Sharks bitten by hungry Wolves


Two goals from star Japanese import Yuzo Tashiro has helped Wollongong Wolves to a handy 3-0 victory over Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw on Saturday night.

It’s been a tough few days for the Sharks who on Thursday saw their coach Carlos Vilazon part company with the club after their shock Westfield FFA Cup exit at the hands of PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s outfit Fraser Park.

Jacob Timpano’s side took a 1-0 lead into halftime after an early own goal from Christopher McStay, and doubled it midway through the second period with a confident penalty from Tashiro. The striker doubled his tally in the closing minutes of a game in which Sutherland fought hard to compete, but were left wanting in the crucial moments.

The hosts struggled for fluency in the game’s opening stages, and invited pressure from a hungry Wollongong side.

After a series of corners, Wolves pushed forward and nearly scored with their first effort through Nicholas Bernal, whose snapshot was dealt with well by Nikolas Loe in the Sutherland goal.

Having served a warning, Wolves scored with their next attack just seven minutes after kickoff.

With the ball on the right, Darcy Madden picked out an early pass across the Sutherland backline to Tashiro, streaming unmarked through the middle of the pitch.

Opening his body to hit a first-time shot, the striker was beaten to the ball by McStay, who stabbed the ball beyond Loe and into his own net to give Wollongong a 1-0 lead.

Sutherland looked to hit back but were limited to long-range shots by a solid Wollongong defence, which were either blasted high or wide, or saved confidently by Justin Pasfield. Nicholas Littler was given a good opportunity to level for his side when Sutherland were awarded a free kick at the top of the box, but he couldn’t direct his low drive on target.

The home side’s best chance of a trying first half fell to young attacker Jeremy Cox on the right wing: with the ball rolling across the corner of the penalty area, the winger swung a shot over a stretching Pasfield and onto the crossbar, where it bounced away to safety.

The ever-industrious Tomohiro Kajiyama had a final opportunity to draw his side level at 1-1 before the break but he smashed his close-range shot straight at the goalkeeper, who made a strong save to hold Wollongong’s 1-0 lead at halftime.

The home side started the second half strongly; breaking quickly when they had the ball, and swarming their opponents when they didn’t.

They might have broken through just before the hour mark when Nathan Elasi met Kajiyama’s cross first at the near post, but his flick-on was somehow cleared off the line for another corner.

Yet Sutherland’s emphasis on attack left them exposed in defence, and they were left to pay the price when Bernal broke quickly down the field and was hauled down by Blair Brown in the box. Referee Tim Danaskos showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Tashiro stepped up to score his side’s second of the game with a calm penalty.

Sutherland continued to push for a late goal to give them hope of salvaging a draw, but were ultimately left frustrated by a steadfast Wollongong defence, and a striker in form: with minutes remaining, Tashiro touched on a dipping free kick to beat Loe for his second goal, giving Wolves a 3-0 victory to take back to Wollongong.

Standing in as first team coach, Sutherland’s Alan Edmonson was pleased with his side’s performance after a difficult few days at Seymour Shaw.

"We wish Carlos all the best for the future, but we’re looking forward ourselves so we’ll have someone in next week to take us into the next game.

"It wasn’t the result we wanted, but the performance was great.

“We created a lot, we hit the bar, and if we play like that then we’ll definitely get results through the season – it just didn’t happen for us tonight."

Wollongong Wolves’ Jacob Timpano was especially pleased with Tashiro; the striker’s already five goals this season, crucial to Wollongong’s recent run of form.

"We always knew it’d take him a bit of time to adjust to the league, but in the last couple of weeks he’s been fantastic.

"It was a fairly dominant performance – we started well and got an early lead before we went back into our shells a bit at the back end of the first half, but in saying that I think we controlled the game well.

“We weathered a bit of a storm in the second half but we got what we deserved in the end."

Match Stats

Sutherland Sharks FC 0

Wollongong Wolves FC 3 (McStay OG 7′ Tashiro 66′, 88′)

Saturday 29 April 2017, Seymour Shaw

Referee: T. Danaskos

Assistant referees: S. Edeling, J. Bell

Fourth official: P. Reynolds

Sutherland Sharks FC: 4. Stephen KAYES, 5. Nicholas LITTLER, 6. Matthew GORDON, 9. Tomohiro KAJIYAMA, 10. Joshua DA SILVA, 11. Nathan ELASI (19. Callum FITZPATRICK 81′), 12. Blair BROWN, 13. Jeremy COX, 21. Nikolas LOE, 8. Christopher MCSTAY, 14. Patrick O’SHEA

Subs not used: 15. Kevin LOPES, 18. Claudio FABIANO, 3. Takuya MURAYAMA, 7. Jack PRESS

Yellow Cards: Gordon 61′, Brown 65′

Red Cards: N/A 

Wollongong Wolves FC: 1. Justin PASFIELD, 4. Hayden MORTON, 6. Darcy MADDEN, 7. Christopher PRICE, 9. Peter SIMONOSKI (14. Joshua MACDONALD 86′), 16. Patrick ANTELMI, 11. Michael ROBINSON 18. Nicholas BERNAL, 23. Steven HAYES, 30. Yuzo TASHIRO, 8. Brendan GRIFFIN

Subs not used: 5. James BALDACCHINO, 12. Luke KAIRIES, 10. David STOJIC, 11. Hristijan TANOSKI

Yellow Cards: Morton 27′, Antelmi 61′, Madden 68′

Red Cards: N/A

Player Ratings

3 – Yuzo Tashiro (WWFC)

2 – Nicholas Bernal (WWFC)

1 – Tomohiro Kajiyama (SSFC)

-By Football NSW reporter Max Grieve