A first half strike from Young Socceroo, Kofi Danning has proven the difference in Sunday evening’s friendly between Sydney FC and Sydney Olympic, with the teenager’s classy finish helping the Sky Blues to a hard-fought 1-nil win over the former NSL Champions at Belmore Sportsground.
A first half strike from Young Socceroo, Kofi Danning has proven the difference in Sunday evening-s friendly between Sydney FC and Sydney Olympic, with the teenager-s classy finish helping the Sky Blues to a hard-fought 1-nil win over the former NSL Champions at Belmore Sportsground.
The win, in front of well over five-and-a-half thousand fans stretches Sydney-s unbeaten pre-season streak to twelve matches, and provides the perfect exclamation point to a highly successful friendly campaign against State League sides across the Harbour City.
Sydney should have opened the scoring in the 2nd minute. Brendan Gan was released into the box but tried to be too clever one-on-one with the keeper and poked the ball just over the bar.
In the 9th minute the young midfielder had another chance but was ruled offside after running onto a great ball from Kofi Danning and the match remained scoreless.
Mid way through the first half it was the home side that nearly broke the deadlock. An inch-perfect through ball from Matthew Mayora put Anthony Hartshorn on the attack but Sydney keeper, Ivan Necevski was alert to the threat and quickly diffused the danger.
Despite that scare, the chances kept coming for the Hyundai A-League side and in the 28th minute Danning was denied by a great save from young Olympic custodian, Zane Zaneli. It only delayed the inevitable, however. Seconds later a brilliant Mark Bridge ran rings around the defenders in the box before laying the ball back for Danning who delivered a clinical finish from 20 metres to give Sydney the lead.
Olympic almost snared a lucky equaliser just before half time when an Ian Ramsay free kick deflected perilously close to goal from a crowded six- yard box but Sydney-s clean sheet remained intact and it went to the break with a well-earned 1-nil lead.
Sydney probed the hosts- defences after the restart without seriously posing a threat until Captain, Steve Corica entered the fray in the 61st minute and immediately put Olympic on alert with a weaving run into the danger area.
The match descended into a midfield battle with neither keeper given much to do during the middle stages of the second stanza, but in the 78th minute Olympic sent a warning to the visitors that they couldn-t relax when Emanual Giannaros picked out Mayora with a cross, and he headed just wide.
That sparked the Sky Blues into action and two minutes later they almost added their second – Alex Brosque-s header denied by a great save from Zaneli after Adam Casey picked him out with a perfect cross in from the right flank.
The match opened up in the closing minutes as both sides searched for attacking opportunities but the scoreline remained unchanged – the 1-nil win maintaining Sydney FC-s unbeaten pre-season run with one hit-out remaining, next Sunday against the Newcastle Jets.
Sydney Olympic 0
Sydney FC 1 (Kofi Danning 28-)
Sydney Olympic: 21. Zane ZANELI (gk), 3. Emanuel ZUNINIO, 5. Michael ANDRIC, 6. Emanuel GIANNAROS, 7. Peter MCPHERSON, 8. Paul WITHER (4. Jay KALOURIS 79-), 9. Anthony HARTSHORN, 14. Chris TRIANTIS, 15. Matthew MAYORA, 17. Ian RAMSAY, 19. Ken CHUN (10. Anthony DOUMANIS 71-).
Substitutes Not Used: 1. K MCMAHON (gk), 13. Mark BOSNICH (gk)(c), 2. S TIBBETTS, 12. S MADDEN, 16. S BIASON, 18. L PERILO, 22. D FIRTH, 23. D TRIANTIS.
Yellow Cards: nil.
Red Cards: nil.
Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSIK (gk), 5. Mitchell PRENTICE, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK (14. Alex BROSQUE 61-), 12. Shannon COLE, 19. Mark BRIDGE (10. Steve CORICA 61- (c)), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 23. John ALOISI, (16. Chris PAYNE 45-), 27. Matthew JURMAN (31. Antony GOLEC 61-), 32. Brendan GAN, 35. Kofi DANNING (18. Adam CASEY 45-), 37. Thomas SKORA.
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 4. Simon COLOSIMO.
Yellow Cards: Adam Casey 63-, Mitchell Prentice 64-.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Kofi Danning 28-.
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones.
Crowd: 5,651 at Belmore Sportsground.