For the locals it was back to the bad old football of season?s past whilst Sydney United turned things around in just seven days, playing some great football in comparison to what they had put on against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt at home last weekend.
The game opened with Sydney United dominating, and that early pressure brought about a goal in the 6? minute. A Chris Boyle corner from the right was headed home by Joe Vrkic as Penrith-Nepean missed the aerial dominance of Ante Juric at the back.
In the 8? minute Boyle ghosted in at the far post but before the ball could get to him William Stuart closed down the situation. Three minutes later Ben Vidaic was left unmarked from a free-kick but he could not put the ball on target.
Moments later Todd Brodie put a great ball in from the right but Boyle missed with his shot when he should have doubled his side?s lead. It would be indicative of the damage that Brodie would do down the right all match.
Josip Moric chipped the ball over the defence in the 21? minute but Luka Glavas, who had put the ball away, was correctly adjudged offside, although it would have evoked painful memories of last week for Sydney United fans.
One minute later the locals put their first shot on target, but Panagiotis Nikas could only toe-poke his shot and it fell comfortably into recent Sydney FC recruit Vedran Jantejovic?s hands. Ben Vidaic then almost scored a second for the visitors but he touched the ball wide of the post just on the half hour.
Sydney United did double their lead shortly after via a speculative shot from Ivo Bosnar from some 30-metres out. His shot took an awkward bounce and goalkeeper Chad Taylor could not recover quickly enough to stop it from going in.
Taylor did better two minutes later when Todd Brodie put a ball in from the right to Vidaic at the far post, Taylor managed to shepherd the ball out of danger.
In the final minutes of the half, Penrith coach Abbas Saad made a double change as he took his wide men off, both of who had come off second best against Boyle and Brodie. It seemed not to work as Boyle then set Damon Collina up, but Collina?s shot went well over the crossbar. Seconds later Boyle played a magnificent ball to Luka Glavas who went through on goal but Taylor was quick to save the situation.
Assistant coach Robbie Stanton must have had strong words with the Penrith players in the break as they came out playing much better football, especially via the feet of Nathan Ralph. However, there were still danger signs for Penrith, in as early as the 50? minute. Damon Collina had time and space to pick his man in the penalty-area, though he failed to find an unmarked Vidaic in the centre.
Penrith did not heed this warning and in the 56? minute Ivo Bosnar played Glavas through on goal and he slid the ball past Taylor, who slipped when advancing towards his opponent, with the ball nestling comfortably in the back of the net.
Three goals up and Penrith put on another attacker in Javier Mancino. The move backfired a little when Ozgur Kanyilmaz injured his groin and Penrith had to play a man down.
In the 80? minute Boyle set Glavas up but his efforts came to nothing as the striker spurned the chance.
In the meantime Nathan Ralph was denied a consolation goal and Glavas missed a chance set up by substitute Christian DeSoares.
The Reds? fourth goal did arrive in the 90? minute as a Joe Vrkic long-ball fell into the path of Glavas who slotted home past Taylor once more. For Vrkic it capped off a great game both in defence and in counter-attack.
After the goal Penrith had one more chance with Jason Browne setting up Ralph once more but Ralph?s shot deflected wide of the post, keeping the locals scoreless for the match.
Abbas Saad was extremely disappointed with the performance of his Penrith side: ?We needed to turn up today but we were flat and very disappointing. However I do not want to take anything away from Sydney United who were outstanding today.?
Ivan Petkovic was delighted with the turnaround of his side following the home-loss last weekend:
?All the team played well today. This has been the best game from us all season. We loved playing on the pitch at CUA Stadium because it was so even and promoted good football. Credit to the Penrith youngsters, they tried to play football today and they did not give up. We played very well and I am pleased with all the boys? efforts.?
Penrith-Nepean United 0
Sydney United 4 (Joe Vrkic 5?, Ivo Bosnar 35?, Luka Glavas 56?, 90?)
Venue: CUA Stadium, Penrith.
Referee: Atilla Stibinger
Penrith-Nepean United: 1. Chad TAYLOR; 20. Ben WRIGHT (7. Javier MANCINO 60?), 9. Carl MCNAUGHTON (3. Chris GOMEZ 40?), 23. Devrim HUSEYIN, 11. Erick ANABALON, 5. Luke BOYD, 16. Michael CROMAR (10. Jason BROWNE 40?), 13. Nathan RALPH, 17. Ozgur KANYLIMAZ, 2. William STUART, 29. Panny NIKAS
Substitutes Not Used: 42. Daniel SCHWARZER, 8. Stewart VAN BENTUM
Yellow Cards: Panny Nikas 45?
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United: Vedran JANJETOVIC; 3. Josip MORIC, 4. Milan BOSNAR, 5. Damon COLLINA, 6. Joe VRKIC, 7. Todd BRODIE (9. Christian DESOARES 80?), 11. Luka GLAVAS, 13. Ben VIDAIC (37. Dennis CUTURA 68?), 15. Christopher BOYLE, 21. Saso TRAJCEVSKI, 23. Ivo BOSNAR (18. Andrija PETKOVIC 74?)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Steve MINOVSKI, 19. Mitchell THOMPSON
Red Cards: Nil
Yellow Cards: Nil
3 – Chris Boyle (SU)
2 – Todd Brodie (SU)
1 – Joe Vrkic (SU)
-By Stuart Jones