With the Sky Blues looking to get their season back on track after a loss on the road to Gold Coast United, Shannon Cole’s strike against Perth Glory may have just righted the ship.
The relief was palpable around Parramatta Stadium. With the Sky Blues looking to get their season back on track after a loss on the road to Gold Coast United, Shannon Cole-s strike against Perth Glory may have just righted the ship. The pressure valve had been released and the team looked more confident as they found their familiar free-flowing style.
Cole-s goal in the 75th minute sparked wild celebrations in the stands and his post-goal acrobatics mirrored the team-s relief, as he burst into an impromptu cartwheel and backflip.
“Some of the guys were pretty surprised [by the backflip], because I hadn-t pulled it out this year. I didn-t score all of last year so a lot of them hadn-t seen it before,” laughed Cole.
The goal marked Cole-s third of the season and his sixth in a sky blue shirt. The fleet-footed 25-year-old glided down the right flank, made a pass to the veteran Alex Brosque, who returned the favour, putting the right back through alone on goal and he smartly tucked the ball past Tando Velaphi in the Glory net.
“I played it forward to [Brosque] and I saw he had time to turn, so I just ran,” said Cole.
“He-s a quality player and he played it in [to me]… everyone else realised I was in before I did.
“I just had a quick look up, picked my spot and watched the ball go in.”
Although the game was a scrappy affair at times, the lead-up and clinical finish to Cole-s goal was an inspired piece of creativity from the Sky Blues. And Cole scored a perfect 10 for his gymnastic ability, despite not practicing it much on the training field.
“I learnt it when I was younger…and often when the adrenalin kicks in, it comes out!”
The man of the match performance by Cole, coupled with the win, capped off a memorable 100th game for Brosque, as the veteran set up the opening goal and wrapped up the win with a goal in the 81st minute. Brosque was on the end of a threaded through ball from Hirofumi Moriyasu, rounded the keeper and slotted home from close range.
Cole was equally steady on the defensive side of the ball, as he nullified any attacking raids launched down his wing by the Perth Glory attack. But he admits there is still plenty of work to be done to maintain his current good form.
It was a testing match for Sky Blues, given the heat in Western Sydney. But Cole says the team-s preparation helped them overcome the trying conditions.
“We had a good preparation during the week, and it-s important to drink plenty of water,” said Cole.
“It was a tough win. We were under a bit of pressure at certain points, but in games like that it-s important to get away with some points.”
“I-m happy for Brosque today,” said Cole.
Sydney FC have now picked up points in four of their last five games, and only allowed two goals against in that span. Cole-s goal shows there are plenty of positives to build upon for the remainder of the season.