Sydney FC Rue Missed Chances


Sydney FC succumbed to a second half goal blitz by APIA Leichhardt Tigers on a tough night at Lambert Park on Saturday. 

Nominally the visitors for this game, APIA were slow to get going as Sydney FC made a determined start, but Leichhardt never looked back after going ahead through Corey Biczo ten minutes before the break.

Goals from Howard Fondyke and the NPL NSW Men’s top goalscorer Jordan Murray just after the restart set APIA on their way to a straightforward win, which might easily have blown out further if not for Sydney FC’s refusal to go down without a fight.

Sydney FC started brightly, winning an early free kick which Jerry Skodatis curled just past the near post and into the side-netting with Ivan Necevski motionless in the APIA goal.

The Tigers were quick to take play up the other end, and Howard Fondyke was given room to wind up and unleash a stinging drive for Duro Dragicevic to parry and gather.

Sensing opportunity, Adrian Ucchino had an optimistic shot from near halfway float just over the crossbar with a fingertip from the goalkeeper.

Sydney FC hit back as Cameron Devlin was released by a long ball forward from Liam McGing, jinking inside his man before hesitating to see his shot blocked away.

Sam McIllhatton was next to have a crack for the hosts, making the most of a loose touch ahead of him to let fly with a swerving shot which Necevski did well to block with both hands.

Such was the flow of the match that neither side was really able to dominate possession for too long without interruption, and the action soon swung up the other end as Brandon Lundy latched onto a beautiful ball forward from the midfield only to send a dipping volley against the post.

Gaining momentum with their opponents seemingly content to hit them on the break, APIA continued to push forward and were unfortunate not to take the lead when the ball fell to Tasuku Sekiya at the far post, only for the Japanese midfielder to see his wild shot saved by Dragicevic.

An end-to-end match was only missing a goal as halftime approached, and Corey Biczo duly provided the goods as he glided through the Sydney FC defence at the top of the box before sliding a well-placed shot inside the near post to hand APIA the lead.

They might have gone into the sheds ahead by two had Howard Fondyke’s driven volley dipped below the crossbar rather than crashing against the woodwork, but it wasn’t to be and APIA had to be content with a one-goal advantage at the break.

Fondyke couldn’t have worried about his near miss too long, returning from the halftime break with immediate impact as he strolled through the penalty area and slotted a calm finish under the keeper to double the lead for his side. APIA pushed further ahead minutes later through Jordan Murray, who played a clever one-two on the edge of the box before cooly finishing from an angle on the right.

The game firmly in their grasp, APIA still needed to remain sharp at the back and were fortunate to get away without conceding when Josh Symons slid in to flick a cross back towards his own goal, only for Necevski to touch the ball beyond the post. They weren’t done scoring yet, either; Murray going through on the left before lifting a lob over Dragicevic for APIA’s fourth.

Sydney FC had plenty of opportunities to soften the blow on the scoreboard, and had a goal back through Cameron Devlin after a brilliant driving run through the midfield from Marco Tilio. They might have dreamt of an unlikely comeback had Devlin been as clinical again when put through on goal just a few minutes after scoring, but he pulled his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.

Corey Biczo capped APIA’s night; rounding the goalkeeper with a little over ten minutes left and rolling the ball into an empty net to give the Tigers a fifth. Sydney FC were never deserving of quite such a comprehensive defeat, but few could argue APIA weren’t well worth their win.

A circumspect Rob Stanton said Sydney FC were unfortunate not to have taken more from the game against a strong APIA side.

“They were a strong team,” he said.

“They’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“We had enough chances, and we’ve got to take them. I’m pretty happy with how we played today, but if you don’t take those chances you get punished. Credit to APIA, they were strong today and deserved the win – it was a good entertaining game to watch.”

APIA Leichhardt Tigers’ Billy McColl sportingly conceded Sydney FC were unfortunate not have scored more on a night when the scoreboard belied the game that had been.

“I enjoy watching two good teams play exciting, attacking football,” he said.

“It was never a 5-1 game – the scoreline flatters us and Sydney deserved to score at least three, but if you don’t take your chances you don’t win, so I’m very pleased.”


Match Stats

Sydney FC 1 (Devlin 76’) 

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 5 (Bizco 35’, 78’, Fondyke 46’, Murray 52’, 69’)


Saturday June 30, 2018

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Referee: A. Arndt

Assistant Referees: A. Giev, J. Park

Fourth Official: A. Brett

Sydney FC : 6. AGAMEMNONOS Andreas, 15. COX Jeremy, 2. CURTIS Brendan, 10. DEVLIN Cameron, 30. DRAGICEVIC Duro, 3. FLOTTMANN Patrick, 14. KING Joel (16. MUTCH William), 4. MCGING Liam (11. BANDIERA Jackson), 8. MCILLHATTON Sam, 7. SKOTADIS Jerry, 13. SWIBEL Jordan (28. TILIO Marco)

Substitutes: 1. EVANS Mitchell, 9. SCIBILIO Patrick

Yellow Cards: Skodatis 90’

