Arnold Delighted With “Outstanding” Sydney FC


Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has declared he was delighted by an “outstanding” performance from a much changed Sydney FC side, who were seconds away from another pre-season win, before a late Melbourne Victory equaliser gave the Victorians a share of the spoils at North Hobart Oval.

Sydney FC 1 (Janko 20’) drew with Melbourne Victory 1 (Khalfallah 89’)

With Arnold resting nine key players including Nikola Petkovic, Bernie Ibini, Alex Brosque, Ali Abbas, Pedj Bojic, Sasa Ognenovski, Vedran Janjetovic and Christopher Naumoff, the Sky Blues dominated much of the game against a full strength Melbourne Victory side.

An excellent finish from Austrian captain Mark Janko, his second goal of pre-season for the Sky Blues, in the 20th minute gave Sydney FC a lead which they held until the final minute when Falid Ben Khalfallah broke clear to equalise.

Sydney FC’s next game will be the first game of the season on Saturday 11 October against Melbourne City, following nine wins, two draws and one defeat from pre-season.

Seb Ryall marshalls Daniel Georgievski

Photo: Walter Pless.

What They Said

Graham Arnold:  “

“I thought we were outstanding. It was an excellent performance from everyone.  We have rested nine players back in Sydney following the FFA Cup game and I played a lot of our young boys who all put in very, very good performances.

“The senior boys who played did very well and the young boys are now creating some fantastic depth in our squad and there’s a lot of competition for places.”


21’ JANKO GOAL – Carle plays the ball wide left to Alex Gersbach who sends over a left footed cross.  Leijer makes a mess of the clearances and the ball falls loose to Janko who does a semi turn and slams the ball home with his left foot beyond Coe from around 12 yards.

89’ KHALFALLAH GOAL – A ball behind the Sydney FC back line leaves Necevski stranded one on one with Khalfallah and the striker keeps his nerve to round the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net to equalise at the death.


Key Moments

9’ NECEVSKI SAVE – Connor Pain drives into the left hand side of the Sydney FC box and shoots from an acute angle but Necevsk gets down well to his left to save and hold onto the ball.

27’ JANKO HITS POST – Shane Smeltz found room on the right hand side to put in a cross which is missed by Geria in the box and Janko at the back post slides to shoot with his left foot but the ball hits the outside of the post and goes behind for a goal kick.

63’ GREAT SAVE NECEVSKI – Barbarouses takes on Gersbach on the Victory right and cuts inside. His shot deflects off Jurman across the goal and falls to Berisha who shoots but Necevski is quickly off his line and manages to block the shot and the Sky Blues clear.

Team News

Sydney FC 1 (Janko 20’) drew with Melbourne Victory 1 (Khalfallah 89’)

Ground: North Hobart Oval

Referee: Shaun Evans

Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold made a number of changes to the side which won 3-1 in the FFA Cup round of 16 against Sydney United five days earlier. Matthew Jurman came in to the back four for Nikola Petkovic who was rested. Aaron Calver joined him at centre half while Seb Ryall moved to right back in place of Pedj Bojic who also took some time out.  Peter Triantis moved to the bench swapping with Terry Antonis while Ali Abbas stayed at home and Milos Dimitrijevic replaced him in the centre of the park.  Elsewhere Austrian marquee Marc Janko, Shane Smeltz, Nick Carle and Max Burgess all came into the starting line up with Christopher Naumoff, Bernie Ibini, Alex Brosque and Corey Gameiro all rested.  Ivan Necevski captained the side with Vedran Janjetovic on the bench alongside youngsters George Timotheou, Themba Muata-Marlow and Bai Antonio.

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Seb RYALL, 5. Matt JURMAN, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (18. Peter TRIANTIS 86’), 9. Shane SMELTZ (26. Bai ANTONIOU 84’), 13. Alex GERSBACH, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Nick CARLE (24. George TIMOTHEOU 77’), 21. Marc JANKO, 25. Aaron CALVER, 28. Max BURGESS

Subs Not Used: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 29. Themba MUATA-MARLOW.

Melbourne Victory:  1. Nathan COE, 2. Jason GERIA, 5. Mark MILLIGAN (6. Leigh BROXHAM 45’), 7. Gui FINKLER (22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS 75’), 8. Besart BERISHA (13. Andrew NABBOUT 75’), 10. Archie THOMPSON (9. Kosta BARBAROUSES 45’), 11. Connor PAIN (14. Falid BEN KHALFALLAH 45’), 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 17. Matthieu DELPIERRE, 21. Carl VALERI (16. Rashid MAHAZI 75’), 23. Adrian LEIJER.

Subs Not Used: 20. Lawrence THOMAS.

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