Sydney United won the opening leg of the tie against the Stallions 3-0, securing a 5-2 win for the team from Edensor Park.
The Stallions, after two wins and a draw, can finally put to rest the demons of the earlier part of the season.
They will not win the TeleChoice Premier League title this year but the corner has been turned. And, hopefully, for their loyal fans it?s a chapter that will not be revisited in the not too distant future.
Sydney United is definitely a side with class. Luka Glavas? goal to regain the lead in the second-half should make the highlights reel of season 2008.
However, not to be outdone was Vuko Tomasevic – his stunning free-kick to equalise the ledger for the Stallions was of equal magnitude and class.
After the match Sydney United coach Ivan Petkovic said that he was a little disappointed with his side because Marconi was allowed back into the game in the second-half.
?I am just disappointed with the result because I believe that we created enough chances to win the game especially when we were 2-1 up,? he said.
?In the second-half we lost a little shape and therefore some tempo and that?s why Marconi was allowed to come back.?
Marconi Stallions boss David Barrett, on the other hand, was mildly pleased with his side despite admitting to being flat in the first stanza of play.
?I thought we were flat in the first-half and they were good, but I thought we stood up in the second-half,? he said.
?The difference is that Luka Glavas scored a great goal out of nothing and that?s the sort of quality he?s got, whereas we have to work very hard for everything we get.
?We have taken a couple of steps forward in recent weeks and while we are not there yet, we are inching our way forward.?
After a rather quiet start from both sides in the opening quarter of an hour, it was the opening goal from the visitors that breathed the first sign of life into the game.
A corner kick by Sydney United seemed to be cleared by a James Chronopoulos punch, but it only went as far as Milan Bosnar who volleyed it back into the middle and, outjumping a number of players, Damon Collina headed the ball into goal despite the scrambling effort by the Marconi defence to clear the ball off the line.
In the end it was left up to the assistant referee to validate that the ball had actually crossed the line.
In the 22? minute a free-kick by Nahuel Arrarte was well saved by the out-rushing Vedran Janjetovic who managed to hold on well to the ball.
A few minutes later Vuko Tomasevic sent Christopher Nunes charging down the right flank, but his shot on the run sailed innocuously over the crossbar.
In the 29? minute Sydney United?s reply was almost the team?s second goal when Luka Glavas found Ben Vidaic in a good position and the talented youngster headed the ball just wide.
Just short of half-time Nathan Moulds thought that he would try his luck with a blistering shot from about 25-metres out, but he found the visiting goalkeeper well prepared because he managed to neutralise the powerful attempt on goal.
As the second-half got underway it was clear that Marconi was determined to equalise after pressing forward in the opening minutes.
It was thus no surprise to see the equaliser arrive in the 50? minute when a Nunes cross found Arrarte on the edge of the box and he made no mistake as he drilled the ball into the back of the net.
Sydney United didn?t have to wait very long to regain the advantage: a long ball from Joe Vrkic found Glavas and the former Perth Glory striker stunned the crowd with a superb strike from outside the area. There was absolutely nothing that Chronopoulos could do.
Both sides then exchanged blows with a Glavas shot that was saved by Chronopoulos the best for the visitors, and a header by Matt Gordon was the best opportunity for Marconi.
In the 85? minute, however, Tomasevic struck gold. A free-kick from a very acute angle on the right side caught everyone by surprise, including the goalkeeper Janjetovic who probably couldn?t believe the audacity of Tomasevic?s attempt.
Marconi Stallions 2 (Nahuel Arrarte 50?, Vuko Tomasevic 85?)
Sydney United 2 (Damon Collina 18?, Luka Glavas 55?)
Marconi Stallions: James Chronopoulos; Wade Oostendorp, Vuko Tomasevic, Nathan Moulds, Luke Casserly, Tallan Martin (Kain Rastall 46?), Tolgay Ozbey, Matthew Gordon (Tim McGowan 71?), Christopher Nunes, Nahuel Arrarte, Umut Tokdogan (Ante Deur 78?).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Cairncross and Cem Akili
Sydney United: Vedran Janjetovic; Josip Moric (Todd Brodie 74?), Damon Collina, Joe Vrkic, Milan Bosnar (Sash Trajcevski 58?), Peter Markovic, Mark Robertson, Ben Vidaic (Christian De Soares 79?), Christopher Boyle, Ivo Bosnar, Luka Glavas.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrija Petkovic and Steve Minovski
Referee: Attila Stibinger
Assistants: Daniel Dewhurst and Dale Fuda
Yellow Cards: 82? Oostendorp (Marconi); 4? Robertson, 34? Vidaic, 69? Glavas (Syd Utd)
3 – Luka Glavas (SU)
2 – Nahuel Arrarte (MS)
1 – Joe Vrkic (SU)
-By Joe Russo