CHAMPIONS: Nothing can rain on Sydney United 58's parade

Success: Sydney United 58 FC celebrate their grand final win. Picture: Football NSW
Success: Sydney United 58 FC celebrate their grand final win. Picture: Football NSW

After losing two grand finals in the past four years, nothing could rain on Sydney United 58's grand final parade in 2020 - not even the torrential showers that lashed Marconi Stadium on Sunday.

After losing last year's decider in extra-time, the Reds won their first league title since 2006 with a 4-3 win on penalties against premiers Rockdale Ilinden at The Palace - the same place where they won their last title in 2006 - to break their 14-year grand final drought.

United 58 skipper Adrian Vlastelica summed up the National Premier Leagues NSW Men's competition grand final this way: "It was a crazy game in crazy weather after a crazy year."

Few could argue. The Edensor Park boys found themselves behind after 10-minutes courtesy of Mickey Neill who finished off a Tomoki Wada set-piece. Veteran Glen Trifiro, in the absence of suspender striker Patrick Antelmi, provided the magic to restore parity not long after with a pinpoint free kick from the edge of the area.

The Reds were again behind in the second half when Jaden Casella pounced on a defensive slip-up. But this game was a long way from over.

Coach Anthony Crea's double change in the 75th minute proved critical with Adrian Vranic scoring from his first touch of the ball following good lead up work from Vlastelica and Glen Trifiro.

Three minutes later, Jackson Khoury - the second substitute - produced a grand final moment with a clutch strike from outside the area to give the Reds the lead for the first time.

But there was still some music playing at the big dance.

In their only other meeting in the rebooted 11-round season, Rockdale fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw.

And the premiers did it again through skipper Daniel Petkovski who made it 3-3 with his own wonder strike in the soggy conditions to send the game into extra-time - not before Nikola Taneski almost snatched victory in the final two minutes.

After extra time couldn't separate the fierce rivals, the game was settled via penalties.

Anthony Tomelic, Jordan Roberts, Khoury and Trifiro converted from the spot and goalkeeper Danijel Nizic produced a key save before Jake Trajkovski blasted Rockdale's fifth penalty over the bar to ensure United 58 would end their streak of six defeats from their past six grand final appearances.

Trifiro, who claimed man of the match honours when the Reds won the National Premier League club title in 2016, was named best on ground with the veteran able to combine with fellow midfielders Yianni Perkatis Devante Clut and Tomelic to counter the loss of their key attacking man.

"To come out with the win after 120 minutes and a penalty shootout is a great feeling," Vlastelica said.

"We went down early but we kept fighting and pushing.

"When we took the lead I thought 'this could be it', but at Sydney United we always do it the hard way.

"We won it last time here at Marconi so after a 14 year wait, to win it here again was perfect."

In the under-20s decider, Blacktown City defeated Sydney FC 2-1.