Sydney FC has gone down to the Central Coast Mariners 2-1 after a hugely dominant first 30 minutes in which the Sky Blues opened the scoring but were pegged back.
A Christmas Eve derby cracker awaits on Saturday against Macarthur FC at Allianz Stadium.
Sydney FC 1 (Retre 11’) def. by Central Coast Mariners 2 (Tulio 36’, Hall 39’)
Moments That Mattered:
BRATTAN OFF THE BAR – 8’ – Brattan controls and volleys the ball off the cross bar with Vukovic stranded – would have been goal of the season.
GURD OFF THE LINE – 10’ – Gurd blasts the ball clear afterTulio hits the post.
RETRE GOAL –11′ – Mak shoots and Vukovic makes the save into the path of Paulo Retre who finishes with ease.
TULIO GOAL – 36’ – Tulio heads home a right wing cross from Garang Kuol.
HALL GOAL – 39’ – A scramble from a corner results in a ball being played high and back across the goal and nodded home by Hall.
What They Said: Steve Corica: “It’s disappointing disappointing after the way we started, played some good football and got the ball and hit the crossbar and then we stopped playing a little bit.
“The first one was a lapse in concentration and the second was a corner kick and we didn’t clear it well enough.
“When you have a concussion [Burgess] the referee is supposed to stop for three minutes, and we need to ask him why.
“At half time he wasn’t well so we had to make changes.”
Anthony Caceres: “We are very disappointed especially after the first 30 minutes which was the best we played all season.
“We got the goal but then gave them two goals and they got behind the ball and limited us to very few chances.
“It’s frustrating, we beat the league leaders last week and we started off well and we let them into the game.
“They are a side who are very stubborn when they get behind the ball.”
Match Report: Sydney FC began the game on the front foot with Brattan hitting the bar before Retre slotted home the opener after Vukovic had parried a Robert Mak shot.
Mariners were level in 36 minutes after Kuol floated a cross from the right and Tulio headed home.
Hall made it 2-1 a few minutes later with his head when a corner wasn’t cleared.
Sydney FC were forced into half time changes with Burgess suffering a concussion towards the end of the first half and in the second half the Sky Blues pushed for an equaliser.
It wasn’t to be as Mariners defended with their lives and we move onto Macarthur FC at home on Christmas Eve.
Sydney FC: 1. ANDREW REDMAYNE (GK), 2. JAMES DONACHIE, 8. PAULO RETRE (16. PATRICK YAZBEK 65’), 10. JOE LOLLEY, 11. ROBERT MAK (19. ADRIAN SEGECIC 67’), 17. ANTHONY CACERES (12. PATRICK WOOD 82’), 18. DIEGO CABALLO, 22. MAX BURGESS (9. ADAM LE FONDRE 45’), 23. RHYAN GRANT, 26. LUKE BRATTAN, 29. AARON GURD.
Unused Subs: 20. TOM HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 27. ADRIAN VLASTELICA, 28. JAKE GIRDWOOD-REICH.
Yellow Cards: Donachie 94’, Brattan 97’.
Red Cards: None
Central Coast Mariners: 1. DANNY VUKOVIC (GK), 3. BRIAN KALTAK, 4. JOSH NISBET,
6. MAX BALARD (13. HARRISON STEELE 83’), 9. JASON CUMMINGS (25. NECTARIOS TRIANTIS 83’), 11. BENI NKOLOLO (7. SAMUEL SILVERA 60’), 14. GARANG KUOL (21. MICHAEL RUHS 83’), 15. STORM ROUX, 18. JACOB FARRELL, 23. DANIEL HALL, 98. MARCO TULIO (27. SASHA KUZEVSKI 83’).
Unused Subs: 2. THOMAS AQUILINA, 24. YAREN SOZER (GK)
Referee: Jack Morgan
Yellow Cards: Farrell 43’, Silvera 93’, Steele 94’.
Red Cards: None