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Report courtesy of Football NSW


Rockdale Ilinden flexed its muscles with a dominant performance smashing the Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 in a stunning second half display of goals and action making it six successive wins in red hot conditions at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.

Rockdale Ilinden captain Alec Urosevski and diminutive midfielder Brendan Cholakian combined for three goals to lead their side to victory.

Beginning the game, the match was mainly played in the midfield with both sides giving each other minimal attacking chances in what were steamy conditions.

Despite both clubs having a very compact defence and midfield, Western Sydney Wanderers had the first real chance in the 21st minute.

Off the free-kick spot, captain Geroge Antonis found Marcus Younis’ head but he was unable to control it as the ball glided over the crossbar.

Three minutes later, it was Rockdale who were gifted a chance through Urosevski. Though his effort was blocked by a diving Alex Bonetig who would injure himself with the tackle soon after as the talented defender was substituted.

With both clubs scoring 13 goals each heading into the clash many thought it would be a goal-fest.

However, the first goal wouldn’t come until after the clock passed 45 minutes.

Trying to retrieve the ball inside the 18-yard box, veteran NPL NSW Men’s star Cholakian was taken down by Marcus Younis three minutes into injury time.

Up stepped Urosevski who made no mistake as the skipper dispatched his shot in the bottom left-hand corner with ease, gifting his side the advantage heading into the break.

While the first half didn’t see many attacking chances, the second half was an entirely different story with Rockdale upping the ante.

Leading from the front, Urosevski’s looked for his second but found the gloves of Wanderers keeper Lawrence Caruso.

Although he saved the shot, Caruso was unable to deliver a second save with a roaming Cholakian in the penalty box.

Metres away from the net, Cholakian would score a goal he worked ever so hard for in the 48th minute.

After multiple attempts, Urosevski would find the back of the net once again in the 53rd minute thanks to a Cholakian assist. However, this goal wasn’t just any goal for the club hero.

It was his 100th for Illinden as his status rose to legendary as the home fans rejoiced in cheers and joy with the striker rightfully congratulating Cholakian who played a part in achieving this massive personal milestone – it was also his tenth goal of the 2023 NPL NSW Men’s campaign.

Continuing their attacking flair, defender Lachlan Griffiths would join his teammates on the scoresheet in the 66th minute.

Unfortunately, Rockdale would be unable to keep a clean sheet after an own goal by substitute William Mutch in the 81st minute.

Goalkeeper David Bradasevic decided to come out of his box after Nathaniel Blair broke through the last line of defence.

Unable to connect, Bradasevic missed Blair leaving the goal wide open. With the ball on its way to the goal, Mutch tried his hardest to deflect the ball away but was unsuccessful.

Whilst many thought the game would end 4-1, Rockdale substitute Peter Kekeris had other ideas.

Coming on from Lochlan Constable, Kekeris delivered a cracking goal after multiple stepovers taking on the opposing defender in the 86th minute.

After the game, Alec Urosevski spoke about what it meant to reach the goal milestone and the dominant second half performance by his teammates.

“It means a lot.

It’s a club that I’ve been around for 10 years. Good history, I love the fans here and it’s an honour to get a hundred goals.

“I love the club and they love me back, so it’s the least I can do,” Urosevski said.

“We knew we’re fit. We’ve got a fit team and the subs coming on did a great job,” he said on the destructive second half performance.

“We knew to stick to the game plan and we knew if we did we’ll get away with the win.”

Whilst, Urosevski and Rockdale celebrated the win and his 100th goal, Wanderers coach Andrew Christiansen was disappointed in the “poor” performance by his side.

“It was a disappointing day for us. We didn’t stick to what we were trying to do and we allowed them to do what we were trying to not let them do,” Christiansen said.

“Today was a big lesson and we got punished convincingly. It’s hard to take and I feel for the boys, but they need to learn – they need to learn quick and step up next week.

Match Stats

Rockdale Ilinden FC 5 (Urosevski 45+4’ 53’, Cholakian 48’, Griffiths 66’, Kekeris 86’)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Mutch (OG) 81’)

Sunday 19 March, 2023

Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre

Referee: Brodie Merchant

Assistant Referee: Aaron Bloch and Cameron Wright

Fourth Official: Hadi Al-Nakeeb

Rockdale Ilinden FC: 1. David Bradasevic (GK) 3. Lachlan Griffiths (15. Jamie Percevski 72’) 4. Nikola Ujdur (6. Nicola Kuleski 72’) 7. Alec Urosevski (c) 8. Isaac Danzo 9. Bai Antoniou (17. Loic Puyo 34’) 10. Brendan Cholakian 11. Lochlan Constable (77. Peter Kekeris 69’) 14. Brayden Sorge 23. Jaden Casella (5. William Mutch 69’) 66. Mathieu Cordier

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ricardo Rizzo (GK)

Yellow Cards: Nikola Ujdur 21’

Red Cards: Nil

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 3. Liam Bonetig 4. Alex Bonetig (2. Matthew O’Donoghue 26’) 7. Jarrod Carluccio 8. Alessandro Lopane (23. Mason Fernandez 72’) 10. Alexander Badolato 13. Marcus Younis (9. Nathanael Blair 56’) 14. George Antonis (c) (6. Frans Deli 56’) 22. Jesse Cameron 24. Teng Kuol (11. Zachary Sapsford 46’) 50. Lawrence Caruso (GK) 77. Ariath Piol

Substitutions Not Used: 1. Jack Warshawsky (GK)

Yellow Cards: Alexander Badolato 45+1’

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings

3- Brendan Cholakian (Rockdale Ilinden FC)

2- Alec Urosevski (Rockdale Ilinden FC)

1- Mathieu Cordier (Rockdale Ilinden FC)