Rockdale City Suns have cruised to a 2-0 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s victory against Hakoah Sydney City East at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
A first half double from Jordan Figon was all that it took for the home side as they got one back against Hakoah after their FFA Cup loss early in the season.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead after only 30 minutes, Rockdale had to do it tough for the remaining hour after losing Idriss El Hafiane who was sent off after 33 minutes.
Hakoah pushed forward for a winner but even with an extra man advantage they couldn’t breakdown the Suns dogged defence.
Rockdale had their opponents on the back foot from the opening whistle as the Suns sent wave after wave of attack.
Hakoah resiliently held off the home side but Rockdale eventually found a break though in the 14th minute.
Figon was the first to the ball to fire into the back of the net after Hakoah shot stopper Anthony Bouzanis parried his first effort.
After 30 minutes Rockdale and Figon had their second goal of the match.
The burly marksman showed an incredible turn of pace to pounce on the loose ball after a defensive error at halfway, before racing 30 metres to score.
Rockdale were forced into a shock reshuffle after 33 minutes when Idriss El Hafiane was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
It should’ve been 3-0 on the cusp of halftime when Alec Urosevski pounced on another defensive error by Hakoah but Bouzanis stayed strong make the save. Seconds later the keeper was called into action again as Blake Ricciuto headed onto the crossbar before a follow-up volley from Urosevski was too high.
Hakoah brought on attacking players Dean Bereveskos and Alec Lekoski at the start of the second half as they attempted to fight their way back into the match.
The visitors were having more luck going forward and Rockdale struggled playing with a man down in midfield.
Ante Covic was called into action for the first time in the match in the 56th minute when he made a diving save to his right to deny a dangerous Hakoah shot.
Rockdale had a chance of their own in the 68th minute when Urosevski volleyed over from close range.
Hakoah threw everything forward in the final 15 minutes determined to breakthrough Rockdale’s stubborn defence.
Covic came to the rescue in the 85th minute when he stole the ball from the feet of Lekoski when he was seemingly beaten.
Alameddine had a final chance in the 89th minute but Bouzanis made the save.
Paul Reid was delighted with his side’s performance in the win.
“It’s a great three points today but we did it tough after losing Idriss (El Hafiane) early on in the match,” he said.
“We had to go fairly defensive being down to 10 men but I was happy with the way we kept it together and really limited Hakoah’s attack.
“It was great to see Jordy (Figon) rediscover his scoring touch today. Uro (Urosevski), Harris (Gaitatzis) and Jordy were in incredible form to start the year but have struggled through the middle stages of the season. I said to them before the game how important it was for them to find their form again so I’m really happy with how Jordy responded today.”
Hakoah player-coach Gavin Rae lamented a poor result and below par performance from his side.
“We weren’t at our best today and we struggled to create chances especially against 10 men,” he said.
“To concede two goals so early on in the match is hard to come back from and we paid the price for that.
“We still have plenty to play for this season and we are just going to take each game as it comes.”
Rockdale City Suns FC: 2 (Figon 14’ 30’)
Hakoah Sydney City East FC: 0
Sunday, June 18 2017
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Rockdale City Suns FC: 22. Ante Covic, 4. Trent McClenehan, 6. Blake Riccuto, Aleks Canak, 7. Alec Urosevski (11. Jonathan Grozdanovski 82’), 10. Harris Gaitatzis (5. Paul Reid 86’), 12. Idriss El Hafiane, 14. Brayden Sorge, 16. Isaac Savor, 18. Daniel Saric, 23. Jordan Figon (17. Toufic Alameddine 75’)
Substitutes not used: 1. David Bradasevic,
Yellow cards: El Hafiane 20’ 32’, Canak 55’
Red Cards: El Hafiane 32’
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1.Anthony Bouzanis, 4. Brad Walker, 6. Cameron Draper (7. Alec Lekoski 45’), 10. Andre De Jong, 11. Jordan Mundell, 12. Jack Green (8. Paul Orgad 66’), 14. Anthony Frangie, 17. Gideon Sweet, 18. Harry Jones (15. Dean Bereveskos 45’), 19. Gavin Rae, 33. Connor Shaddock
Substitutes not used: 45. Michael Figuera
Yellow Cards: Sweet 7’ Rae 25’ Green 53’