May 22, 2024





The Wollongong Wolves bowed out of the Australia Cup with a backs to the wall struggle against Rockdale Ilinden, who ran out victors, winning 2-0. The Wolves played with a man down for eighty-five plus minutes following a straight red card to Harrison Buesnell on five minutes. Alec Urosevski was no surprise to score the initial goal as he does so with monotonous regularity and Lochlan Constable attained the other. The Wolves with ten men made Rockdale work hard for their win and were unlucky not to score at least one, especially in the first half.

Rockdale kicked off to begin the encounter and the Wolves were running towards the northern end. From the kick off the ball went through a couple of players before it was sent forward with the Wolves’ Takumi Ofuka taking charge of the ball. A few moments later, Ofuka played the ball into the centre. Lachlan Scott, fresh from scoring in the previous Sunday game, vied for the cross with a Rockdale defender. They both were in a tangle and Scott went down. He appealed for a penalty, but his calls went unheeded.

Rockdale journeyed in the fifth minute and a through ball stretched the Wolves defensive line, as an attacker broke through, except for the central defender Buesnell. He inconvenienced the Rockdale player and as the last man was subsequently red carded. The Wolves were now in damage control. A free kick was directed outside the box. Urosevski took it and it went towards the Wolves domain. custodian Vedran Janjetovic saved with aplomb. Janjetovic saved again from a Urosevski effort scant time later and came off his line to stifle Urosevski afterwards.

The Wolves were keeping possession at this stage but were finding difficulty getting out of their own half.

A long ball deigned for Constable to run on to, was circumvented by Janjetovic. At the other end, two Wolves free kicks in succession saw the Chris McStay second one being headed by Banri Kanaizumi at the far post back into the centre but disappointingly nothing of any consequence eventuated for the home team. Urosevski tried to play in a support, but Darcy Madden was there to thwart.

However, on the half hour, Constable provided a cross for Urosevski who managed to slot the past Janjetovic. Two minutes later, Constable put in another cross, but in this circumstance McStay cleared emphatically. Dean Pelekanos passed to Isaac Danzo who in the ensuing movement shot. Janjetovic grasped the ball to prevent a goal.

The Wolves had probably their best opportunity in the last five minutes of the first half when Ofuka crossed to the middle. Scott was there and valiantly attempted to meet it but could not propel the ball where he might have wanted.

At half time, it was 1-0 to Rockdale. If the Wolves could muster an equaliser, it would put the cat among the pigeons.

A yellow card to Brayden Sorge for his tackle on Ofuka basically began the second half.

With the numerical advantage, and with a goal up Rockdale was in the box seat. However, the team from Ilinden Sportsground attempted to put the game to bed. Constable shot but as the did so, Madden caused a deflection and following, a Brendan Cholakian corner kick was headed wide by Constable. Yagoub Mustafa and Matthieu Cordier had a running battle down the left before a free kick was given to the Wolves player.  Later a Cordier cross traversed straight into Janjetovic’ s arms before frustrations got the better of Cholakian and Samuel Riak as they scuffled.

However, after passing movements down the right side, Rockdale made certain of their victory with Constable finally scoring after earlier misses, on seventy-seven minutes.

Mustafa made a forward run and looked to take advantage but ran out of options.

Late in the match, substitute Sebastian Hernandez got the better of two Rockdale players but crossing but it ultimately brought no joy for the home team. Antoniou and Hunter Elliott both blazed over but Rockdale had come to win and win they did.

The Wolves had kept the Rockdale juggernaut scoreless for sixty-eight minutes during the proceedings with stifling play and sterling defence and managing a few opportunities themselves. However, the toll of playing with one man down told. When going forward, the team was exposed at the back.

Rockdale now progress to next round while the cup run has been concluded for the Wolves, who now can optimize their chances in their quest for the NPL finals.

Substitute Sebastian Hernandez – ‘it was a hard game and losing a player made it harder, but we gave it all and we held them for a long time… I have been enjoying my football this year and the boys have plenty more to give (this season).


WOLLONGONG WOLVES F.C……..………0       


Alec Urosevski 9’ Lochlan Constable 77’

@Albert Butler Memorial Park.


7.30 p.m. kick off.


Coach: David Carney

  1. Vedran Janjetovic GK, 2. Harrison Buesnel,3. Darcy Madden 5. Banri Kanaizumi, 6. Samuel Riak, 7. Takumi Ofuka (27. Damon Gray 78’) 8. Andre Takami (Alex Masciovecchio 78’), 10. Yagoub Mustafa 9. Jake Trew (11. Sebastian Hernandez 73’)
  2. Lachlan Scott (Capt.) 88. Christopher McStay.

Substitutes Not Used: 13. Oliver Yates 15. Dax Kelly 29. Thomas Dunn

Yellow Cards: nil

Red Cards: Harrison Buesnell 5’


Coach: Paul Dee

  1. Ricardo Rizzo, 3. Lachlan Griffiths, 5. Giorgio Speranza, 6. Isaac Danzo, 7. Alex Urosevski (C) (77. So Kataoka 81’), 8. Dean Pelekanos, 10. Brendan Cholakian (15. Olayinka Sunmola 73’) 11. Lochlan Constable, (Hunter Elliott 81’), 14. Brayden Sorge (4. Roberto Speranza 83’), 22. Blake Ricciuto 66. Mathieu Cordier (9. Bai Antoniou 73’)

Subs. not used: 1. Harrison Devenish-Meares

Yellow Cards – Alec Urosevski 9’, Brayden Sorge 46’, Isaac Danzo 69’

Red Cards: nil

Referee: Brodie Merchant

Assistant Referees: Hayden Michlmayr and Reece Edwards

By Malcolm Rowney