Sydney FC 2 – CC Mariners 3
Sydney FC 2 – CC Mariners 3
| In mikey’s unavoidable absence, sydneyfc-unofficial’s old friend Deep Threat (the Papeete Pundit) has kindly fulfilled the match reporter’s role once again. Herewith his thoughts on our third, and least successful, encounter with the team from up the freeway.
It may seem a bit hard on our guys, but I honestly thought that we didn’t do enough to win the game.
Our good patches, where we applied great pressure to the Mariners, were probably limited to less than 30 minutes for the entire match. We again took the field with a team I feel is still not quite right. While pleased to see Littbarski finally realise the benefits of playing with two specialist wide players, we still looked unbalanced. Packer has no left foot, and Carney no right. Schoolboy stuff, your correspondent feels.
In any case, Yorke conjured up a goal from nothing for Packer, and things were looking up. But then it was down to the other end, where once again our slow and clumsy central defence was exposed. I feel the decision on the penalty was a little harsh, but on balance, the referee had to give it. It was interesting to see how the Mariners disguised who was actually taking the shot.
The Central Coast team’s second goal really did expose Sydney FC’s abysmal lack of “urgency” in the defensive third. In short, the Mariners won a throw-in, the throw landed at the feet of a player in white just outside the box, and, to my absolute dismay and disgust, he was given space and time to take a few touches…all without any shred of pressure from the team in blue.
Cheap possession from a throw-in that ultimately led to a goal. Simple stuff.
Half-time couldn’t come soon enough for Sydney FC, and Littbarski was presented with the opportunity to make some obvious changes; Zdrilic, for instance, should have gone off (his performance had been simply terrible), Petrovski needed to come on; Middleby could have come on for Packer, allowing Carney to switch to the left. Perhaps Littbarski could have also considered whether Bingley deserved to stay on.
Unfortunately, none of these potential changes occurred.
After the resumption of play, neither team looked particuarly good or threatening. On 65 minutes, with Sydney FC chasing the game, Littbarski finally made a change. Petrovski for Zdrilic, striker for striker. A very conservative and odd change, I feel, given that there were now only 25 minutes remaining on the clock for Sydney to reverse the deficit. No thought of changing shape and losing the ineffective, plodding Bingley?
Nevertheless, we did have a period of sustained pressure where the Mariners started to disintergrate. Unfortunately, our lack of pace all over the park, but in particular up front, lets us down time and time again when we broke quickly and had 4 v 4 situations inside the Mariners’ half, with mountains of space. Finally, some nice passing down the right side between Talay and Carney, with Talay providing an inch-perfect pass into the middle, allowed Dwight Yorke to guide the ball expertly home. A great goal.
Injury time, and we see the Mariners’ Adam Kwasnik (whom your correspondent once coached) milk a free kick from the naive Fyfe. What happened after that was simply appalling bad luck. No way to lose a game.
Overall, we still look undisciplined. The players were constantly arguing with the referee, and at times with each other as well. We look clumsy and pedestrian in central defence, not exactly commanding in centre midfield, and slow up front. I am disappointed that Littbarski does not go into a game with Petrovski and Yorke up front, Packer moved into the right-back slot to allow Middleby to patrol the right wing, and Carney moved over to the left.
Sydney FC: Bolton; Bingley, Rudan (Timpano), Fyfe, Ceccoli; Carney, Talay, McFlynn, Packer (Middleby); Zdrilic (Petrovski), Yorke.