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Match report: Western United vs Sydney FC – 23/2/22

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It was another disappointing result for Sydney FC, going down 1-0 at the hands of Western United at AAMI Park on Tuesday evening.

Steve Corica’s side managed to create some decent chances, however much as it did against Wellington Phoenix at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, their finishing let them down once again.

United midfielder Steven Lustica’s 67th-minute strike proved to be the difference.

The Sky Blues extended their winless run to three games and that could well be turned into four – a clash with the league’s benchmark side Melbourne City looms on Saturday at Kogarah. It’s difficult at the moment to be too confident for that one.

Key moments

In the end it was Lustica’s goal that made all the difference.

After Sydney failed to properly clear a cross into the box, Neil Kilkenny found himself in space about ten yards out from the penalty area. His pass hit the feet of in-form striker Aleksandar Prijovic, who layed it off to Lustica.

Lustica, with some nice footwork, got rid of a couple of Sydney defenders and had plenty of net to aim at. His placed shot easily beat the helpless Andrew Redmayne – and that was all she wrote.

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What they said

“It’s disappointing because that was a game we needed to win,” said Corica post-game.

“It’s not going to get easier with the tight turnarounds as we play a game on Saturday. We just need to take our chances.

“It’s frustrating to create so many chances and you can only win games when you score goals.”

Paulo Retre’s post-game comments seemed to sum up the sentiment around the club, with frustration at the fact the team is playing decent football but it’s not being reflected in their results of late, and he also seems to be a big fan of the classic film The Terminator.

“That summed up our season at the moment,” said the midfielder.

“Things can change very quickly in football and there’s plenty of football still to be played, so we will back.”

Key stats

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 2. James DONACHIE, 3. Ben WARLAND, 5. Connor O’TOOLE, 8. Paulo RETRE (10. Milos NINKOVIC, 70’), 9. BOBÔ (11. Kosta BARBAROUSES 60’), 14. Adam LE FONDRE (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 70’), 17. Anthony CACERES (6. Mustafa AMINI 60’), 22. Max BURGESS (4. Alex WILKINSON 86’), 23. Rhyan GRANT ©, 27. Elvis KAMSOBA.

Unused Subs: 20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT.

Yellow Cards: Burgess 10’, Warland 74’.

Red Cards: None.

Western United: 1. Jamie YOUNG, 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 8. Lachlan WALES (27. Jerry SKOKADIS 90’+3’), 10. Steven LUSTICA (34. Christian THEOHAROUS 86’), 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 31. Adisu BAYEW (9. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS 77’), 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 88. Neil KILKENNY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC (26. Nicolas MILANOVIC 90’+3’).

Subs: 37. Ryan SCOTT (GK), 6. Tomoki IMAI, 16. Rene KRHIN.

Yellow Cards: Theoharous 86’.

Red Cards: None.

Venue: AAMI Park.

Referee: Alex King.

Next game

Sydney FC return to action in just 48 hours’ time with a big test against Melbourne City at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night. Kick-off is set for 7:45 pm, so get down to Kogarah or fire up the live stream.