Hakoah Sydney City East put a dent in Rockdale City Sun’s finals hopes with an Oliver Green deflected goal handing them a tense 1-0 win at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday.
Green’s 51st minute effort was the stroke of good fortune the home side needed in a tough encounter where goals were at a premium.
The win ensures Hakoah Sydney City East will return for another season in the NSW State League top flight with the three points staving off the threat of relegation.
It was a hard fought result for the home side who took advantage of a fatigued Rockdale side backing up from their midweek FFA clash against A-League powerhouse Sydney FC.
For the visitors, it all comes down to next week now. They find themselves outside the top five now, on goal difference after Paul Reid’s side failed to make their chances count.
Now they need to beat Sydney FC next week and rely on a favour from Wollongong Wolves to make it.
Spurred on by Marconi’s victory last night, Rockdale looked to reassert themselves in the top five. They dominated the chances in the first half, Michael Neill thrashed an effort against the post then Blake Ricciuto couldn’t direct his header as the Suns poured forward.
Ricciuto had another chance through a swarm of defenders as the Suns kept Hakoah Sydney City East custodian, Anthony Bouzanis busy in the first 45 minutes.
Idriss El Hafiane and Jonathan Grozdanovski both had chances as the Suns burned brighter.
Much of the best work for Hakoah Sydney City East came through top scorer, Anthony Frangie.
The striker hit the base of the post with his first effort in the 13th minute then added the crossbar to the collection in the 29th minute before having to be subbed at the break.
Coming into this afternoon, Hakoah hadn’t lowered Rockdale City Sun’s colours in their return to the NPL but that changed on 51 minutes.
A corner fell kindly to Oliver Green, the attacker shot and had a healthy deflection that wrong-footed Ante Covic, making it 1-0 to the home side.
Sensing the urgency of needing at least a point, Rockdale coach Paul Reid sent on Alec Urosevski to find a goal. The striker was involved early as his knock down produced a volley from Aleksander Canak that whistled wide.
Next the Suns patiently built up inside the box for Urosevski, the striker bound onto goal but arrowed his effort wide as it looked to be an afternoon of frustration for the visitors.
As the clock ticked down, it looked like Hakoah would be likelier to score. Green had a chance to score a brace as he nodded over, before Micthell Stamatellis flicked a header over in the 86th minute.
Rockdale had a pair of free-kicks near the end to possibly snatch something from the contest. Harris Gaitatzis lofted both teasingly into the box but both were collected safely by Bouzanis as Hakoah Sydney City East clung onto a narrow win.
Afterwards a delighted goalscorer in Oliver Green praised the character and resolve of the Hakoah Sydney City East side against a tough opponent.
“I got a bit lucky with the deflection but we’ll take it,” he said.
“ We’re a big club with history so we need to be here. We definitely stuck it out to the last minute and now, we’re going to celebrate.”
Hakoah boss Gavin Rae was relived his side maintained their composure to secure the win.
“I’m Just delighted to get a win. Narrow 1-0 wins have been tough for us to get this season, so it’s good,” he said.
“We knew it was going to be tough but the boys dug deep. Now we hope to finish the season strongly with the possibility of three straight victories.”
In the other dugout, Rockdale City Suns coach Paul Reid was disappointed with the effort this afternoon which now has their finals chances out of their hands.
“It’s a game where we knew it would be tough, and we had to take our chances,” he said.
“Hakoah play a certain way, they got a deflected goal which is unfortunate. I don’t think they created much and we missed our chances.
“Now it’s not in our hands to make the finals. It’s disappointing but we move on. We have to focus on getting a result against Sydney FC and hopefully other results go our way.
“The disappointing thing is we’re up for the games against big A-League teams but these are the games that truly count, so we need to be up for them as well.
Hakoah Sydney City East 1 (O. Green ‘51)
Rockdale City Suns FC 0
Sunday 5 August 2018
Hensley Athletic Field, Eastgardens
Referee: M Wiener
Assistant Referees: M McOrist, J Adabjou.
Fourth Official: J Ewin
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony, 3. KOUTA Michael, 5. STAMATELLIS Mitchell, 6. DRAPER Cameron, 8. GREEN Oliver, 11. CRIGHTON Jordan (4. WALKER ‘79), 14. FRANGIE Anthony (10. DE JONG ‘45), 19. COX Dominic, 20. COMBES James (15. KATSIONIS ‘89), 21. GAUTHIER Amaury, 60. NOJI Takayuki
Substitutes not used: 17. JONES HARRY 40. FIGUEIRA Michael
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1. COVIC Ante, 2. PETKOVSKI Daniel, 6. RICCIUTO Blake, 8. CANAK Aleksander, 10. GAITATZIS Harris, 11. GROZDANOVSKI Jonathan, 12. EL HALFIANE Idriss, 14. SORGE Brayden, 17. ALAMEDDINE Toufic (7. UROSEVSKI ‘72), 19. SAVOUR Patrick (4. HESKETH ‘72), 21. NEILL Michael,
Substitues not used: 15. PETRILLO N, 16. SAVOR Isaac, 25. SOUTTER Jake
Yellow cards: Canak ‘76 P. Savour ‘69
Red cards: nil
By National Premier Leagues reporter Justin Davies
Blacktown City came from behind to earn a hard fought three points against Hakoah Sydney City with a 2-1 at Hensley Athletic Field on Saturday.
