NPL 1 Wrap: Downed by Sydney United despite strong performance

The Wanderers Academy NPL 1 first grade side went down 4-2 to Sydney United on Sunday afternoon, despite arguably being the better side.

The Red & Black came into this clash looking for their second win of the season after a very strong outing last weekend against Rockdale Ilinden, whereas Sydney United were hoping to make it three wins in a row and climb up to second place on the National Premier League 1 ladder.

The first chance of the match fell to Sydney United veteran Glen Trifiro, who curled his free-kick towards the bottom right corner from the edge of the box. Oliver Kalac dived well and stuck out a strong left hand to deny Trifiro the opener.

As it turned out, the opening goal would only take seven more minutes, as Rory Jordan continued his red-hot form in front of goal in the 10th minute of the match. The Wanderers had gained a foothold in their front third and Jordan made no mistake burying his chance.

NPL Celebration

Sydney United looked to bounce back in the 18th minute and it was again Glen Trifiro with the effort. Matt Sim collected the ball on the right flank and played an inch-perfect pass to an on-running Trifiro. He took his touch well but scuffed his shot to the right.

United got their reward, however, in the 23rd minute of the game. Devante Clut was left alone 25 yards out from goal and scored a long-range effort to bring the scores level.

They didn’t remain that way for long, though, as the Wanderers grabbed their second of the match just two minutes later. Clever footwork and passing in the build-up saw a grounded cross find Mourdoukoutas just six yards out who tapped it home.

Tass Mourdoukoutas

The Wanderers started the second half the better side, controlling possession and the chances. The first major chance of the half fell in the 58th minute when a hand ball was awarded centimetres outside the penalty area. Ali Auglah stepped up to take the free kick which was deflected out for a corner.

Despite the Red & Black having the better of the game, United snagged a goal back in the 66th minute. Veteran Matt Sim collected the ball on the edge of the box and danced around a couple of defenders before finishing into the bottom left corner.

Just five minutes later Sydney United took the lead for the first time in the match with a goal to Patrick Antelmi.

Despite United being ahead, there was still a feeling around the ground that the Wanderers could still win the match due to how impressive the first half was.

Jarrod Carluccio

The Wanderers went close on many occasions as they looked for an equaliser, including a Grozos free kick which was then headed on goal but hit the post.

In spite of the Red & Black pushing, Sydney United started to control the midfield battle which was previously dominated by Fabian Monge and Dean Pelekanos of the Wanderers.

Sydney United then extended their lead in the 89th minute as the Wanderers were left short at the back as they were pushing for an equaliser. Patrick Antelmi thought he was getting his second goal of the match, but Jackson Khoury was the one who tapped it home only a metre from the goal line.

The awarding of the goal was questioned from the Wanderers defence who were adamant Khoury was offside, but the goal stood.

Sydney United 4 (Devante Clut 23’, Matt Sim 66’, Patrick Antelmi 71’, Jackson Khoury 89’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Rory Jordan 10’, Tass Mourdoukoutas 25’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: 40. Oliver KALAC (GK), 2. Thomas AQUILINA, 4. Mohamed AL TAAY (c), 6. Fabian MONGE, 7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 10. Kosta GROZOS, 13. Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 17. Dean PELEKANOS (24. Peter GROZOS 77’), 19. Rory JORDAN, 21. Ali AUGLAH
Unused Substitutes: 50. Jack GIBSON (GK), 3. Mark NATTA, 22. Paolo BONANNI, 26. Alessandro LOPANE, 30. Bilal CHAHINE

Other NPL Results

U20: Sydney United 0-5 WSW
U18: Mount Druitt Town Rangers 3-1 WSW
U16: Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2-2 WSW
U15: Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2-1 WSW
U14: Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2-1 WSW
U13: Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2-2 WSW