IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Round 2 Review


Big crowds and big results lit up the league this week.

What a weekend in the NPL IGA NSW Mens 1 competition.

The grand opening of the new Lambert Park saw nearly 6000 fans through the turnstiles at the famous old ground on Saturday night.

While on Sunday night, over 7000 came through the gate to see Sotirios Kyrgiakos play the first of two matches for Sydney Olympic.

In both matches the fairytale was ruined by the visiting sides, but let that not detract from an amazing weekend.


APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 0-2 Marconi Stallions, at Lambert Park

The wind and the rain didn’t stop the fans from flowing through the gate into the state-of-the-art new facility in Leichhardt.

Unfortunately for APIA, Marconi crashed the party.
On a historic night for APIA, they started brightly, only to concede to Milorad Simonovic, who turned and scored into the bottom corner.

Andrew Bazi, between the sticks for the home side, was on fire and made a number of fantastic saves.

Unfortunately for him and for APIA, it was all in vain, as Sean O’Connell lashed a shot past him in stoppage time to guarantee the three points for Marconi Stallions, who will play Manly United in a midweek catch-up match.

Sutherland Sharks 2-1 South Coast Wolves, at Seymour Shaw Park

Sutherland Sharks bounced back from their trouncing by Blacktown Spartans last weekend, to record a 2-1 win at home to South Coast Wolves.

Wolves were themselves coming off a round one thrashing, theirs at the hands of the other Blacktown club, Blacktown City, who won 5-0.

Both sides started brightly but it was Wolves who took the lead when Ricky Zucco found the back of the net in the 17′ minute.

Sharks were able to welcome back Nick Stavroulakis and Nathan Denham, who were both absent from last week’s mauling, but it was a player who was there in Panny Nikas who found the equaliser. The diminutive midfielder looks well on his way to another year of goals.

Jordan Figon was the match winner for Sharks, breaking Wolves hearts with 11′ minutes remaining.

Manly United 1-2 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, at Cromer Park

Manly United could face no tougher start to their season than a match against competition favourites Bonnyrigg White Eagles.

They gave a good account of themselves, reaffirming the belief that they can turn a few heads in 2014.

Chris Payne’s goal had them in front at the break, but they weren’t able to hold on.

A double salvo from Bonnyrigg midway through the second half saw them snatch the three points. The first was scored by Alexander Canak, and the second, a screamer from Bo Hyun Chun was worthy of winning any game.

Sydney Olympic 1-3 Blacktown Spartans, at Belmore Sports Ground

It goes to show that not even a European Championships winner can do everything. Sotirios Kyrgiakos was at the heart of the Olympic defence by they still conceded thrice at home to Blacktown Spartans.

Spartans are quickly carving out a reputation as the team most likely to break the established order at the top of the table and after thrashing Sutherland last week, they played with verve and confidence this weekend.

Amaury Gauthier gave Olympic the lead early on, but a goal in either half from Elsid Barkhousir put Spartans ahead.

Ray Miller rapped up the points with 7′ minutes remaining, leaving the 7000 or so fans disappointed at the final whistle.

Rockdale City Suns 0-0 Sydney United 58 FC, at Ilinden Sports Centre

Rockdale City and Sydney United played out a dull 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon.

The master and the apprentice went head to head in the dugout as Branko Culina and Mark Rudan tried to outfox each other.

Neither could get the upper hand in a match that struggled to live up to expectation in the stifling heat.

Diego Barcena, the Sydney United 58 goalkeeper, returned to the ground where he made his NPL name, keeping a clean sheet.

St George 0-2 Blacktown City, at WIN Jubilee Stadium

St George were outclassed by Blacktown City at WIN Jubilee Stadium, as Mark Crittenden’s side continued their super start to the season.

They’ve now scored seven goals and are yet to concede in their two matches, after a comfortable 2-0 win against Manny Spanoudakis’ St George.

Sasa Macura gave Blacktown City the lead in the first half and from there they never looked back.

Juan Chavez, who scored twice last week, was well marshalled and to that end, St George’s goal threat was stifled.

Daniel Araujo, a first half substitute, ended any arguments with a goal in the second half to send his side home with the points.