Sydney FC’s finals hopes were all but dashed after the Sky Blues went down 3-2 to Adelaide United at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday night.
Craig Goodwin’s injury-time strike consigned Sydney to their ninth defeat already this campaign, an unthinkable figure in pre-season when the top six was still a very realistic expectation for this squad.
Sydney started quickly and were in front through Rhyan Grant just six minutes into the game. They failed to make good on numerous other gilt-edged chances, however, with the season’s theme of poor finishing continuing.
Ex-Sydney striker George Blackwood came back to haunt his old side with an 89th-minute header before Goodwin finished Sydney off in the fifth minute of injury time, his second goal for the night.
Sydney’s attention now turns to the Asian Champions League bubble in Ho Chi Minh City, with group stage matches to come thick and fast for Steve Corica’s men.
Grant got the Sky Blues off to the perfect start in the sixth minute after a delightful ball from Anthony Caceres found the fullback at the back post.
The visitors then equalised through Goodwin in the 36th minute. The ever-reliable Alex Wilkinson somehow lost the Adelaide forward and it was a simple header to make it 1-1.
Trent Buhagiar got Sydney back in front from another nice assist from Paulo Retre, who’s had a few of those now.
It was then Goodwin’s turn to set one up for Blackwood from a set-piece in the 89th minute, before Goodwin finished Sydney off with a volley from close range in injury time after some slack defending from the Sky Blues.
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 3. Ben WARLAND, 4. Alex WILKINSON, 8. Paulo RETRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC (22. Max BURGESS 70’), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (15. Luciano NARSINGH 83’), 14. Adam LE FONDRE, 17. Anthony CACERES, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Callum TALBOT, 32. Patrick YAZBEK (9. BOBÔ 90’).
Unused Subs: 20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 5. Connor O’TOOLE, 6. Mustafa AMINI, 35. Liam MCGING.
Yellow Cards: Grant 43’, Ninkovic 57’, Yazbek 79’.
Red Cards: None.
Adelaide United: 46. Joe GAUCI, 10. ISAIS, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 15. Hiroshi IBUSUKI (14. George BLACKWOOD 79’), 20. Zach CLOUGH (7. Ryan KITTO 70’), 21. Javier LOPEZ, 25. Lachlan BARR, 27. Joshua CAVALLO (6. Louis D’ARRIGO 90’+2’), 28. Juan LOPEZ (16. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOUS 70’), 41. Alexandar POPOVIC, 77. Lachlan BROOK (31. Bernado OLIVEIRA 46’).
Subs: 50. Steven HALL.
Yellow Cards: Goodwin 40’, Cavallo 66’, Popovic 79’.
Red Cards: None.
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Referee: Alex King.
SFCU Player of the Match
Get involved with the SFCU Player of the Match by casting your votes here.
Sydney FC now head to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for the Asian Champions League group stage, beginning with a match-up against South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at 12:00 am on Saturday evening.