Sydney United 58 triumph in Waratah Cup

Sydney United 58 are the 2015 Waratah Cup champions after outlasting Blacktown City 1-0 in a tense clash at Valentine Sports Park on Sunday.

A Chris Triantis goal in the 85th minute was all it took for Mark Rudan’s side to secure the silverware after 90 minutes.

Blacktown City paid the ultimate price for a defensive lapse in the dying minutes of the match.

Waratah Cup match pics

It was an absorbing contest ahead of, what both teams hope will be, a positive outing in the FFA Cup Round of 32 later this month.

Early nerves got the better of Sydney United 58 and Danny Choi was unlucky not to open the scoring for Blacktown City after only 45 seconds.

The pacy winger found himself in space courtesy of a quality pass from Patrick Antelmi before blasting his shot high and wide.

The early scare proved to be the wake-up call Rudan’s side needed.

A more defensive outlook from the Reds side stifled the attack of Blacktown City.

It took until the 26th minute for City to claim only its second shot on goal when Connor Evans headed wide after breaking free of his marker.

Blacktown City had a defensive scare of their own 36 minutes in, when Matt Lewis conceded a free kick on the right hand edge of the penalty area.

Deadball specialist Panni Nikas' curling delivery found Nathan Sherlock unmarked, but his headed effort was blocked by a scrambling Zach Cairncross. 

It took until the 44th minute for the best chance of the half.

Mitchell Mallia broke free of his marker before receiving the ball on the penalty spot. However his weak shot was easily contained by Justin Pasfield in the Sydney United 58 net.

Returning to the field after the break, Blacktown City looked to impose itself on the match.

It was Mallia again who posed the threat with a jinking run through three United 58 defenders in the 54th minute.

However the midfielder was unable to finish with his shot hammered right into the path of Pasfield.

As the half progressed Sydney United 58 began to undo the shackles and open up the game plan.

Lead by Nikas, United pushed forward and challenged the City defence with quick counter attacks.

Man of the match Mitchell Stamatellis provided Nikas with the perfect foil and was unlucky not to capitalise in the 63rd minute when his powerful volley from the edge of the 18 yard box was saved by a diving Nenad Vekic.

The combination troubled Vekic again only minutes later when Stamatellis unleashed another stinging shot which was once again saved by the Blacktown City keeper. 

The pressure finally became too much for Blacktown City in the 85th minute.

A loose clearance from the defence fell at the feet Triantis who wasted no time in placing his shot past the outstretched arms of Vekic and into the back of the net.

With the seconds ticking away, Mark Crittenden’s side sent everything forward to send the match into extra time.

Despite the extra attacking impetus from last year’s cup winners, Sydney United 58 held firm in defence and stopped Blacktown City from creating any true chances.

The final whistle was music to the ears of United 58 and its fans as Rudan’s side claimed yet another piece of silverware.

- footballnsw