Sky Blues Show Class To Reach Quarter Finals



Sydney FC 2 (Brosque 62’ pen, Buhagiar 66’) def. Cairns FC 1 (Cavanah 16’)

Sydney FC is one step closer to defending their FFA Cup title after a defeating Cairns FC 2-1 in North Queensland to reach the Quarter Finals for the third consecutive season.

The home side took the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute after a corner wasn’t cleared, however the Sky Blues came back with a glut of possession and chances but were missing the finishing touch.

It was only a matter of time before Sydney FC broke down the Northern Queensland side as they peppered the goal throughout the contest.

A rapid fire double would prove enough for Corica’s men, with captain Brosque and young gun Buhagiar on the scoresheet.

A Jop van der Linden free-kick would have put the result beyond doubt after it came down off the bar and appeared to cross the line, however none of the officials agreed, while Sky Blues goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne also saved a penalty to deny Cairns.

The squad now await the FFA Cup Quarter Final draw following next week’s matches.


What They Said:

Head Coach Steve Corica: “They scored early on but we dominated from there. Could have been more but they defended very well and were a lot more compact than usual.

“It was a bit of hard work but it (FFA Cup defence) goes on and we focus on the next round.”



16’ GOAL CAVANAH – The home side go in front against the run of play after a scrap in the box falls to the Cairns youngster who blasts the ball into the net.

64’ BROSQUE EQUALISES FROM THE SPOT (PEN.) – Ninkovic’s ball into the box is intercepted by a Cairns defender’s arm and referee Beath points to the spot. The Sky Blues captain steps up and calmly slots to the left.

66’ BUHAGIAR SLOTS HOME – Ninkovic puts great pressure on the Cairns defence to dispossess and play a ball in behind for the youngster to put Sydney FC in front.


Key Moments

5’ CROSS NEARLY TURNS GOAL FOR ZULLO – Brandon O’Neill finds the Sky Blues left back in space who whips in a cross that nearly finds the top left of the net.

11’ FIRST SHOT IN ANGER FROM NINKOVIC – Cairns deep defensive set is broken down with some slick interplay leading to the Serbian finding enough space to get a shot off. His effort goes over the bar.

14’ BUHAGIAR SHOWS HIS PACE – A more direct route from the Sky Blues as the speedy youngster latches onto a wide long ball. The Cairns goalkeeper is rounded but Buhagiar’s squared ball isn’t found by one of his teammates.

18’ ROCKET FROM RETRE – Sydney FC look to hit straight back as they move the home side around to find Retre who fires from just outside the box, stinging the palms of the Cairns custodian. 

29’ NINKOVIC PULLING THE STRINGS – The midfield maestro plays a number of ‘one-twos’ the last of which resulting in a first time shot which is just blocked by the home side.

30’ FANTASTIC SAVE FROM REDMAYNE – O’Hare for Cairns bundles his way through to hit a snap shot from just outside the box. The ball is goal bound if not for Redmayne who produces a great save down to his bottom right.

38’ NINKOVIC GOES SO CLOSE – Some brilliant interplay yet again finds the Sky Blues playmaker one-on-one in the box.  His slotted effort is blocked at the last moment on the line to deny the equaliser.

50’ OFF THE POST BY VAN DER LINDEN – Grant is brought down just outside the box and a freekick is awarded. The Dutchman steps up and is denied only by the post for a competitive debut goal.

75’ REDMAYNE SAVES FROM THE SPOT – A bemusing penalty decision goes the way of the home side after Calver seems to win the ball.  O’Hare steps up and hits it well to the bottom left but the Sky Blues shot stopper pulls of a remarkable save down low.

80’ BROSQUE VOLLEYS WIDE – Ninkovic plays yet another great ball in behind for the captain but with the ball on his none favoured right side, his shot is skewed wide.

88’ VAN DER LINDEN DENIED GOAL – Ninkovic is upended outside the box and the Dutchman steps up for the freekick. The defender’s effort smacks the underside of the bar and goes behind the line but the referee somehow misses this and waives play on.


Team News

Sydney FC 2 (Brosque 62’ pen, Buhagiar 66’) def. Cairns FC 1 (Cavanah 16’)

Rhyan Grant came back for his first competitive game in more than a year at right back with Paulo Retre moving further up the right flank.  Jop van der Linden started his first competitive game for the club alongside Aaron Calver at the heart of the defence, with Alex Wilkinson and Daniel De Silva left at home. New signing Adam Le Fondre also didn’t make the trip having just arrived from the UK.

Ground: Barlow Park

Referee: Chris Beath

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Aaron CALVER, 5. Jop Van Der LINDEN, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Paulo RETRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (21. Charles LOKOLI-NGOY 78’) , 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 23. Rhyan GRANT (18. Christopher ZUVELA 86’).

Subs Not Used: 20. Aleksander CISAK (GK), 3. Benjamin WARLAND, 24. Cameron DEVLIN.

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None.

Cairns FC: 20. Jacson RILEY (GK), 2. Shaun OWENS, 3. Johnson SLOTEMAKER, 5. Joseph ZUPO (13. Alexander SARGENT 64’), 6. Bronson KOPPEN, 8. Jamie CARROLL, 10. Chris O’HARE, 11. Joshua TAYLOR, 14. Ryan CAVANAH, 16. Harrison CORICA, 23. Ari ISMAN.

Subs Not Used: 1. Matthew MOSS (GK), 4. Nathan CARR, 17. Farren DEMPSEY, 18. Musashi NAKAGAWA.

Yellow Cards: 2. Shaun OWENS 4’,

Red Cards: None.

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