Suns shine in Cup while students struggle

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

FFA CUP – NSW Preliminary Round 6 – Feature Game
7:45pm, Wednesday 29th April 2015 – Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney University  SFC 0
lost to
Rockdale City Suns FC 2 (Alec Urosevski 14′, Marko Jesic 24′)


Sydney University have taken some time to settle down at their temporary home for the 2015 season, Lambert Park in Leichhardt, having recorded their only wins in the FFA Cup and both of those in Wollongong. Pointless at the foot of the NSW Premier Division 2 table they had a big job in front of them against Rockdale City Suns.

Whether they like the sea air or the camaraderie that away game travel brings remains to be seen, but they did show some signs of improvement in their NSW Premier League Division 2 game against Macarthur Rams a few days earlier, on the synthetic surface at Lambert Park, so they went into this game against Division 1 side Rockdale City Suns with renewed optimism.

They’d been humbled at home in the League by newly-promoted Hakoah Sydney City East 6-0 and didn’t want a repeat of that, so their fighting 2-1 loss was certainly a vast improvement, albeit their fifth loss in as many outings, with one washed-out game against Spirit FC still to make up.

Rockdale arrived in Leichhardt after the short trip up the Princes Highway, but without their head coach, Branco Culina, who’d been relieved of his post earlier in the week after a 6-2 loss to Division 1 neighbours Sutherland Sharks.

Paul Reid was called upon to take over as Interim-coach ahead of this match, hoping to lift his team’s fortunes after the previously successful Suns had failed to win a game all season, managing only two draws in six matches, with one wash-out.

Their Cup form had been somewhat unconvincing, as well, narrowly overcoming State League 1 side Rydalmere Lions 2-1 and then beating St George District side, Arncliffe Aurora, only on penalties after a scoreless draw over the 120 minutes, with both games staged at their Ilinden Sports Centre Ground in Rockdale.

Reid elected to name himself on the bench for his first game in charge and indeed his first coaching exposure.

He also remained there for the entire game, as his team was doing enough to please him, so he continued to observe from the sidelines, though he acknowledged that there was still a lot to be done, even after a 2-0 win.

Sydney University went into the game with almost an identical team to the one that had gone close to holding Macarthur Rams the previous weekend and they were competitive throughout, without ever looking likely winners of this Cup tie.

After only three minutes they tried their luck from distance, with Rockdale keeper,  TomislavArcaba, fumbling the effort from Phillip Bures before claiming the ball at the foot of his left-hand upright.

After that, however, Rockdale began to get down to business and the lively Marko Jesic attempted something similar himself two minutes later, with University keeper, Marko Bozic, scrambling the ball away for a corner.

A neat pass from Mitsuhiro Iwamoto set up Nikola Taneski in the eighth minute, with the latter scooping the ball narrowly over the crossbar.

Rockdale took the lead in the 14th when they won a corner on the left, swung over deep to the far-post by Jesic and headed back across goal by the tall figure of Hristijan Tanoski, with the ball already goal-bound quickly tucked away by Alec Urosevski at close range.

After Nikola Taneski had steered one low and just wide in the 20th, the Suns extended their lead in the 24th.

This time Alec Urosevski was pushed in the back, as he made his way into the six-yard box, Sydney Uni defender, Kim Gyubeom, the offender and from the penalty-spot Jesic sent the keeper the wrong way with a clever, low delivery.

Early in the second-half, having held off Rockdale well for the remainder of the first, Uni came out firing and appeared likely to even pull a goal or two back, with Patrick Savor making a superb tackle in the 56th to deny the raiding Sydney Uni. strikers, for whom skipper Nathan Sansom was always in the thick of the action.

Both sides settled down to make a decent game of it in the remaining half-hour and Rockdale keeper, Tomislav Arcaba, who hardly saw the ball in the first period, was called upon to make a number of saves, Sansom and Gavin Forbes setting up half-time substitute, Ammar Alyassan for a volley in the 79th that was particularly well saved by Arcaba.

Rockdale had a few more chances as well, but were kept busy dealing with the hard-working Sydney Uni team, who never threw in the towel at any stage.

“I think we played well,” said Uni coach Raul Blanco.

“Considering they are a division above us, I think we were right in the game and I can’t be unhappy with that performance.

Paul Reid, who will probably play himself again in the coming weeks, was reasonably satisfied.

“I told them at half time that 2-0 was a dangerous scoreline and to be careful, but overall I’m happy with how we played.

“I had already mentioned to the players that on paper we have a very good team and we should be doing a lot better than we have been.

“I wanted to have a good look at the team tonight, from the sidelines, so I can help them realise their full potential.

Match details

Crowd:  Approx 100

Sydney University SFC: 1. Marko Bozic (gk);  18 Phillip Bures, 6 Jeremy Butnaru;  4 Kim Gyubeom, 14 Daniel Mifsud , 16 Adam Porcu (12 Dario Borovickie 68),  20 Sasha Skyba (7 Ammar Alyassan 46), 10 Santiago Rodriguez, 11 Jake Bradshaw, 3 Nathan Sansom (C), 9 Gavin Forbes
Subs not used: RGK 21 Patrick Ferrara, 15 Victor  Adyimba, 8 Khushaba Khushaba

Coach: Raul Blanco
Yellow cards: Adam Porcu 37, Gavin Forbes 65, Daniel Mifsud 75, Santiago Rodriguez 90; Red cards: Nil

Rockdale City Suns FC: 22. Tomislav Arcaba (gk); 6 Takuya Murayama, 15 Nicholas Petrillo,  23 Askin Oygur (C), 19 Patrick Savor; 10 Marko Jesic (21 M Pandelfa 80), 12 Idriss El Hafiane,  20 Mitsuhiro Iwamoto;  7 Alec Urosevski (29 Isaac Savor 67), 11 Nikola Taneski, 4 Hristijan Tanoski (36 D Boccanin 85)
Subs not used:  RGK 1 David Bradasevic, Paul Reid

Interim player-coach: Paul Reid
Yellow cards:  Nicholas Petrillo 68; Red cards: Nil

Ratings, points, etc.

Referee: Adrian Arndt

Assistants: Matthew Cassidy and Matthew Reidy

Weather: Cool and showery

Game: 7/10
Pitch: 10/10 (Synthetic)

Players noted: Phillip Bures (SU), Nathan Sansom (SU), Daniel Mifsud (SU), Marko Jesic (RCS), 23 Ayskin Oygur (RCS), Mitsuhiro Iwamoto(RCS)