|For the first time since the A-League’s inception, Sydney FC have won their first two games. And they thoroughly deserved to pick up the points against Adelaide United, who were under the cosh for much of the game, and finally conceded with thirteen minutes to go.
Vitezslav Lavicka made only one change to the side that had started against North Queensland, with Steve Corica returning to the starting line-up in place of Brendan Gan. For Adelaide, it was an unchanged team.
Byun Sung-Hwan and Travis Dodd had early half-chances at either end in a scrappy beginning. On 11 minutes, a good cross from Alex Brosque on the left was met by the head of John Aloisi, but Eugene Galekovic saved without too much difficulty.
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Galekovic was tested far more sternly on 18 minutes, when a sweet Sydney move, capped by a cheeky back-heel from Aloisi, reached Corica on the right; picking his shot calmly, the Sydney FC veteran aimed a low shot at the far corner, but Galekovic saved well with his leg.
The game went on its often insipid way, with Adam Hughes and Aloisi both having sighters in the succeeding minutes. The game came to life on 28 minutes, however, with a good chance at both ends: first Corica tricked his way past former team-mate Iain Fyfe and appeared to be fouled in the box, but referee Matthew Breeze waved away the penalty shout. Then it was immediately down the Adelaide right, for Alemao to beat Byun and fire a shot at Bolton, who punched clear to Lucas Pantelis. The other Adelaide winger had his effort deflected wide.
Adelaide had their best period of the match just after the half-hour, with Alemao shooting across the face of goal and Robert Cornthwaite going close with a stooping header from one of the away side’s many corners. Sydney were quickly back on top, however, with Brosque having two chances in quick succession before a deft flick-on from Aloisi reached Kofi Danning in front of goal; Sydney’s young winger snatched at the ball, and the shot flew wide.
All square at the break, and Alemao was beginning to look dangerous for the visitors. On 48 minutes he again surged down the right and centred, only for Bolton to hold Pantelis’ weak shot at the far post. Nine minutes later Sydney FC had an excellent chance on the break, with Corica releasing Brosque on the left, but the latter’s left-footed shot went straight at Galekovic.
Colosimo, on a rare run up from the back, forced another save from Galekovic just after the hour, but the chances were becoming fewer. Sensing that Sydney’s chances of hauling in the points were slipping away, Lavicka sent on Mark Bridge for Corica, and the move paid dividends quickly.
On 77 minutes, with the right side of Adelaide’s defence vacant, Bridge began a run in the inside-left channel; scooping up a canny pass for Brosque, he was rewarded when his team-mate expertly nodded the ball back in his direction. Advancing into the box, Bridge fired the ball past Galekovic with his left foot. A very well-worked goal.
Adelaide, with Cristiano woefully isolated up front, never looked all that likely to equalise. They did, however, carve out two good chances near the close, Hughes prodding a deflected shot from Paul Reid wide, and Cristiano glancing a header over the bar from a useful-looking cross from the right. Three points for the hosts: level with Gold Coast at the top of the table.