A Joey Gibbs double, his tenth in 2018, in as many minutes was the difference for the visitors as Hakoah once again tasted defeat after leading.
Amaury Gauthier opened the scoring for Hakoah on the cusp of halftime to give the home side a 1-0 advantage going into the interval.
However, the home side couldn’t contain a relentless Blacktown attack and Gibbs netted twice in two minutes.
Hakoah tried to fight back but it was too little too late as Blacktown scooped the three competition points.
City came into this contest as strong favourites as they looked to consolidate their position in the top four.
Hakoah on the other hand were coming off a disappointing loss to APIA Leichhardt Tigers in the Waratah Cup last weekend.
In a first half which was slow to start, City looked to assert their dominance early on as they dictated the tempo.
Hakoah looked to squeeze the space and make it difficult for City to keep possession.
The first chance did not occur until the 12th when Devante Clut blazed his shot well wide after making space just outside of the box.
City continued to dominate possession and territory but Hakoah continued to prove tough in defence as Gibbs had the next chance for City in the 20thminute but he found his swivel volley easily collected by Hakoah goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis.
The best chance City created inside the first 30minutes fell again to Gibbs as his header was deflected wide after a lovely cross from the left by City captain Matthew Lewis.
City’s frustration was nearly compounded in the 32nd minute as a sloppy turnover presented a chance to Andre De Jong of Hakoah but he could only send his shot over the bar.
The deadlock was nearly broken in the 35th minute as a wayward clearance was well turned away by Hakoah keeper Bouzanis as he did well to keep the scores level.
For all of City’s dominance they were punished for not being able to take their chances as Hakoah against the run of play took the lead just before half-time.
A lovely exchange of passes on the right ended in a cut back and Gauthier was quickest to react as he tapped in ahead of the City defenders.
A major upset was now on the cards as Hakoah went into the break 1-0 up.
City needed to respond in the second half as they again looked to gain control of the ball and dominate territory.
Gibbs again had a headed chance for City a few minutes after the break but he saw his effort easily saved by Bouzanis in the Hakoah goal.
Hakoah continued to frustrate City as Oliver Green looked to double Hakoah’s lead in the 55th minute but he saw his curled effort finish well wide of the City goal.
Gibbs frustrating night continued a few minutes later as he saw his toe poked effort well saved by Bouzanis after jumping on a rebound.
Hakoah should have doubled their lead in the 63rd minute after De Jong found himself free in the box from a Hakoah free kick but could only direct his volley wide of the target.
These misses would prove costly for Hakoah as City’s persistence paid off in the 74th minute as Gibbs finished clinically into the bottom far corner.
Barely a minute later the game was completely turned on its head.
Gibbs added a second for City as he pounced on a lovely cross from the left to side volley into the back of the net.
City continued to dominate after taking the lead as Gibbs was denied a hat-trick five minutes later for off-side.
Hakoah looked to press for an equaliser but Blacktown’s defence repelled Hakoah’s aerial assault.
Gibbs again came close to completing his hat-trick in the 89th minute but was denied by a point blank save by Bouzanis.
City ran the game out and earned themselves an important 2-1 win to consolidate their top four position while the loss leaves Hakoah eleventh in the standings.
Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden will know his team will need to improve as the season enters the business end of the season albeit with a list of injuries to contend with while Hakoah coach Gavin Rae was left frustrated after his team came up short after a resilient effort.
Hakoah Sydney City 1 (Gauthier 44’)
Blacktown City 2 (Gibbs 74’, 75’)
Saturday, July 21 2018
Hensley Athletic Field, Eastgardens
Hakoah Sydney City: 1.Bouzanis, 19.Cox, 11.Crighton, 10.De Jong, 6.Draper, 21.Gauthier, 8.Green, 3.Kouta, 60.Noji, 16.Orchard, 5.Stamatellis
Substitutes: 20.Combes, 13.Ezekiel, 17.Jones, 12.Roberts
Yellow Cards: Orchard
Blacktown City: 1.Prendergast, 8.Araujo (19’ Cairncross 88’), 23.Bragg (17.Askew 68’), 7.Clut, 10.Evans, 9.Gibbs, 6.Lewis, 5.Lynch, 3.G.Speranza, 4.R.Speranza, 22.Spyrakis
Substitutes not used: 16.Rodic,18.Versi, 20. Savicic
Yellow Cards: Clut, G.Speranza
-By National Premier Leagues NSW Sebastian Kalos
APIA Leichhardt Tigers are the 2018 TAFE NSW Waratah Cup Champions.
