APIA get points despite new look Bankstown

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A disappointing crowd of fewer than 300 walked into Jensen Park and this lack of atmosphere set the tone for the rest of the game.

Listen to Pete Novokovski on The Football Sack podcast.

Round Eight marked a fresh start for Bankstown City as they had a 3-0 win over bottom placed side Parramatta FC. Changing from their defensive 4-5-1 formation to a 3-5-2 attacking shape saw more creativity and the opportunity to play some prettier football.

APIA saw their third defeat of the campaign going down 2-1 at home to Manly. That result saw APIA slip to eighth spot on the ladder. They welcomed star striker Robbie Younis back to the starting eleven after recent injury issues have kept him on the physio’s table.

Bankstown started the match the better of the two sides, having at least three shots on goal within the first 15 minutes of the game. Bankstown’s attack was aided by APIA’s enthusiasm to pass the ball across the face of goal with ease, both Shannon Burgin and Hussein Salameh coming closest for the home side.

The first 30 minutes of the match was all in Bankstown’s favour, with them dictating possession and the pace of the game, until the 32nd minute, when star striker Robbie Younis was played into space and allowed to score against the run of play. He placed the ball straight down in the middle in a move he has coined ‘landing the plane’ or as his team mates described at full time, ‘scoring on the landing strip’.

As soon as the action started in the first half, it ended as the momentum for both sides was broken thanks to the referee’s half time whistle. With APIA up 1-0 at the break, it was difficult to see how Bankstown could get anything out of the match.

The small number of APIA supporters who had made the trip to the match were ecstatic on the 50th minute as APIA doubled their lead, again after some lovely build up play Franco Parisi climbed highest over Bankstown’s defence and headed in from four yards out. It would have been difficult for Franco not to score in that moment of play.

Despite being 2-0 down, Bankstown continued to press higher up the park, so much so that their ‘keeper, Zlatko Joseski made countless runs past the half way line, and in one instance, was further up the field than his last defender.

This pressure paid off in the 70th minute as Hussien Salameh on his return from injury knocked in a consolation goal. Talking to Bankstown players post game they were happy to see Salameh back on the pitch doing what he does best, and that for him to score was an added bonus.

The final 10 minutes of the match truly were nail biting moments as both ‘keepers were kept extraordinarily busy, however the scores stayed the same with APIA getting all three points on offer. The result lifts APIA up to fourth on the table. Bankstown continue their hot and cold season as they occupy fifth spot with three wins, two draws and four losses.

End result: Bankstown City 1 (H.Salameh) – APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2 (R.Younis, F.Parisi)

The Football Sack also wish Robbie Younis a lovely time on his honeymoon as he’ll be out of the football scene for the next four weeks. Hopefully upon his return we’ll see more of his ‘landing strip’ style goals.

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