Sydney FC 1 – Queensland Roar 0
| The team in orange has proved an auspicious opponent for Sydney FC. Our World Club Championship journey began with a comfortable win against them, and our early-season A-League blues began to clear with a 3-1 win in Brisbane, following two consecutive losses. |
On Sunday, the tradition continued.
Not that the fans went away entirely happy; once again, it was a lacklustre performance from Sydney FC in front of their home fans, and one not really befitting a team sitting on top of the league ladder.
Despite the availability of Terry McFlynn, Littbarski decided to continue with Matthew Bingley in central midfield; a fair reward, it must be said, for a solid performance against the Mariners. David Zdrilic was drafted in due to Dwight Yorke’s international commitments; otherwise, it was an unchanged eleven.
Kazuyoshi Miura, our new star import, was named among the substitutes, and the presence of a number of Japanese media outlets at the game was, well, distinctly noticeable. Our coach’s linguistic skills got a fair workout in the press conference afterwards…
Another first half at Aussie Stadium, another adjective. “Dreary” will do.
It was the visitors who had the better early chances to score; slack marking from a corner saw Stuart McLaren send a powerful header just wide in the 17th minute, and two minutes later it was Hyuk-Su Seo, one of Queensland’s more impressive performers as always, slicing high over the bar after a Carro free kick had found him unmarked on the edge of the area.
After a period in which neither side gained the upper hand, Petrovski almost scored one of the most spectacular goals of the season with a wicked bicycle kick following Alvin Ceccoli’s long throw. Sadly – it would have enlivened the first half considerably – the shot flew over the top.
There was only one more chance of note before the interval, Iain Fyfe moving into the box and connecting with Talay’s well-placed corner in the 44th minute.
Shortly after the break, Queensland had perhaps their best opportunity to leave Sydney with a result. A miskick from Seo fell to Carro, whose run into the box had gone untracked. Bolton, making himself big, blocked the eventual shot out for a corner. A significant moment.
Four minutes later came the goal. Carney, cutting inside, played a fine ball into Petrovski on the edge of the area. Dancing neatly around McLaren, Petrovski found the space for a shot. Hard and low it came, and Tom Willis could only push it across goal, where David Zdrilic rushed onto the loose ball and slotted it home, via Chad Gibson’s ankle.
From that point, the chief interest of the crowd seemed to be centred on the arrival of “Kazu”. Queensland rarely looked like threatening, Timpano and Fyfe dealing easily with any balls in the air.
Carney had a good run and shot on 61 minutes – covered competently by Willis – and Queensland had perhaps their last clear chance five minutes later, when Buess rose, unmarked, to a Queensland corner, and nodded across to Royce Brownlie, who put the ball over an advancing Bolton and into the Cove.
McFlynn made his Sydney FC return on 71 minutes, replacing a tiring Talay, and then came the big moment – Kazu on for the goalscorer Zdrilic. The photographers clicked avidly away.
Almost immediately the Japanese veteran was presented with a chance to prove his value, taking a free kick on 77 minutes; it flew wide. Our new player would, in truth, have little impact.
The game went on its languid way. A half-chance for McKay, a small tussle between McFlynn and Dodd, an adroit clearing header from Timpano from a late Queensland free kick, and the whistle blew.
Not the best performance from Sydney FC…but they all count.
Sydney FC: Bolton; Packer, Fyfe, Timpano, Ceccoli; Carney, Talay (McFlynn), Bingley, Corica; Petrovski (Rudan), Zdrilic (Kazu).
mikey @ syndeyfc-unofficial.com