An incredible six-goal thriller ended Sydney FC’s unbeaten run as Blacktown City secured a 4-2 victory over the young sky blues on Sunday afternoon at Blacktown City Sports Centre.
A double from Jordan Smylie and goals from Hiroaki Ayoyama and a deflected own goal from Sydney FC gave the hosts a 4-0 lead at the half time break, and despite Jaiden Kucharski and Zac Sapsford getting Sydney FC back into the game in the second half, it was too little too late for the league leaders to salvage any points from the battle.
Sky Blues coach Jimmy Van Weeren had to also contend with losing several of his usual starters to the senior squad currently playing in the AFC Asian Champions League.
Adrian Segecic, Patrick Wood, Corey Hollman, Jake Girdwood-Reich, Clayton Taylor and Adam Pavlesic were all absent from the squad.
The loss will see Sydney FC drop out of the top spot as Blacktown City add a valuable three points to their tally after a tough start to the 2022 season.
Sydney FC started off the match with fire, with some combination play seeing Clayton Taylor with a shot in the first minute but his attempt was deflected by Blacktown City defender Grant Lynch.
Despite the visitors managing the opening chance, Blacktown City signalled their intention to convert their chances and dominate the match with an opening goal in the 4th minute.
Dakota Askew sent a ball across to Mario Shabow, whose first effort was blocked by Sydney FC’s defence.
Adam Berry collected the ball outside the area and sent a shot towards the target, which Sydney FC’s Matthew Scarcella got a touch on before it hit the back of the net.
The second goal came quickly, with Japanese import Aoyama capitalising on a chance in the 7th minute.
Askew sent a cross into the area from the right that was headed out of danger by Sydney FC defender Nathan Grimaldi.
Aoyama jumped on the ball from Grimaldi and sent a powerful strike over the line and into the top netting to double the lead for the home side.
There was barely time for fans to celebrate the first two goals as Smylie managed the third for the hosts in just the 10th minute.
Mitchell Mallia crossed the ball in to Smylie, who couldn’t get it on target as Sydney FC goalkeeper Max Vartuli stuck a foot out to block the ball and Sydney FC’s defensive line headed it away.
The clearance fell to Smylie in prime position and the attacker hit a volley to finish off a trifecta for the hosts within the opening 10 minutes.
Blacktown continued to create chances in the early stages of the match, holding Sydney FC off to limit their chances.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute and, in the absence of captain Matthew Lewis, Adam Berry stepped up to the spot.
Vartuli read his effort well and dived to reject the goal, sending the ball back to Berry for a second attempt but the young ‘keeper saved yet again.
While he was able to save two attempts resulting from the penalty kick, he couldn’t manage to save the third from a hungry Smylie who tapped it in from just in front of the goal to secure his second and Blacktown’s fourth – it was the former Central Coast Mariners striker’s sixth goal for his new club.
The hosts came close again in the 57th minute as Mallia made a forward run and cut through to Smylie in a central position.
Smylie took a shot that Sydney FC’s Adian Simmons managed to get a touch on before ‘keeper Vartuli spectacularly knocked it out of contention with a stretched touch from his fingertips.
Sydney FC looked primed to secure their first goal of the match in the 68th minute as Taylor set up Sapsford, but Blacktown City goalkeeper Alex Robinson pulled off a quality save to deny.
Kucharski managed to capitalise on the resultant throw in, working his way into the goalmouth to send a shot past Robinson in the 69th, taking the visitors to two – the goal was to be his sixth of the 2022 campaign.
Blacktown were calling to referee Craig Fisher for a goal in the 73rd minute as they were convinced an Askew header from a corner set-piece passed the line before Kucharski cleared it from the goalmouth.
Despite their outcries Fisher let the game play on as Vartuli collected the ball and played out from the goal.
Blacktown came asking for another in the 71st minute as Mallia sent a left-footed strike towards the target, but Vartuli knocked it wide and out of play.
Despite the hosts continuing to create chances, it was Sydney FC who would secure the next goal in the 79th minute.
A ball over the top from Oscar Priestman landed at the feet of Kucharski after he used his pace to outrun Nicholas O’Brien and crossed into Sapsford in prime position in front of the goal.
Sapsford fired a shot that came into contact with Robinson before crossing the line and hitting the back netting.
Both sides continued to create chances in the final stages of the match but weren’t able to net any more, leaving the game to wrap up at 4-2 in an entertaining clash.
Blacktown City FC 4 (Matthew Scarella 4’OG, Hiroaki Ayoyama 7’, Jordan Smylie 10’, 41’p)
Sydney FC 2 (Jaiden Kucharski 69’, Zac Sapsford 79’)
Sunday, 17th April, 2022
Blacktown City Sports Centre, Seven Hills
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant Referees: Matthew Staples and Samuel Quinn
Fourth Official: Hadi Al-Nakeeb
Blacktown City FC: 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell (18. Nicholas O’Brien 45’), 5. Grant Lynch, 7. Jordan Smylie (21. Charles Mendy 79’), 10. Mario Shabow, 11. Mitchell Mallia (9. Jake Trew 79’), 17. Dakota Askew, 19. Adam Berry (6. Matthew Lewis 60’), 24. Jackson Bandiera (8. Jak O’Brien 60’), 30. Alex Robinson, 32. Hiroaki Aoyama
Substitutes Not Used: 40. Dylan Niski
Yellow Cards: Shabow 82’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 3. Aaron Gurd, 4. Nathan Grimaldi (26. Dejan Bakrdanikoski 45’), 5. Kai Kamikura (19. Morrie Kamara 82’), 7. Aidan Simmons, 9. Ben Gibson (28. Louis Agosti 45’), 10. Jaiden Kucharski, 13. Clayton Taylor (33. Zane Schreiber 73’), 14. Zac Sapsford, 16. Matthew Scarella (15. Luka Smyth 73’), 18. Oscar Priestman, 20. Max Vartuli
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Gus Hoefsloot
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Jordan Smylie (BC)
2 – Hiroaki Aoyama (BC)
1 – Jaiden Kucharski (SFC)