Dual Sky Blue Strikes Seal Cup Progression


Goals to Shane Smeltz and Max Burgess have eased the Sky Blues past a stubborn Sorrento FC outfit at nib Stadium to progress to the Wetsfield FFA Cup round of 16.


Sydney FC 2 (2’ Smeltz p., 75’ Burgess) def. Sorrento FC 0

Sydney FC have secured progression to the Westfield FFA Cup round of 16 after defeating Sorrento FC at nib Stadium courtesy of strikes to Shane Smeltz and Max Burgess on Wednesday night.

The Sky Blues were handed an early lead after Stambolziev was fouled in the box, with Smeltz coolly converting the second minute spot kick as the Sky Blues dominated the first half with 83% possession.

The Harbour City club created multiple opportunities in the first 45 as Sorrento FC sat deep and tried to absorb the pressure from a well-structured Graham Arnold outfit however they couldn’t add to Smeltz’s early strike and went in one nil up at the break.

Sorrento came out in the second stanza playing higher up the field to counter the Sky Blues pressure and pushed Sydney FC with a bright spell just beyond the 60th minute, however Max Burgess ensured progression with a well taken strike 15 minutes from time.

Sydney FC now await their next opponents in the Westfield FFA Cup with the draw for the next round set to take place following the conclusion of the round of 32 next week.

What They Said

Aaron Calver – “It was a tough game. Once the game started to open up a bit there was a bit of space but they fought hard and made it difficult. We’re thrilled to be through to the round of 16, we want to go as far as we can in the Cup and that’s the first win on the road so you can’t beat that. We had a fairly young team and it can only get better from here.”


2’ SMELTZ GOAL – Shane Smeltz coolly strokes the ball into the bottom right corner of the net from the spot after Stambolziev was fouled in the area.

75’ BURGESS GOAL – Burgess receives the ball on the left edge of the area, jinks past his marker, shifts the ball onto his right foot and fires low across the keeper to double the lead.

Key Moments

2’ STAMBOLZIEV FOUL – A neat ball forward from Calver sends Stambolziev free and the Sky Blues winger is fouled as he charges onto the ball in the area for a clear cut penalty.

4’ JURMAN HITS THE POST – A whipped free kick from Naumoff finds Jurman lurking at the far post and his powerful header is palmed onto the upright and cleared.

24’ O’NEILL SMASHES THE BAR – Turning away from his marker, O’Neill charges forward before unleashing a dipping shot from distance that rattles the cross bar.

25’ STAMBOLZIEV BLASTS JUST WIDE – A clever set piece routine sees Stambolziev receive the ball on the edge of the D with time to shoot and he lashes a wicked half-volley just wide of the upright.

46’ STAMBOLZIEV EFFORT – An early second half chance for the Sky Blues sees Stambolziev fire just wide after being played through by Naumoff.

50’ SMELTZ FIRES OVER – Aaron Calver picks out Smeltz at the far post and the New Zealand international fires just over the bar after bringing the ball down superbly.

54’ SMELTZ MISS – Stambolziev is brought down in the box again however Morgan proves strong in goal as he dives low to his right to palm away Smeltz’s second spot kick.

62’ HOOLE BLAZES OVER – A looping ball over the top from Naumoff finds Hoole but the new Sky Blue blazes over the bar.

82’ BROSQUE CHANCE – An intricate looped pass from Calver falls to an onrushing Brosque in the box but his first touch is heavy and the keeper smothers the danger.

Team News

Sydney FC 2 (2’ Smeltz p., 75’ Burgess) def. Sorrento FC 0

Sky Blues Head Coach Graham Arnold made three changes to the starting side that faced Macarthur Rams at Campbelltown Sports Stadium last Thursday. New signing Matt Simon started on the bench, replaced by captain on the night Shane Smeltz, while Rhyan Grant shifted into midfield as Aaron Calver assumed a starting role at right back. Brandon O’Neill made his competitive debut in midfield in place of trialist Alex Mullen while Foxtel National Youth League players Max Burgess and Lachlan Hughes joined Australian marquee Alex Brosque on the bench.

Ground: nib Stadium

Referee: Adam Fielding

Attendance: 3485

Sydney FC:  20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Robert STAMBOLZIEV (67’ Max BURGESS), 7. Andrew HOOLE (63’ Alex BROSQUE), 9. Shane SMELTZ (c) (72’ Matt SIMON), 11. Christopher NAUMOFF, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 16. Riley WOODCOCK, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Aaron CALVER.

Subs Not Used: 12. Anthony BOUZANIS (gk), 28. Lachlan HUGHES.

Yellow cards: None.

Red cards: None.

Sorrento FC: 1. James MORGAN (gk), 6. Daryl PLATTEN, 7. James MORGAN (c) (77’ Shaun KILKELLY), 8. Ryan PEARSON, 9. Todd HARNWELL, 11. Thomas LEABOURN-BOSS (84’ Danny CAIN), 12. Jack EADES (60’ Jack SALTER), 15. Scott BULLOCH, 18. Sean CANHAM, 20. Brad MCDONALD, 22. Lewis HALL.

Subs Not Used: 60. Neil YOUNG (gk), 24. Scott HOYLE.

Yellow cards: 2’ Hall, 12’ Harnwell, 58’ Eades

Red cards: None.

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