Adelaide defeat Sydney FC 3-1

Adelaide United down Sydney FC 3-1 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night. The Sky Blues now travel to Wellington to take on the Phoenix

Sydney missed an opportunity to open their 2010/11 A-League account after going down 3-1 to Adelaide United at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night, in a free-flowing, end-to-end affair.

Defender Stephen Keller-s first-ever goal for the Sky Blues was not enough to spark a comeback after a double from Adelaide-s Sergio Van Dijk-s and a Mathew Leckie goal.

Sydney FC now travels to Wellington to take on the Phoenix next Saturday.

“We had our chances,” coach Vitezslav Lavicka said. “In the second half we improved a bit, especially in the midfield. We almost turned the game, but we ran into a quality opponent. They played a quick counter attack and tried to punish us.”

“Last season we were Champions. We don-t give up. We are having a trouble period, I still believe we are able to turn around and show the face of a warrior. We don-t give up.”

Chances came thick and fast at both ends but Sydney were unable to capitalise on crisp passing moves down Kofi Danning-s wing.

Adelaide made the breakthrough in the ninth minute, when Leckie won a free kick yards out, directly in front of Reddy-s goal. Van Dijk stepped up for Adelaide and sent a curling left foot strike over the wall, the ball glancing off the Sydney wall and just beating the diving Reddy

Nick Carle looked for a quick response, skipping past the Adelaide defence, before sending his shot agonisingly wide of the top corner.

Sydney-s best opportunity of the first half came in the 18th minute, when Scott Jamieson sent a delightful left-foot cross into the area to an unmarked Mark Bridge. But the striker was unable to keep his header down, the ball skimming the crossbar.

Adam Hughes almost scored Adelaide-s second moments later, when his shot seemed destined to beat the Sky Blues- keeper in the bottom corner. But Reddy was equal to the task and denied the midfielder with a glorious save.

Sydney-s defence held firm, but the Reds snatched a second goal after a turnover inside the Sydney half left their back four caught out of position. Reid pounced on the ball after a misplaced pass and fed a well-weighted pass to Leckie on the right, who sent a clinical into the net.

Sydney was unable to break through the Reds- midfield, as Marcos Flores controlled the tempo and restricted the Sky Blues- momentum and went into the break 2-nil down.

Lavicka looked to provide Sydney with a spark after the break, bringing on Japanese import Hirofumi Moriyasu for injured skipper Stuart Musialik, who-s nagging hip injury was giving him trouble. Musialik will be evaluated later in the week. The move almost paid immediate dividends, as Moriyasu found Carle open at the top of the box. But Sydney-s star signing saw his shot go just wide.

The visitors almost went further ahead shortly afterwards, when an Adelaide free kick found Iain Fyfe free in the box to head past Reddy and into the Sydney net. But the goal was pulled back as the Fyfe had clearly strayed offside.

Adelaide scored a third as Van Dijk added his second of the night from a turnaround shot from six yards out. Flores sent a through pass top Leckie whose shot was parried by Reddy. But the Sydney defence failed to clear the danger and Van Dijk was able to slot home.

Sydney-s Brazilian new-boy Bruno Cazarine made his entrance to the Australian game in the 56th minute, coming on for Scott Jamieson at a stoppage for a free kick. The substitution paid immediate dividends.

The set piece was the opening Sydney needed and pulled a goal back through Keller. Cazarine caused problems in the area from Byun-s curling free kick. Keller was left unchallenged, and the defender rose high to send a well-placed header past Eugene Galekovic.

Sydney looked dangerous from the set piece and went within a whisker of closing the gap in the 70th minute. Byun looked to set up Keller from a similar position, but saw his cross go untouched through the area and bounce agonisingly wide.

Reddy was kept busy as Adelaide pressed for the sealer but the Sky Blues- stopper played his part in keeping the scoreline at 3-1.

Match Details:

Sydney FC: 1 (KELLER 58′)
Adelaide United FC: 3 (van DIJK 9′, 53′, LECKIE 37′)

Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK (c) (6. Hirofumi MORIYASU 46′), 10. Nicky CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING , 12. Shannon COLE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Scott JAMIESON (9. Bruno CAZARINE 57′), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT.

Substitutes Not Used: 5. Hayden FOXE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI.

Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 3. Stephan KELLER 58′.

Adelaide United FC: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4. Iain FYFE, 5. David MULLEN, 6. CASSIO, 7. Lucas PANTELIS (c) (26. Joseph KEENAN 89′), 8. Adam HUGHES, 9. Sergio van DIJK, 10. Marcos FLORES (17. Iain RAMSAY 76′), 12. Paul REID, 19. Mathew LECKIE, 24. Cameron WATSON (2. Robert CORNTHWAITE 65′).

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk).

Yellow Cards: 8. Adam HUGHES 22′, 4. Iain FYFE 59′.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 9. Sergio van DIJK 9′, 53′, 19. Mathew LECKIE 37′.

Referee: Peter GREEN.
Crowd: 7 558 at the Sydney Football Stadium.