The Reds, who started the season like a house on fire, have fallen by the wayside in recent weeks, though the Round 8 encounter against the Tigers at Lambert Park proved to be a welcome return to form for the team from Edensor Park.
The Tigers on the other hand, who have been without a doubt one of the biggest improvers this season following an extremely slow-start, fell back into their old ways with a poor performance in-front of their home crowd.
Sydney United kicked-off in a lively manner with Chris Boyle getting involved in the action from the word go. The left-winger played a huge role throughout the afternoon with his quick feet and good vision, complimenting his colleague Petar Markovic on the opposite flank.
The first clear opportunity of the afternoon though fell to the Tigers. A wicked free-kick swung in by Christian Care fell into the path of Marton Vass who headed the ball goal-wards, only for Sydney United?s Vedran Janjetovic to collect at the second attempt.
The Tigers were through on goal again in the 7? minute, though Franco Parisi?s attempt to bring down a perfectly lofted ball from the midfield failed, as his first touch became easy pickings for Janjetovic.
Sydney United hearts were in their throats moments later as Janjetovic put on a fine display of composure on the ball as he dribbled his way past the oncoming challenge of Tigers? striker Robert Younis.
The Reds started to gain the ascendancy in midfield at this point, as Ivo Bosnar started to pull the strings for his side.
Luka Glavas provided the Tigers? faithful with warning signs in the 11? minute as his glancing header only just missed the post, before the Reds did break the deadlock with some fine build-up on the left-flank.
Joe Moric was the provider of a well driven low cross into the path of a lunging Damon Collina in the penalty-area; the Reds? defender collected the ball cleanly with his out-stretched right-foot and put his side ahead.
A.P.I.A.?s response was immediate as Franco Parisi weaved his magic to create some space on the edge of the penalty-area, though the Tigers? number 10 was fouled on the edge of the area.
Robert Younis stepped-up to take the resulting free-kick though his fierce effort finished over the cross-bar.
Sydney United had a clear chance to double their lead when Boyle?s delightful pass played Petar Markovic one-on-one with Tigers? Matthew Nash ? the A.P.I.A. shot-stopper stood tall to parry Markovic?s effort, with Boyle picking up the rebound before shooting over the woodwork.
Franco Parisi replied for the Tigers moments later after latching onto an exquisite Christian Care through-ball. Parisi played his way into the penalty-area from the left-flank, though his driven effort hit the upright and was cleared away from danger.
Sydney United doubled their lead in the 28? minute when Ben Vidaic?s pass picked out Luka Glavas ? beating the offside trap despite the protests of the home supporters.
Glavas had no problems slotting the ball passed the helpless Matthew Nash to make it 2-0.
Sydney United were given another chance in the 36? minute when Vidaic sprung the offside trap ? this time incorrectly missed by the linesman.
Vidaic lunged over the challenge of the out-coming Matthew Nash, though the referee was on hand to spot that no contact had been made between the striker and the goalkeeper and play continued.
The Tigers had the last chance of the half when Marton Vass? cross only just missed the attempted header of Care and successively the lunging effort of Younis at the far post.
The second-period required a much more spirited performance from the home-side if they were to take anything from the match, though the Reds continued their dominance of proceedings.
Arguably the man-of-the-match, Christopher Boyle continued to run rings around the A.P.I.A. defence with his speed and good touch on the ball.
In the 51? minute, Boyle dispossessed a slow to react Michael Galluzzo inside his own half, the Reds? left-sided midfielder out-ran Galluzzo before playing a precise cross into the path of an unmarked Ben Vidaic who had the easiest of tasks to slot home past Matthew Nash.
With Sydney United in full control, the home-side was limited to very few chances of getting back into the match.
Good strength by Younis on the goal-line provided Stephen Kayes with a low driven ball across the face of goal, though Kayes failed to get a touch on the ball.
The Reds dominance on the two flanks was unrelenting as Markovic and Boyle dominated their respective wings, meanwhile the Bosnar bothers, with the experience of Joe Vrkic in defence ensured the Tigers would not get a look-in on this afternoon.
Marton Vass? late long-range effort summed up the Tigers? match, as the ball sailed harmlessly over Janjetovic?s cross bar.
The final result, a much deserved three-points for the visitors.
The performance brought a big smile onto the face of Sydney United Coach Ivan Petkovic:
?I am very happy with the result, but also of the performance because today we showed exactly what we practice in training every week.
?The last couple of weeks we have not played very well, though we still should have got something more against Macarthur and Wollongong.
?Today though I am very happy, because my team played some good football and of course we got three-points ? so that was very important that we managed to do that this weekend,? Petkovic concluded.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers boss John Romeo was obviously less impressed with the final outcome:
?We were disappointing, flat and cannot expect to win matches if we play the way we did today.
?We did have some chances early on in the match at 0-0, and if only we managed to score one goal there, then we would have been looking at a totally different match.
?The ball is round, and it didn?t go for us today, though we do need to improve our performances because we won?t be challenging for the finals if we do not lift from today?s showing,? commented Romeo.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Sydney United 3 (Damon Collina 14?, Luka Glavas 28?, Ben Vidaic 51?)
Venue: Lambert Park, Leichhardt.
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson and Dale Fuda
Fourth Official: Khodr Yaghi
Crowd: 500 approx.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: 1. Matthew Nash; 3. John Kelso, 4. Daniel Clifford, 5. Michael Galluzzo, 7. Stephen Kayes, 8. Ian King, 9. Robert Younis (26. Teejay Seo 77?), 10. Franco Parisi, 12. Marton Vass, 13. David D?Apuzzo, 23. Christian Care (19. Jason Garrison 74?)
Substitutes not used: 15. Joshua Lawson, 16. Simon Ryan, 40. Milan Udvaracz
Yellow Cards: David D?Apuzzo 9?, Stephen Kayes 49?, Daniel Clifford 52?, Michael Galluzzo 64?
Sydney United: 30. Vedran Janjetovic; 3. Josip Moric (31. Anthony Golec 53?), 4. Milan Bosnar (9. Chris De Soares 74?), 5. Damon Collina, 6. Joe Vrkic, 21. Sash Trajcevski, 23. Ivo Bosnar, 15. Christopher Boyle (18. Andrija Petkovic 78?), 14. Petar Markovic, 13. Ben Vidaic, 11. Luka Glavas
Substitutes Not Used: 16. Elsid Barkhousir, 20. Steven Minovski (Gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
3 ? Christopher Boyle (SU)
2 ? Damon Collina (SU)
1 ? Petar Markovic (SU)
-By Joseph Carlucci