A Grand Final spot is up for grabs in the PlayStation 4 NPL 2016 Finals Series when Sydney United 58 host Brisbane Strikers at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday in another former NSL battle between two historic sides.
One such momentous game that stood out between the pair was the 1997 NSL Grand Final when the Strikers took out the Championship with a 2-0 victory over United in front of a forty-plus thousand crowd at Suncorp Stadium thanks to goals scored by Frank Farina and Rod Brown.
It was a match that has lived long in the memory of the Strikers faithful especially but a game that featured a number of legends of our game as the likes of Kalac, Culina, Kupresak, Marusic, Milicic, Bilokapic, Bolton, Hunter, Farina, Wehrman, Cranney, Brown, Gwynne and the list goes on all took part in.
A then fresh faced teenager Mark Rudan came on as a late substitute that day replacing Paul Bilokapic, so there will no doubt be revenge on the mind of the former tough tackling defender.
Fast forward to the 2016 season and the two will have a chance to reignite their duel in Sydney.
Rudan’s men played out an epic 5-4 victory over Adelaide City last weekend while the Strikers coached by Kevin A’Herne-Evans, came away with a 3-2 victory over Canberra Olympic setting up an intriguing battle in Sydney’s West.
The star of the United 58 show was undoubtedly one man in particular, the mercurial Panny Nikas.
He stole all the headlines after hitting home a memorable hat-trick as well as being the talk of the tournament thus far with his bicycle that stunned the Adelaide City defence.
Nikas was hoping for more of the same against a resilient Strikers outfit who took out this year’s Football Queensland Premiership.
“We are really looking forward to what will be an exciting game against the Strikers. They showed that they can mix it with the best, not just with last weekend’s performance but with their Westfield FFA Cup showing against Melbourne City this year.
“I feel as though both teams will play free flowing and attacking football and it will once again showcase two teams steeped in history going toe to toe.”
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PlayStation 4 NPL 2016 Finals Series - Semi Final
Sydney United 58 FC v Brisbane Strikers
Sunday 25 September 2016
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Kick-Off 2.30pm AEST