The Marconi Stallions secured their position at the top of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s ladder with a 5-3 defeat of Sydney FC at Marconi Stadium on a magic ‘Match of the Round’ Saturday night.
The high-scoring game saw both teams create plenty of action across the park, but the experienced Marconi squad came out on top as they converted their chances to secure five goals in the game.
Star of the show Domenic Costanzo opened the scoring in the 27th minute, but the visitors kept the Stallions on their toes, equalising in the 32nd minute through Luka Smyth.
Costanzo took back the lead for the hosts, completing a brace in the 42nd minute before Taylor McDonald further extended their lead in the 65th minute.
Roberto Speranza took the Stallions to three goals in the 78th minute and captain Marko Jesic converted a penalty in the 80th minute, giving the home side a 5-1 lead with just 10 minutes left to play.
The young, spirited Sydney FC didn’t give up with Adrian Segecic scoring in the 87th minute and again in the 91st, giving the visitors a late chance at redemption.
Despite the continued pressure in the final stage of the match, the young sky blues couldn’t recover from the emphatic display from Marconi and the hosts moved to the top of the ladder with a big victory.
The action started early as an energetic Sydney FC used their pace to create early pressure on the hosts.
Marconi answered their energy with chances of their own, coming close to an opening goal in the 7th minute of the match,
Costanzo sent a ball into the area and Jesic positioned himself on the end of it, controlling the ball and sending a shot towards the target but it was defended off the line.
Sydney FC had a chance in the 13th minute as Segecic slipped in through Marconi’s defence, but Roberto Speranza came in strong in defence and ‘keeper Nenad Vekic collected.
Sydney FC drew a quality save from Vekic in the 21st minute as a corner saw Aaron Gurd with a chance that was kept out by the custodian.
Marconi opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Costanzo, who displayed the clinical finishing the Stallions have been working towards all season.
Brandon Vella stole the ball to give Marconi a perfect attacking opportunity and passed to Jesic who played the ball to Charles Lokolingoy.
Lokolingoy sent the ball across the goal face to Costanzo, who knocked it over the line to secure the first of the match.
Sydney FC didn’t wait long to equalise with a header getting them on the scoreboard in the 32nd minute.
Clayton Taylor’s ball through to Segecic saw him with the perfect chance to cross and he took it well, sending the ball directly to Smyth in front of goal.
The tall attacker made no mistake in guiding the ball over the line to get the young sky blues in the game.
Costanzo and Lokolingoy combined again for Marconi’s second goal of the match in the 42nd minute.
Lokolingoy used his size to get through Sydney FC’s defence on the right flank and cut the ball across to Costanzo who was again well positioned in front of goal.
Costanzo slid the ball over the line to give the hosts the lead just before half time, giving them a 2-1 lead at the break.
Sydney FC had a chance in the 53rd minute as the ball fell to substitute Dejan Bakrdanikoski, who fired over the bar.
Marconi extended their lead in the 65th minute through a set piece.
Costanzo took the corner from the left side of the park and sent a brilliant ball into the area to McDonald, who guided it into the goal off the shoulder of Jesic.
Roberto Speranza scored Marconi’s fourth goal in the 78th minute, capitalising on some scrappy defending of a corner from Sydney FC.
Speranza managed to get on the ball as it fell to the ground at the far post and tap it past a scrambling Adam Pavlesic.
Jesic earned a penalty in the 80th minute after he was brought down by Bakrdanikoski inside the area.
The captain took Marconi to five, converting from the penalty spot with confidence as he has done eight times throughout the season so far.
Marconi coach Peter Tsekenis made it rain substitutes after securing their fifth goal, giving his bench some time on the park.
Sydney FC worked their way back into the game in the 87th minute through Segecic.
Jaiden Kucharski played the ball through to Segecic, who clinically shot at the target and hit the back of the net to get Sydney FC their second of the night.
Segecic came back again in the first minute of additional time, shooting from the edge of the box to score his second and his side’s third of the game.
While the late goals from the young sky blues saw them come back into the game slightly, they weren’t enough to change the result with Marconi securing an incredibly valuable three points to knock Sydney FC off the top of the table and take the position for themselves.
Marconi coach Peter Tsekenis was proud of his side’s effort in securing the win and the top spot in the competition.
“I was very happy with the performance, we stuck to the game plan and it worked a treat,” he explained.
“You’ve got to finish your chances when they come and we did.
“We defended well as a group – we had a couple of centre backs out today and everyone stepped up and it was a really good performance.
“We got the result, we’re top of the table and there’s a bit of work ahead of us.”
Marconi Stallions FC 5 (Costanzo 27’, 42’, Jesic 65’, 80’p, Roberto Speranza 78’)
Sydney FC 3 (Smyth 32’, Segecic 87’, 91’)
Saturday, 28th May, 2022
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Chloe Gray
Marconi Stallions FC: 1. Nenad Vekic, 3. Giorgio Speranza (18. Adrian Valenti 85’), 4. Roberto Speranza, 6. Domenic Costanzo, 8. Connor Evans (16. Liam Youlley 83’), 9. Thomas James (17. Martin Fernandez 85’), 10. Marko Jesic (7. Chris Hatfield 83’), 11. Charles Lokolingoy, 13. Samuel Gulisano, 22. Taylor McDonald, 23. Brandon Vella (14. Jarred McKinley, 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Dion Shaw
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 6. Aaron Gurd, 9. Benjamin Gibson, 10. Jaiden Kucharski, 11. Adrian Segecic, 12. Jake Girdwood-Reich, 13. Clayton Taylor, 15. Luka Smyth (16. Matthew Scarella 58’), 18. Oscar Priestman, 19. Joseph Calusic (27. Dejan Bakrdanikoski 45’), 26. Aleksandar Duricic (28. Louis Agosti 83’), 30. Adam Pavlesic
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Max Vartuli, 29. Alen Harbas, 33. Zane Schreiber
Yellow Cards: Segecic 72’
Red Cards: Nil