Sydney FC secured passage through to the quarter finals of the Australia Cup after goals from Anthony Caceres and Patrick Wood secured a comfortable 2-0 win over APIA Leichhardt.
They will now face fellow Isuzu-UTE A-League side Western United for a place in the last four.
Sydney FC 2 (Caceres 54’, Wood 66’) def. APIA Leichhardt 0
Moments That Mattered
BRATTAN BLOCKED SHOT – 11’ – Brattan is teed up by Lolley from a free-kick won by Adamson. Side-footed shot from the edge of the box is blocked by the APIA defence.
LOLLEY THROUGH – 13’ – Lolley gets in behind and goes 1v1 with Bouzanis, but is denied.
LOLLEY SHOT SAVED – 48’ – Lolley exchanges passes with Mak, before his strike is kept out by Bouzanis from an acute angle.
MAK HITS THE POST – 52’ – Mak plays a one-two with Wood before striking against the left-hand post from close range.
CACERES GOAL – 54’ – Caceres strides forward, beating two men, before slotting excellently past Bouzanis into the bottom corner.
WOOD GOAL – 66’ – Wood meets Lolley’s threaded pass, before firing low beyond Bouzanis for two.
WOOD DISALLOWED – 73’ – Wood slots in from inside the area, but is denied by the offside flag.
What They Said: Steve Corica: “I thought the second half was a lot better from us, and we created some great goals. Anthony Caceres’ goal was brilliant.
“We didn’t change anything in the second half, but we just started to find the pockets of space with our wingers coming inside. In the first half, we didn’t do that quickly enough.
“When our wide players can find those areas, they’re hard to stop.
“We nullified their threat and defended very well – they’re a good team.”
Sydney FC advanced into the quarter-finals of the Australia Cup on Wednesday night, courtesy of a 2-0 win over APIA Leichhardt.
Anthony Caceres and Pat Wood fired the crucial goals in the second half for the Sky Blues, who dominated throughout at the Leichhardt Oval.
In a first half without too many chances, Sydney thrust into the ascendancy after the 10-minute mark, as Luke Brattan was teed up by Joe Lolley from a free-kick routine – seeing a side-footed effort blocked from the edge of the 18-yard area.
Wood then saw a slightly miscued shot taken in by APIA goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis, before the stopper then did enough to deny Lolley as he got in behind the hosts’ defence.
Whilst the Sky Blues enjoyed the majority of the ball before the half-time break, they were unable to break the deadlock as the teams went in goalless after 45.
As the second half began, Steve Corica’s side once again flew onto the front foot and saw two Lolley efforts go amiss early on. The first was thwarted by Bouzanis after a good move and exchange of passes with Robert Mak, before the second was struck over from 15 yards.
Mak himself then came mighty close, striking against the post from close range, before Wood tapped Lolley’s low cross over the bar.
But then the opening goal for Sydney FC came in some style, as Caceres picked up the ball in a deep position in the Leichhardt half, beating two men before confidently slotting home to give the visitors the lead.
With APIA restricted to shots from outside the area and unsuccessful crosses, Sydney FC soon doubled the lead midway through the second half, the dominance paying off as Lolley moved through the gears, sending it through to the run of Wood, who finished well.
By this point, Corica’s men were firmly on top and created further opportunities, Mak’s curled shot deflecting past the post before Jake Girdwood-Reich’s header was denied.
Andrew Redmayne’s first serious save of note came with 20 minutes remaining, as he parried away Jack Armson’s strike from the edge of the box, before the offside flag prevented Wood claiming his second in seven minutes as he slotted into the net.
Sydney FC saw out the closing stages with relative comfort, fashioning occasional sights of goal and winning several set-pieces, as they secured passage into the last eight.
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 6. Jack RODWELL (3. Aaron GURD 75’), 8. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 10. Joe LOLLEY (18. Matthew SCARCELLA 90’), 11. Robert MAK (28. Nathan AMANATIDIS 84’), 12. Corey HOLLMAN (25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI 75’), 13. Pat WOOD (19. Mitch GLASSON 75’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©, 27. Kealey ADAMSON.
Unused Subs: 30. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 21. Zac DE JESUS.
Yellow Cards: Mak 19’.
Red Cards: None
APIA Leichhardt: 12. Anthony BOUZANIS (GK), 4. Josh SYMONS (3. Paul GALIMI 79’), 7. Jack STEWART, 9. Jason ROMERO (6. Anthony SPARACINO 79’), 14. Jack ARMSON, 15. Themba Muata MARLOW, 16. Sean SYMONS (17. Rory JORDAN 63’), 18. Adrian UCCHINO ©, 21. Michael KOUTA (38. Yianni NICOLAOU 67’), 23. Dakota ASKEW, 98. Franco FARINELLA.
Unused Subs:1. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 2. Harry STAVRIS, 19. Alex DENMEAD.
Yellow Cards: Kouta 45’, Parisi (Coach) 45’, Armson 50’, Galimi 82’, Sparacino 90’.
Red Cards: None
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Shaun Evans