Blacktown City were eliminated by Sydney United 58 in week one of the finals series while Sydney FC returned to form with a great win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
Blacktown City v Sydney United 58, Sunday 12.30pm at Lily’s Football Centre
Samuel De Oliveira has sent Sydney United 58 through to the preliminary finals and ended the season of Blacktown City after netting a late winner in a tense 1-0 victory in Sunday’s elimination final at Lily’s Football Centre.
The United 58 midfielder struck five minutes from full time to set up a semi-final fixture with APIA Leichhardt Tigers next weekend and increased the Reds’ formidable winning streak to seven in a row.
Ante Tomic’s side had earlier seen goalkeeper Lucas Pervan deny Blacktown skipper Mason Ireland from the penalty spot in what was the matches crucial moment.
It’s now two wins over Blacktown in a week for United 58 who have looked championship dark horses in recent months but will now be considered a serious threat for the title.
Blacktown will rue a disastrous end to the campaign following a run of five matches without a win having pushed premiers Sutherland Sharks close for the majority of the season.
John Carnevale’s side will lament what has been their worst spell of the campaign in reflection but started promisingly against the visitors despite adopting a more conservative approach in the opening half.
Neither goalkeeper was forced into action in a stubborn forty five minutes but the best chance fell to Blacktown when Samuel Hamilton bundled into the penalty area before rifling a near post effort into the side netting.
Carnevale’s outfit and their opponents continued to fall one beat short in the final third when the second half resumed but were handed a gilt edged opportunity to break the deadlock when Ireland sensationally controlled a lofted clearance before going to ground in a collision with Pervan.
The City attacker netted a brace against the Reds last weekend but succumbed to a rare moment of wastefulness this season and saw his tame effort gathered low by Pervan.
United 58 were buoyed by the miss and squandered a great chance to open the scoring when a Lawrence Hannah inspired counter attack ended with substitute William Salinas firing straight at Blacktown goalkeeper Tomislav Romic.
But De Oliveira ensured the Reds continued their impressive march towards silverware by pouncing on a Blacktown error late in the second half before curling a superb finish past Romic from the edge of the area.
United 58 will face APIA Leichhardt next weekend in the minor semi-final with premiers Sutherland set to host Sydney FC.
The Reds beat the Tigers 2-0 on the opening day of the season but were defeat 5-1 by the Lambert Park outfit in their round 12 fixture.
Blacktown City 0
Sydney United 58 1 (De Oliveira 85’)
Sunday 20th of August 2017
Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills
Blacktown City: 34. Jarrod Dodds, 29. Lewis Fraser, 23. Samuel Hamilton, 39. Mason Ingram, 26. Mason Ireland, 36. Adolph Koudakpo, 27. Dan Machara (31. Lachlan Rose 79’), 25. Benjamin Parkinson, 38. Evan Patramanis, 20. Tomislav Romic, 30. Mark Rodic
Substitutes Not Used: 32. John Azar, 35. Anthony Gallo, 1. Dylan Niski, 37. Robert Sudzum
Yellow Cards: Patramanis 34’
Red Cards: N/A
Sydney United 58: 12. Nathan Bertolissio, 39. Samuel De Oliveira, 35. Lawrence Hanna, 34. Liam Ivancic (29. Matthew Zanon 76’), 31. Emilio Manos, 36. Ante Markovic, 20. Sam Perre, 40. Lucas Pervan, 41. Anthony Poljak, 28. Anthony Vrlic (26. William Salinas 76’), 38. Anthony Trimboli (24. Daniel Sestan 90’)
Substitutes Not Used: 37. Joshua Briskoski, 25. Connor Powers
Yellow Cards: Trimboli 50’, Poljak 72’
Red Cards: N/A
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 0-3 Sydney FC, Saturday 2.30pm at Cromer Park
Sydney FC underlined their threat as title contenders thanks to a convincing 3-0 defeat of APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Cromer Park in Saturday’s qualifying final.
The Sky Blues faced an APIA side in a formidable vein of form but easily accounted for the Tigers thanks to goals from John Iredale, Samuel Mcillhatton and Finn Ballard-Mcbride.
The A-League outfit stumbled over the finishing line at the conclusion of the regular league season but were considerably boosted by the returns of first grade regulars Samuel Mcillhatton and leading scorer John Iredale who both played a pivotal role in the triumph.
Iredale guided home a Jerry Skotadis free kick on the cusp of half time to claim his 16th strike of the season and edge out an even opening half.
Despite fleeting moments of promise for their opponents Sydney remained resolute and doubled their lead with fifteen minutes remaining when Ballard-Mcbride combined with Guiseppe Tilio before finding the back of the net.
Mcillhatton made it 3-0 two minutes later to set up a grand final qualifier against premiers Sutherland on Saturday.
APIA Leichhardt will entertain Sydney United 58 on the same day with both sides needing a win to stay alive in the finals series.
-By Jacob Windon