Deservedly beaten by Hakoah Sydney City East in the 2017 Final, there was to be no giant-killing this time around as the Tigers strolled to a 3-0 victory at Lambert Park.
Having wrestled the NPL NSW Men’s top tier competition lead off Sydney Olympic last weekend, Billy McColl’s side carried the confidence of a team approaching their peak.
And the league frontrunners were certainly in top gear from the opening minute here and avenged the blowout of last year with performance of consummate professionalism.
Jordan Murray’s brace did the damage for the Tigers, with the NPL NSW Men’s golden boot favourite striking early in both halves. When the Tigers’ frontman clinched his brace with a superb bullet header five minutes in the second half, the match as a contest was all over.
It was in stark comparison the cup final of a year ago. Hakoah entered that contest as huge underdogs, but capitalised on a complacent showing from the Tigers with a fantastic display.
Although Gavin Rae’s side approached this encounter with the same diligence they were mercilessly dispatched by the overwhelming favourites.
Anthony Bouzanis had earned man of the match honours from the club’s 2017 win and the Hakoah goalkeeper was once again at the forefront of the action in keeping the underdogs from eastern Sydney in the contest.
But the Hakoah number one will lament a horror error early on for Murray’s opener, with a miscommunication between captain Mitchell Stamatellis allowing the Tigers’ frontman to nudge the Tigers in the lead.
The APIA striker has notched 18 goals in the NPL NSW Men’s this season and should’ve doubled the lead fifteen minutes later after racing onto Tasuku Sekiya’s pass, only for Bouzanis to stand tall. Bouzanis’ heroics continued up until the half time whistle with strong saves from Sean Symons, Nathan Millgate and Sekiya.
Millgate was rarely troubled at the back for the Tigers and supplied the killer diagonal ball for Murray to plant APIA’s second past Bouzanis five minutes after the interval.
Hakoah coach Rae threw caution to the wind later in the second half but his side was unable to carve a way through a resolute Tigers backline, and were nullified by APIA at each attempt.
Their desperate attempts to get back into the match saw the Tigers add gloss to a dominant display late on, when Sean Symons combined with Franco Parisi and unleashed an unstoppable drive from outside the box.
Hakoah Sydney City East 0
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Murray 10’, 50’, S. Symons 80’)
Saturday 14th July 2018
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1. Anthony Bouzanis, 19. Dominic Cox (12. Nathan Roberts 70’), 10. Andre De Jong, 6. Cameron Draper, 14. Anthony Frangie, 21. Amaury Gauthier, 8. Oliver Green (17. Harry Jones 80’), 3. Michael Kouta, 60. Takayuki Noji, 16. Joshua Orchard (11. Jordan Crighton 70’), 5. Mitchell Stamatellis
Substitutes not used: 20. James Combes, 25. Max Ephraim
Yellow cards: Gauthier 62’
Red cards: N/A
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 8. Corey Biczo (10. Franco Parisi 62’), 7. Howard Fondyke, 19. Brandon Lundy (5. Stephan Adattini 86’), 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 1. Ivan Necevski, 20. Tasuku Sekiya, 4. Joshua Symons, 16. Sean Symons, 18. Adrian Ucchino (3. Paul Galimi 86’), 11. Jordan Murray (17. Samuel Gulisano 83’), 2. Nathan Millgate
Substitutes not used: 22. Blake Tuxford
Yellow cards: Ucchino 33’, Millgate 76’
Red cards: N/A
Hakoah Sydney City East
Anthony Bouzanis – 7
Michael Kouta – 6
Mitchell Stamatellis – 6
Cameron Draper – 6
Oliver Green – 6.5
Andre De Jong – 6
Anthony Frangie – 6
Joshua Orchard – 6
Dominic Cox – 6
Amaury Gauthier – 6
Takayuki Noji – 6
Jordan Crighton – 5
Nathan Roberts – 5
Harry Jones – N/A
APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Ivan Necevski – 7
Nathan Millgate – 8
Joshua Symons – 8
Brandon Lundy – 7
Howard Fondyke – 8
Corey Biczo – 7
Sean Symons – 8
Jordan Murray – 8.5
Themba Muata-Marlow – 7
Adrian Ucchino – 6.5
Tasuku Sekiya – 7
Paul Galimi – N/A
Stephan Adattini – N/A
Franco Parisi – 7
Samuel Gulisano – N/A
Blake Tuxford – N/A