Blacktown City FC have the chance to go back to back as they won themselves a date with destiny against Sydney United 58 FC on Sunday 5th of July for the 2015 Waratah Cup Final to be played at Valentine Sports Park.
Mark Crittenden’s men were made to work for that spot as they defeated a spirited Sydney Olympic outfit 2-1 at Belmore Sports Ground on Wednesday evening with the winner coming in extra time.
Former Central Coast Mariners attacker Travis Major kicked things off for the visitors as they took an early lead in the 9th minute.
Major went galloping through the middle of the Sydney Olympic defence and, with a powerful shot that was too hot to handle for Paul Henderson, he opened the scoring.
Sydney Olympic hit back on the half hour mark from a familiar source in Harris Gaitatzis.
Another former Hyundai A-League player, Nikolas Tsattalios whipped in an inch perfect cross to Gaitatzis who clinically put the ball in the back of the net for the home side.
It was game on from there.
Neither team were able to finish off their chances as the match ended 1-1 in normal time with extra-time and penalties looming.
It was Connor Evans that proved the difference with the winner in the 95th minute.
Major sent through a perfect cross to an unmarked Evans who turned the game on its head and ultimately finished off Olympic with the winning goal.
Coach Crittenden could hardly hide his delight after his side’s wonderful achievement.
“I thought our first 15 minutes was really good but the next 25 was really poor and they did get back in the game and did well,” he said.
“After halftime I thought that we got ourselves back into it and our first 25 minutes or so in the second half were really good and we could nearly have put them away.
“You always know when you come here they are going to play good football but of course we are happy.
“We set ourselves a target at the start of the year to go back-to-back and we now have an opportunity to do that.”
Blacktown City will face Mark Rudan’s Sydney United 58 FC after the Reds defeated the Rockdale City Suns 3-2 in what was a thrilling match of epic proportions at Sydney United Sports Centre.
The entertaining semi-final included everything a football match could have with five goals, eight yellow cards and two red cards seeing both sides end the match with ten men each.
Chris Triantis opened the scoring for the home side in the 18th minute after he tapped in from close range a Theo Kofinas cross.
The lead wouldn’t last long however as the match turned on its head four minutes later.
United 58 were first reduced to 10 men as Kofinas turned from hero to villain after receiving a second yellow card.
Marko Jesic stepped up to score the resulting free kick which deflected off the United 58 wall, wrong footing keeper Justin Pasfield.
Jesic then put Paul Reid’s side 2-1 up with a well taken goal on 40 minutes.
Mitsuhiro Iwamoto started the play in the middle of the park finding Takuya Murayama on the right whose clever flick found Toufic Alameddine in space on the right hand side. The winger cut the ball back to an oncoming Jesic who fired his shot into the bottom left hand corner.
The game would take a wicked twist in the 64th minute however when Rockdale were reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper David Bradesevic was shown a straight red card.
Reid was forced to replace attacker Toufic Alameddine with reserve keeper Aleksander Visnic.
Unfortunately for the keeper his first job was to pick the ball up from the back of the net as Triantis dribbled through the Rockdale defence before slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner to make it 2-2 in the 69th minute.
The tide had truly turned as United 58 took a 3-2 win in the 78th minute with captain Stjepan Paric meeting a long throw in to head the ball over a diving Visnic.
Following the match Sydney United 58 coach Stjepan Paric said he was proud of his side’s come-from-behind win.
“It was a tough match and we are all very happy to get into the final,” he said.
“We played (Blacktown) a few weeks back and they got us so we will be looking for revenge.”
Waratah Cup Final
Sunday July 5th
Blacktown City FC v Sydney United 58 FC
Valentine Sports Park – 3pm kick-off
*Ticket details will be announced shortly