The Sutherland Sharks hosted Sydney United 58 at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday, March 13, as the visitors kept their flawless start to the season intact.
United made it three wins from three starts in the 2021 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's competition.
Prolific marksman Patrick Antelmi knocked through goals on either side of half time, leading to Sutherlands a first defeat of the season.
Despite trading blows with United 58 in the opening stages, the Sharks could not contain their opponents free-scoring attack.
United 58 started confidently and perhaps should have hit the lead early on when Chris Payne could not hit the target after a cross from Jordan Roberts.
Sutherland's response was rapid when Gabriel Contagiani sent James Andrew on his way down the right. However, Daniel Nizic was able to smother the ball to deny the goal.
Chris Lindsay had a brilliant effort for the home side, but his header sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
Scoring chances edged in favour of the home side by the midway point of the half, although none, to date, had been clear cut for either side.
United upped the pace and, with it, their attacking threat as Patrick Antelmi was able to turn his marker in the box and flash a shot wide of the upright.
Sutherland's Jeremy Cox tried his luck from a distance, but the shot deflected off Poscoliero and had Nizic at full stretch to palm around the upright as the Sharks came closest to opening the scoring.
However, it would be the visitors who found the back of the net first when Antelmi netted with a neat side-foot finish just inside the post.
Following the interval, Sutherland raced out of the blocks creating a handful of half-chances.
But with the Sharks pushing up the field desperate for an equaliser, it opened the door for Jackson Khoury to punish the home side's defence and set up Antelmi for his second of the match.
It was his second double in successive weeks after scoring a brace against Sydney FC in round 2 of the NPL NSW Men's competition.
Late substitute from Sutherland failed to create a late comeback for the home team, while Sydney United 58 failed to extend their advantage in the closing stages when Payne and Antelmi could not make the most of two golden chances.
Sharks boss Nick Dimovski said his side struggled to chase the game and paid the price for conceding so close to half time.
"We were not at our best today and after conceding a sloppy goal, we were left chasing the game," Dimovski said.
"We had to come out after the break and attack, which obviously, with the defenders bombing on, it could leave us a little open at the back, which it did and led to their second goal.
"We knew we're in for a tough match against the reigning grand final winners, it's clear to see why they will be tough to beat this season. I don't feel we were dominated today and created a few openings which, eventually, we will start taking. It's just the silly mistakes at key moments that are hurting us."
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