Students win over Coast no fluke

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

7:30pm Saturday 6th June 2015  – Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney University SFC 3 (Peter Crevani 24′, 65′ pen, Nathan Sansom 82′)
Central Coast FC 1 (Alexander Arbelo 73′)


Sydney University pulled off the upset of the season, so far, when they beat title-challengers, Central Coast FC, 3-1 at Lambert Park on Saturday night.

It was no fluke, either.

Bolstered by two new signings on the Thursday before the match, as well as two other recently acquired newcomers, Sydney Uni took the game to the visitors and were good value for their win.

In came experienced pair, Tayfun Buyukkopru and Marton Vass, joining last year’s returning skipper, Peter Crevani, and Stefan de Jesus, last seen with Bankstown City Lions.

Vass certainly added stability and know-how to the backline, while the other three all lent their versatility and experience to a side that had been hard-working in all of its games, yet lacked conviction at vital stages.

The inclusion of these players gave the rest of the side extra confidence and noticeably the experience of the newcomers began to rub off on their new team mates from quite early in the game.

Central Coast were also a worthy opponent and Peter Preston’s team were looking to close the gap on Spirit FC, who are beginning to look a huge chance of walking away with the competition, based on recent performances.

But hard work for ‘The Students’ was to pay off in this game, their only previous win, in eleven outings, coming on the same ground a few weeks ago, against winless Mounties Wanderers, 2-1, a match the home side won back then with the last kick of the game.

It was far more convincing this time.

Peter Crevani, who’d played in the previous two games, after returning from Sutherland Sharks in NPL1, had already scored once for Sydney University upon his return and here he managed two.

His first goal came in the 24th, a beautiful, curling left-footer from 15 yards, catching Central Coast keeper, Blake Tuxford, fractionally off his line .

Good lead-up work involving Crevani,  Buyukkopru and Ammar Alyassan, allowed Crevani to advance from wide on the right into the penalty-area, lining up a swerving shot that flew into the top-left corner of the net.

The goal lifted the home side, who had been competing well enough to that point and had gone close a few times already.

Coast’s best to that stage had been an Alexander Arbelo shot that found the side-netting in the 17th minute and a shot from Trent Buhagiar that was off-target too, as early as the fifth minute.

Nathan Sansom had gone close for University in the sixth minute, getting onto a pass from Ammar Alyassan, only to be foiled by the quick work of the Coast’s keeper.

Sansom was also out of luck in the 32nd, following a corner, when the one-time defender, deployed these days as a target- man, at least for now, found the keeper too strong once more.

Central Coast won a few corners, as half-time drew near, but their shots were off-target again, Josh Bingham well-wide in the 35th and Daniel Mcfarlane’s pot-shot from deep, clearing the crossbar easily.

Ammar Alyassan was causing Central Coast a few problems on the flanks and with Buyukkopru and de Jesus bossing the midfield much of the time, the home team were easing their way into control of the match, surprisingly for a side that had collected only three points from their previous ten games.

Bingham had to withdraw from the Central Coast side after receiving a heavy tackle and falling awkwardly on the unforgiving, artificial surface in the 58th minute and his absence further damaged the visitors’ chances.

Two superb tackles from Vass on the dangerous Buhagiar in the 53rd and 56th minutes and sound all-round defending by the Sydney University side kept Central Coast scoreless, as the hour-mark approached and as the visitors began to look more anxiously towards the scoreboard.

They would have become even more concerned after 65 minutes, when Vass ventured forward for a corner and had his shirt tugged blatantly by a Coast defender, close to goal.

Referee Ben Abraham pointed to the spot and Crevani converted, tucking the ball just inside the left post, to have his side 2-0 up.

After that a strong shot from Central Coast’s  Lachlan Wales struck Sydney Uni defender, Kym Gyubeom, on the lower arm in the 73rd minute and again a penalty was awarded, this time to the visitors.

Livewire midfielder, Arbelo, cleverly converted his penalty-kick, with a minimum of fuss, to set up a potentially tense final 20 minutes.

Despite only holding a 2-1 lead Sydney Uni coach, Raul Blanco, resisted the temptation to drag back his converted stopper and captain, Nathan Sansom, to protect his team’s lead and the home side continued to play for possession and to create chances with Sansom leading the line in typically robust fashion.

It was to prove a sound decision, as by the 82nd minute the locals were 3-1 up and back holding a two-goal cushion.

A corner from the left swung over by de Jesus arrived in a crowded goalmouth and the strong figure of Sansom emerged to put in a glancing header that deceived the keeper.

After that there was no way back for Central Coast, with Sydney University looking the dominant team towards the end.

Beaten coach, Peter Preston, did not dispute the superiority of the students on this occasion.

“We were beaten by the better side tonight. No excuses. They wanted it more than we did, though that’s not to say we didn’t want it, of course, but they had more to play for being at the bottom and their new players helped them a lot.

“We only just beat them last time at home and we got the winner very late that day, so we always knew they’d be hard to beat.

Raul Blanco, who seldom says much post-match, win or lose, complimented his players on their performance.

“We have been working hard and none of the teams, apart from in the one match against Hakoah earlier in the season, have dominated us at all.

“We played with more confidence, with the four new players and the team is a lot more effective now.

Off the bottom of the table with six points from their two wins and going into the second-half of the season with renewed optimism, Sydney University have some interesting home games coming up in the next few weeks, including matches against Spirit FC and Northern Tigers.

Match details
Crowd: about 50

Sydney University SFC: 21. Patrick Ferrara (gk);  16 Adam Porcu, 43 Marton Vass, 6 Jeremy Butnaru; 4 Kim Gyubeom, 13 Alexander Sopina;   7 Ammar Alyassan (35 Thomas Keenan 72), 17 Stefan de Jesus, 12 Dario Borovickic, 32 Tayfun Buyukkopru, 44 Peter Crevani;  3 Nathan Sansom (C)
Subs not used: RGK 57 David Hillcoat, 24 Jacob Blundell, 33 Adrian Lara,

Coach: Raul Blanco
Yellow cards: Kim Gyubeom 73, Peter Crevani 77, Nathan Sansom 90+2; Red cards: Nil

Central Coast FC: GK  1 Blake Tuxford; 16 Daniel Mcfarlane, 2 Liam O’Dell, 13 Jake Mcging, 28 Christopher Hurley; 5 Brian Jamba, 7 Jayden Priest (17 Lachlan Wales 60), 8 Joel Hardwick (C) (3 Joshua Forbes 75), 12 Trent Buhagiar; 10 Alexander Arbelo, 19 Josh Bingham (9 Adam Woodbine 58),
Subs not used: RGK 40 Beyhan Irmako,

Coach: Peter Preston
Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil

Referee: Ben Abraham; Assistants: Alex Long and Daniel Stack

Ratings and miscellaneous

Weather: Cold and dry, no breeze.

Game: 8/10
Pitch: 10/10 (Synthetic)

Players noted:  Ammar Alyassan (SU), Peter Crevani (SU), Marton Vass (SU), Nathan Sansom (SU), Christopher Hurley (CC), Alexander Arbelo (CC)