HAKOAH Sydney City East FC and Nepean FC played out a 1-1 draw on Saturday, and, with three rounds remaining, the point was enough for Hakoah to secure the State League 1 premiership for 2014.
Despite Nepean fielding a heavily depleted side, an upset looked on the cards in the 40th minute when Hakoah found itself 1-0 down. But Hakoah pressed hard in the second half and equalised in the 80th minute when Bradley Walker got on the end of a free kick and headed home.
With other results around the league going Hakoah’s way, the draw was enough to claim the title.
The second placed Reserves side heaped pressure on ladder leader Northbridge, with a 4-0 thumping of Nepean FC on Saturday.
Missed penalties from both teams meant a scoreless opening half, but after the break, Hakoah came out firing and quickly found its range. A ball from Daniel Toblib bounced to striker Kevin Lopes who opened the scoring with a fierce strike. Another goal to Lopes was followed by a headed goal to Michael Randall, before Jeremy Horniblow completed the rout with a deft left-foot finish.
A gutsy performance from the Under-18s saw them stave off Nepean FC in a 3-2 thriller.
Nepean grabbed an early lead, but Hakoah hit back when Greg Ellerine headed home from a cross by Horniblow, who was playing his first of two games for the day. A goal from Giorgio Persenitis put Hakoah up 2-1, but in a seesawing game Neapen equalised on the stroke of halftime. Simon Rouse was brought on at halftime and his fresh legs proved the difference. His penetrating run culminated in a crossed ball into the box, which found Horniblow, who scored his brace and the game’s winner.
The result ensures Hakoah’s grip on the league’s first spot, but the side still needs to win its remaining fixtures to guarantee them the title.
Meanwhile, the Under-16s slipped to second-placed after a 2-0 defeat to Neapen FC on Sunday.