Red Cards: Nil

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 8. BICZO Corey, 7. FONDYKE Howard, 19. LUNDY Brandon, 15. MUATA-MARLOW Themba, 11. MURRAY Jordan, 1. NECEVSKI Ivan, 20. SEKIYA Tasuku (10. PARISI Franco), 4. SYMONS Joshua, 16. SYMONS Sean (17. GULISANO Samuel), 18. UCCHINO Adrian (13. D’APUZZO David), 2. MILLGATE Nathan

Substitutes not used: 3. GALIMI Paul, 22. TUXFORD Blake

Yellow Cards: J. Symons 31’, Gulisano 90’

Red Cards: Nil


Under 20’s Review – Match Of The Round


Sydney FC 4-1 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, Saturday 5.45pm at Lambert Park

Sydney FC cruised to a 4-1 win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Lambert Park on Saturday night, keeping pace with a Sutherland Sharks side that picked up a 4-1 win of its own earlier in the day.

Daniel Maskin gave his side the lead in the 6th minute before Marco Tilio doubled Sydney FC’s advantage just after the half hour. Benjamin Koop added a third before halftime and Giuseppe Tilio slotted a penalty to put Sydney ahead by four, before Luca Kmet tacked on a brilliant consolation goal in the closing minutes of the second half.

Sydney FC were irrepressible from the off, and the ball was in the back of the APIA net after just six minutes as Daniel Maskin met a pass from the left to touch the ball beyond the goalkeeper and put the hosts into a 1-0 lead.

They continued to pour forward after going in front: Maskin shut down a clearance from the backline and might’ve pulled a pass back across goal but the keeper was happy to shadow the ball out of play.

The hosts were spraying the ball out from the back well and drove forward with purpose when they had possession in dangerous areas. Ryan Teague might’ve handed his side the lead when he was first to meet a corner as it swung in from the right, but he could only send his header spinning onto the post and out of play.

Mitchell Evans sprung into action to deny Kalilou Kamara with a stunning diving save, tipping the ball out for a corner when a goal looked a near certainty. Unfortunate not to have levelled, APIA soon found themselves further behind when the referee waved play on for a foul on Maskin in the midfield, allowing Marco Tilio to burst through on the right before cutting inside and smashing a shot into the roof of the net.

APIA barely had time to gather themselves before Sydney FC had the ball past the keeper again; Maskin again central to the play as he skipped past his man on the right before sliding a pass across the face of the goal for Benjamin Koop to sweep home for a third.

The nominal visitors dominated proceedings after the break, but by now Sydney were in second gear. A goalmouth scramble might have resulted in a goal – and with it hope of a comeback – but Kamara flashed his shot wide to leave APIA wanting.

Few chances fell for either side in a second half that felt almost like a pre-season friendly, but Sydney FC were still happy to take them when they arrived: Giuseppe Tilio was tripped in the box as his dribbled around his marker on the right and duly scored from the spot to give his side a four goal lead.

Luca Kmet converted a stunning freekick in the final minutes of the match to provide some consolation to the APIA Leichhardt faithful, and the whistle blew on a match that was, in truth, over by halftime.

Sydney FC’s Giancarlo Italiano was happy with a reasonably simple win for his side.

“It was a solid performance from a makeshift team,” he said.

“We had a lot of boys playing out of position and they performed really well.

“We tried a couple of different things in the second half and they pressed a little bit higher to get the goal – we also had a fair few boys from the 18’s who maybe aren’t used to our style, but they did well when they came on, so overall I’m pleased with the result.”

APIA Leichhardt coach Jonathan Keppie was frank in his assessment of his team’s defeat.

“It was a game of missed opportunities,” he said.

“There was a great chance just after we went down 1-0 and their keeper made a great save, and then they went up the other end and scored.

“The second half was a different story, we kept the ball well and took the chance from a free kick. The boys played really well, they knocked the ball around just like we asked – Sydney just took their chances better.”

Match Stats

Sydney FC 4 (Maskin 6’, M. Tilio 33’, Koop 37’, G. Tilio 81’)

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1 (Kmet 89’)

Saturday June 30, 2018

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney FC : 21. BALLARD MCBRIDE Finn, 12. BANDIERA Jackson, 24. BLACHURA Daniel, 1. EVANS Mitchell (40. MALISHEV David), 29. FAY Thomas, 18. KOOP Benjamin, 25. MASKIN Daniel (27. LAMBERTON Hamish), 5. SCIBILIO Patrick, 31. TEAGUE Ryan, 17. TILIO Marco (22. MATTISON Mitchell), 19. TILIO Giuseppe

Subs: 23. TALBOT Callum, 32. TSAKOS Evan

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 5. ADATTINI Stephan, 38. ALESSI Daniel (29. ABOUCHAAYA Cami), 32. ARMSON Jack, 26. AZZONE Nicholas, 28. CERASOLI Gino, 31. KAMARA Kalilou, 30. KMET Luca, 14. KIRE Aidan, 37. NASRABADI Dominion (27. GUZMAN Leandro), 39. TAVERNITI Matthew (40. KAMARA Musa), 22. TUXFORD Blake

Subs: 33. FINCH Corey, 35. REGAN Zander

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

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