A second-half revival from Hakoah Sydney City East has helped them claim a hard fought 2-0 victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday afternoon.
Hakoah struggled to get it together in the first half but found their groove after the break with Michael Kouta and Andre De Jong finding the back of the net.
Bonnyrigg we unable to match their solid derby performance from a week earlier as Hakoah held out the at times listless White Eagles.
Both teams enjoyed their share of possession in the opening stanza, but neither team were able to take the lead, hitting the sheds scoreless at the break.
It wasn’t until the second stanza that the game truly came to life.
An opportunity came for Bonnyrigg in the 54th minute when Dean Bereveskos fired a shot towards goal only to have it ricochet off the crossbar.
Hakoah had a chance of its own moments later as De Jong sent a shot toward goal in the 60th minute but was denied by a David Bradasevic save.
Ray Miller provided the visitors with a great chance to score with a beautifully weighted pass into the box, but some sloppy finishing left Hakoah able to clear the danger.
The stalemate came to an end in the 64th minute when Kouta powered a delightful free kick from the edge of the 18 yard box into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for Hakoah.
Hakoah Sydney City East were hungry for more, doubling their lead just moments later as De Jong headed home after a pin-point cross.
In the 80th minute Hakoah was unlucky not to stretch their lead to 3-0 when substitute Jordan Koton was denied by Bradasevic despite some impressive lead-up play.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown expressed his disappointment at his team’s inability to capitalise on their opportunities.
“I think we had our chances, didn’t take them and got punished for that,” Brown said.
“That’s sort of how this competition is at the moment – if you get some chances you’ve got to take them and if you don’t take them you’re not going to win.”
Hakoah coach Gavin Rae was happy with his team’s second half effort and was happy to take three points and a clean sheet.
“It was a sticky game in the first half I think for both teams,” Rae said.
“At half-time I wanted the boys to step-up the quality and they did that with a free kick and the second goal.
“We got a goal quite quickly, the second one which was great and then we saw the game out.
“We’ve been in that position and not seen games out before so I’m glad the boys managed to get a clean sheet and a good win.”
Hakoah Sydney City East 2 (Kouta, De Jong)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Sunday 6th May, 2018
Hensley Athletic Field,Pagewood.
Referee: S. Brennan
Assistant Referees: S. Edeling and R. Osborne
Fourth Official: M. Howarth
Hakoah Sydney City East 1. Anthony Bouzanis, 3. Michael Kouta, 17. Harry Jones, 19. Dominic Cox (18. Jordan Koton 75’), 10. Andre De Jong, 8. Oliver Green, 20. James Combes, 60. Takayuki Noji, 6. Cameron Draper, 21. Duncan Stewart (7. Jack Green), 13. Robert Ezekiel.
Substitutes Not Used: 40. Michael Figueira, 16. Joshua Orchard, 30. Connor Eldridge
Yellow Cards: Robert Ezekiel 80’
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 14. Bradie Smith, 9. Aaron Peterson (12. Dean Bereveskos), 22. Jaewook Woo, 18. Mun-Soo Gil, 3.David Vrankovic, 20. Benjamin Tosi (11. Asmir Kadric), 10. Shervin Adeli, 13.James McKenzie 15. Raymond Miller, 16. Samuel Gallaway, 21. David Bradasevic
Substitutes Not Used: 2. Aaron Avery, 1. James Chronopoulos, 4. Nikola Krljar
Yellow Cards: David Vrankovic 64’, Samuel Gallaway 73’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Andre De Jong (HAK)
2 – Michael Kouta (HAK)
1 – Raymond Miller (BWE)
-By Madeline Riley