to newly-crowned premiers Sutherland.
– -By Jacob Windon