Marconi’s unbeaten record crumbles against ruthless Sydney United


Marconi, unbeaten in their first five games, finally succumbed at the hands of their neighbours Sydney United who displayed some clinical finishing in front of goal to hand the gallant, injury-riddled Stallions an early Easter present they certainly could have done without.

The match was also seen as the first leg of the Capitol Hill Cup with the Reds gaining the upper hand at their opponents’ stadium.
Sydney United?s player-coach David Zdrilic was delighted with his team?s performance stating after the game:
?Tonight?s win was good for us because the last three results certainly haven?t gone our way.
?We have been playing some good football but haven?t been getting the points ? maybe we had to show a little bit of grit coming away from home tonight and we did.?
Zdrilic, nevertheless, admitted that Marconi controlled possession for a large amount of time and very sportingly gave credit to his beaten opponents as well:
?Marconi, in large spells, dominated possession but when we got the ball we were able to break quickly,? he said.
?We changed our game plan mid-game and it seemed to work.
?We were lucky at the start ? they hit the crossbar early on and had a couple of good chances ? but, in other games, we had mountains of possession and didn?t capitalise, so this time when we got our chances we took advantage of them.?
In the 15? minute Ante Tomic threaded the ball into the area for Mirjan Pavlovic, but the pass was a little too wide and Pavlovic could only steer the ball into the side netting:
?It was only Mirjan?s second game for us and he has been fitting in well,? said Zdrilic of his striker?s very impressive game.
In the 21? minute Pavlovic from close-range was off target when perhaps he could have done a little better. At this point the game required a spark and that duly arrived shortly afterwards.
In the 22? minute Marconi lit the fuse of the spark with a golden chance to take the ead, but in the end it wasn?t to be for the Stallions.
Nahuel Arrarte?s shot was blocked by the Sydney United defence and the ball fell beautifully for young Mitchell Malia who curled it majestically onto the crossbar but, from the fortuitous rebound, Arrarte received the ball back and fired his shot into the grandstand much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
In the 36? minute Arrarte, always reliable for the Stallions, nicely passed the ball from right to left and found Erick Anabalon lurking with intent in the box, but the latter could only manage to find the outside netting with his diagonal attempt on goal.
On 41? minutes Elsid Barkhousir was on hand to grab the advantage for Sydney United after receiving a nice ball from Pavlovic and it was most definitely a turning point in the encounter.
Moments later, James Chronopoulos saved tremendously from Steve Hayes and from the rebound Pavlovic failed to expand Sydney United?s lead as he skewed his shot just wide.
On the verge of half-time Matthew Gordon forced a nice save from Vedran Janjetovic from a powerful shot just inside the box and that was to be the last of the action in the first-half.
In the second-half Barkhousir charged into the penalty box in the opening minutes only to be denied by Chronopoulos who came rushing out of his goal.
In the 59? minute Marconi should really have equalised when Arrarte received the ball after the Sydney United defence failed to clear it from a corner; Arrarte put the ball through the forest of legs only for Janjetovic to fumble and then for Hayes to clear it off his own goal line to spare his goalkeeper?s blushes.
In the 70? minute referee Adam Weir awarded a clear penalty to Sydney United when Pavlovic was brought down by Brenton Rhodes in a clumsy challenge in the penalty box.
From the spot Barkhousir managed to beat an outstretched Chronopoulos even though the Marconi shot-stopper was merely centimetres from pulling off a fantastic save.
?Elsid is having a fantastic season and he is playing in a different position, but to be playing like he is doing at the moment is a credit to him,? his coach David Zdrilic said.
In the 73? minute a Tomic rocket from outside the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Chronopoulos at full stretch and in the 75? minute Marconi replied: a cross by Gordon found Anabalon who dummied past the first defender, but shot just wide of the intended target.
In the 81? minute Sydney United scored their third goal: Barkhousir set up Pavlovic who, with a powerful low drive, sent the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to extend the visitors? advantage and put the game well out of the home-side?s grasp.
Afterwards Lee Sterrey, coach of the Stallions, expressed disappointed with factors beyond his team?s control but, on the whole, was still very upbeat about his side?s performance:
?We made perhaps two defensive lapses ? one before half-time that cost us a goal and one in the second-half to give away a penalty like that which is a very bad defensive mistake,? he said.
?Sydney United never had a shot on goal until they scored their first goal and never created an extra man, whereas we were moving the ball a lot more than what they did in the first thirty minutes of the match.
?I am very proud of our blokes and where we are sitting at the moment on the table, we deserve to be sitting because we?ve played some good football with some very young guys.?
In the Grade-20 division, Marconi Stallions and Sydney United shared the spoils with following a 0-0 draw.
Match Stats
Marconi Stallions 0      
Sydney United 3 (Barkhousir 41?, 72? (pen), Pavlovic 81?)
Saturday, 3rd April, 2010
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Adam Weir
Assistant Referees: Christian Mehl and Nick Backo
Fourth Official: Cameron Bruce
Marconi Stallions: 22.James Chronopoulos; 2.Brenton Rhodes, 5.Abel El Jamal, 8.Aleksander Canak (34.Nathan Jagelman 59?), 9.Erick Anabalon, 11.Matthew Gordon, 23.Christopher Nunes, 25.Domenic Trimboli, 26.Nahuel Arrarte (18.Jared Lum 89?), 31.Mitchell Malia (39.Sean O?Connell 76?), 42.Giorgio Speranza.
Substitutes Not Used: 21.Jose Bello-Amigo, 38.Anthony Avati
Yellow Cards: Rhodes 70?, El Jamal 76?
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United: 1.Vedran Janjetovic; 4.Michael Cindric, 34.Damon Collina, 10.Steve Hayes, 16.Elsid Barkhousir, 19.Mitchell Thompson (21.Sean Mitchell 46?), 23.Ivo Bosnar, 25.Mirjan Pavlovic (12.Steven Veleski 89?), 26.George Strogylos, 32.Ante Tomic, 9.David Zdrilic (5.Tomislav Grjac 85?)
Substitutes Not Used: 30.Roy Bell, 22.Peter Zorbas,  
Yellow Cards: Cindric 16?, Zdrilic 23?, Barkhousir 65?, Pavlovic 81?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Elsid Barkhousir (SU)
2 – Michael Cindric (SU)
1 – Mirjan Pavlovic (SU)
-By Joe Russo