Sydney United 58 managed to upset Sydney FC’s finals hopes with a 1-0 victory over the young Sky Blues at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
A 90th minute goal to Kyle Cimenti was all the visitors needed to upset the hosts, after Sydney FC went down to 10 men in the first half of the match.
Despite the young, energetic sky blues creating some great opportunities throughout the match, United 58’s experience saw them hold out for a late victory that sees Sydney FC’s finals fight become a much harder battle.
The visitors started strong, creating an opportunity within the first minute of the match as Patrick Antelmi made a dangerous attacking run but was blocked by the Sydney FC defence.
United 58 goalkeeper Danijel Nizic made a double save in the 21st minute as Clayton Taylor manoeuvred through the visiting defence and tried to slide the ball into the goal before Ben Gibson tried to convert the rejection.
Sydney FC continued to mount pressure on their opponents but the game changed in the 31st minute as referee Christian Verdicchio showed red to sky blues defender Dejan Bakrdanikoski.
Dejan Bakrdanikoski, on a forward run, collided with Taisei Kaneko as he attempted to recover the ball and continue his attacking run but the challenge was ruled to be dangerous seeing the defender hit the sheds very early in the game.
The 10-man Sydney FC outfit continued to play their attacking style of football and created chances in the remainder of the first half, but were unable to convert their chances.
Taylor’s chance for the hosts in the 34th minute looked promising, however his strike went directly to Nizic.
Jake Girdwood-Reich fired for the young sky blues in the 45th minute but Nizic was able to parry his attempt away to keep the game goalless heading into the half-time break.
As Sydney FC settled into having 10 men, United 58 seemed happy to play the long game and wait for their opportunity to utilise their extra man.
They maintained pressure in their attacking half and moved the ball well to come away with opportunities, coming close to a goal in the 55th minute through Anthony Tomelic, who fired just wide of the sticks.
Sydney FC came agonisingly close in the 60th minute as captain Oscar Priestman sent a cross in for Luka Smyth, but Smyth’s header skewed wide of the target.
Sydney United 58 substitute Yianni Fragogiannis hit the crossbar in the 70th minute as the visitors continued to try to make use of their extra man to snag a winner to no avail.
The hosts came close again in the 73rd minute as substitute Zane Schrieber played his teammate on the left inside the 18-yard box, but his shot flew above the target.
United 58 retaliated a minute later as Tomelic played Antelmi who cut back to substitute Mihael Marcic but he couldn’t manage to let off a shot.
Despite both teams continuing to play attacking football, the patience and persistence of Sydney United 58 finally paid off in the 90th minute as the first and only goal of the match came through Kyle Cimenti.
Matthew Bilic delivered the ball in to Kaneko, who got his head to the ball but it deflected off a Sydney FC defender and bounced in front of the goal.
Cimenti was quick to pounce on the deflection and tapped it in from close range to finish for the visitors, securing three points for Sydney United 58, but more significantly stealing three points from Sydney FC who now have a harder battle to qualify for finals in the last two games of the season.
Sydney FC 0
Sydney United 58 FC 1 (Kyle Cimenti 90’)
Sunday 17th July, 2022
Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Referee: Christian Verdicchio
Assistant Referees: Matt Staples and Amirhossein Hosnani
Fourth Official: Mikayla Ryan
Sydney FC: 3. Aaron Gurd (7. Tiago Quintal 54’), 4. Nathan Grimaldi, 9. Benjamin Gibson, 12. Jake Girdwood-Reich, 13. Clayton Taylor, 15. Luka Smyth (33. Zane Schreiber 70’), 16. Matthew Scarcella (25. Morrie Kamara 46’), 18. Oscar Priestman, 27. Dajan Bakrdanikoski, 28. Louis Agosti (14. Ayouk Mow 91’), 30. Adam Pavlesic
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Gus Hoefsloot, 8. Kealey Adamson
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Dejan Bakrdanikoski 31’
Sydney United 58 FC: 1. Danijel Nizic, 3. Jordan Roberts, 4. Adrian Vlastelica, 5. Anthony Tomelic, 7. Taisei Kaneko, 8. Kyle Cimenti (2. Cristian Gonzalez 92’), 9. Patrick Antelmi, 11. Yianni Perkatis (14. Andreas Agamemnonos 74’), 15. Tariq Maia (21. Mihael Marcic 56’), 16. Jacob Poscoliero (22. Yianni Fragogiannis 56’), 17. Matthew Bilic
Substitutes Not Used: 94. Joel Bartley
Yellow Cards: Adrian Vlastelica 82’
Red Cards: Nil