An Alec Urosevski hattrick has inspired Rockdale to a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Sydney FC at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
It was a vintage performance from Rockdale star Urosevski who opened the scoring midway through the first half before netting twice more after the interval to secure his side a vital three competition points.
Not only did he secure the three points, but he also shot himself on top of the 2021 Golden Boot winner race as he hit double digits ending the day with ten goals in eleven matches.
It was another frustrating performance from the Young Sky Blues who equalised through Adrian Segecic before Urosevski and then a late Bai Antoniou goal condemned the Jim Van Weeren coached side to their ninth straight week without a win.
The result keeps Rockdale Ilinden in a tight tussle for top spot with Blacktown City, while Sydney FC remains slumped at the bottom of the table in last place.
Sydney FC began in typically brisk fashion with Jordi Swibel firing wide after only six minutes.
It was a game bereft of goalscoring chances through most of the first half with neither keeper truly threatened.
The match needed a spark, a moment of inspiration and it duly arrived in the 37th minute when Wada played through Urosevski with a pinpoint pass who then slid the ball under ‘keeper, Adam Pavlesic, to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the interval.
The home side raced out of the blocks after the break as Brayden Sorge found the side netting as Ilinden looked to kill the game off early.
Patrick Yazbek gave Sydney FC hope when he fired wide at the other end before finding himself in the book for a challenge on Daniel Araujo.
Antoniou lifted the ball over the top for Urosevski to run onto in the 55’ minute however he was unable to lob the ball over Pavlesic to double the lead.
Sydney FC was not to be denied and went straight up the other end to level the score through Adrian Segecic when lashing home in some style.
FC’s joy lasted less than a minute when Urosevski rounded the ‘keeper to restore Rockdale’s lead with a nonchalant finish.
Less than ten minutes later Urosevski had his third with the home side in control at 3-1 up.
Swibel replied when crashing a thunderous shot against the crossbar, with David Bradasevic left stranded, in his final action of the game when replaced by Antonio Saracino on the hour.
It rounded off five minutes of spectacular action, sorely missing in the first half.
Rockdale Ilinden registered their fourth of the afternoon effectively killing off the game when Antoniou hit the back of the net.
Sydney FC coach Jim van Weeran said it was another difficult result for his young side with lapses in concentration proving costly once again.
“We were rightly punished in the first half with a poor defensive moment and in a poor position,” he said.
“Rockdale have the quality to punish and the second-half, despite the scoreline, we had some good chances which are positive for us.
“The main thing is we are still making mistakes by turning the ball over leading to goals and it cost us the result again today.
“A lot of that does have to do with youth, we had a 16-year-old making his starting debut today in Clayton Taylor, but poor decision making is something we continue to commit and that will only improve with experience.”
Rockdale boss Steve Zoric was pleased with his side’s performance and praised the way they broke down a deep-lying Sydney defence.
“The first-half Sydney made it hard for us by sitting back in deep positions and employed a lot of numbers defensively,” he said.
“It seems to be the pattern against us these days, but I felt we were not moving the ball quickly enough in the first half and we rectified that after the break.
“We could have had a few more today had we utilised the space we created and opted to switch play instead of playing ourselves back into areas where the opportunities were closed off.
“Sydney started pressing us higher up the pitch in the second half and that allowed us to get in behind and attack them one on one which led to our goals as we were then able to capitalise on their mistakes.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the points and our placing after the halfway point of the season but displeased we allowed them in for a goal today.”
Rockdale Ilinden 4 (Urosevski 37’, 57’, 66’, Antoniou 69’)
Sydney FC 1 (Segecic 56’)
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Sunday, 9th May 2021
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Assistant. Referees: Brad Wright & Patrick Teleki
Fourth Official: Hadi Al-Nakeeb
Rockdale Ilinden: 1.David BRADASEVIC, 2.Daniel PETKOVSKI, 3.Michael NEILL, 4.Mitchell STAMATELLIS, 5.Banri KANAZUMI, 6.Daniel ARAUJO (11.Samual GULISANO 68’), 7.Alec UROSEVSKI23.Jordan FIGON 88’), 8.Tomoki WADA, 9.Bai ANTONIOU (10.Amaury GAUTHIER 78’), 14.Brayden SORGE, 19.Patrick SAVOR
Substitutes not used: 13.Zac SFILIGOI, 16.Mo AHMED, 22.Enrol ORDONEZ SUAREZ,
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 40.Adam PAVLESIC, 3 Aaron GURD, 5 Tom FAY, 7.Aidan SIMMONS (18.Oscar PRIESTMAN 90’), 8 Patrick YAZBEK (28 Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH 89’), 11 Adrian SEGECIC, 13.Clayton TAYLOR, 15 Scott BROWNING (16.Stevan STANIC-FLOODY 79’), 23.Callum TALBOT (2 Cameron FONG 91’), 27 Jordan SWIBEL (9 Antonio SARACINO 60’), 33.Corey HOLLMAN
Substitutes not used: 1 Levi KAYE
Yellow Cards: Yazbek 53’, Simmons 63’, Fong 90+1’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Alec Urosevski (RI)
2 – Mitchell Stamatellis (RI)
1 – Tomoki Wada (RI)