As has been the case in recent seasons between these two sides, there was nothing in it, but the single goal by St George was enough for the nominal away side to take the three points at St George Stadium.
This was a tight affair and clear cut goal chances were kept to a minimum, especially in a first half where the keepers were largely untroubled. Two of the better chances saw an early Ryo Maekawa effort cleared off the line for St George while Michael Dowling’s flying header was just over for Uni.
The best opportunities in the second half did fall the way of St George with Arthur Diles’ direct fee kick being deflected for a corner while Reuben Lagos had a great chance when he had a clear sight on goal but blasted over.
It always seemed that one goal would be enough for either side to take the points and it was a piece of superb skill by Maekawa which ensured that the points went the way of St George.Maekawa turned his defender inside out before striking across goal into the far side, beating Jonathan Faerber who had little time to adjust.
Uni almost equalised in the dying moments but a double save by Daniel Nash ensured that the Students were left empty handed by game’s end.
Nick Orlic, coach of St George, was content with the performance and points, emphasizing that his team is trying to return to the level of last year.
“We are trying to play like last season and to play to our strengths. We want to get the fundamentals right and improve week by week.”
“It is a good thing that we kept a clean sheet which is our second time this season but not something we did well last year”.
St George welcomed to first grade both Arthur Diles and Ivo de Jesus for the first time this season and Orlic acknowledged that their experience does make a difference.
“They do provide that experience. It must be remembered that our squad is young with a few just out of the Under 20s. But they (Diles and de Jesus) still need a couple of weeks”.
By contrast, Uni coach John Caruana, was left disappointed by the result.
“I thought we did OK in the first half but we really didn’t respect the ball. We panicked a bit but to our credit, we kept working”.
“It was a tight game between two very well drilled sides but credit to St George, they were picking up the ball well. And it took a great goal to win”.
Sydney University 0 v St George 1 (Ryo Maekawa 64’)
In a game played in constant drizzle, making conditions difficult, St George and Northern Tigers shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw, a point each which doesn’t really suit either side.
The wet surface was not conducive to controlled football with the opening exchanges rather messy but it was the Tigers who created the best of the early chances with the impressive Sungyun Park coming close on two occasions within minutes of each other.
But it was Michael Simmonds, on the scoresheet again after netting a double last week, who gave the Tigers the lead when his low shot careered in off the post.
Ryo Maekawa equalised for St George just after the half hour after a good passing movement gave him the easy task of sliding the ball past Stuart Page.
A direct freekick just outside the box from Peter Crevani, off the underside of the bar, put the Saints in front early in the second half but constant pressure from the Tigers ultimately secured their reward when substitute, Andrew Christiansen, netted in the 73rd minute.
St George 2 (Ryo Maekawa 31, Peter Crevani 48’) v Northern Tigers 2 (Michael Simmonds 18’, Andrew Christiansen 73’)