A-League Champions Sydney FC hold Scottish Champions Glasgow Rangers to 0-0 draw in their second match of the inaugural Festival of Football.
Hyundai A-League 2010 Champions Sydney FC played out a 0-0 draw against Scottish Champions Rangers FC in their Sydney Festival of Football match played in atrocious conditions at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night.
Despite the wet conditions the Sky Blues started the better of the two sides controlling and retaining possession confidently in a much improved performance from their 5-3 loss to AEK Athens.
The Sky Blues remain third on the Festival of Football ladder with four points. AEK lead with 13 points, followed by the Rangers with six points and Blackburn sit fourth with two points.
“It was a much improved performance for us tonight. I want to congratulate the players of both teams and the fans for being here tonight,” Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka said.
“We will take many positives from this performance. We will learn things and they will help us. We have tough game again on Saturday night to help us to be ready for round one of the A-League.
“It was very hard conditions for the players. They didn-t stop which is very positive for us.”
Sydney FC takes on the Rovers to conclude the inaugural Festival of Football at the SFS on Saturday night with AEK to take on the Rangers.
Striker Alex Brosque sat out the match after having his foot stomped on during Sunday afternoon-s game against AEK Athens however the move was more of a precaution with the opening of the A-League season less than ten days away.
Sydney created the first chance of the game in the 17th minute when Mark Bridge brilliantly turned his defender as he controlled a low cross from Shannon Cole, however he failed to steer his shot past goalkeeper Neil Alexander.
In a half of few chances, Cole, playing in a more advanced position, once again created a half chance for the Sky Blues in the 35th minute as he cut inside the Rangers defence on the right flank before his deflected shot went straight to Alexander.
Sydney FC had another opportunity to take the lead in the 43rd minute when the Sky Blues were awarded a free kick, but Scott Jamieson-s attempt floated over the bar.
During the main break Vitezslav Lavicka made two changes, with traillist Ibrahima Thiam getting another chance to impress as he replaced front man Mark Bridge, and Hirofumi Moriyasu coming on for Nick Carle.
As the torrential rain continued, Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty had the first chance of the second half blasting his long range free kick over the bar.
The Sky Blues were dealt an injury scare after 50 minutes when Swiss international Stephen Keller was substituted for Anthony Golec after a dangerous tackle from behind by Kenny Miller.
With half-an-hour left in the game, Sydney welcomed back Stuart Musialik from injury as he replaced Rhyan Grant, who himself turned in a strong performance.
The move proved to be a catalyst as the game sprung into action in the 65th minute as Liam Reddy dove brilliantly low down to his right to deny Maurice Edu after he got his head onto the end of a Steven Davis free kick.
Moments later in the 66th minute, after a midfield breakaway by Jamieson, the ball was eventually played into Thiam who was only inches away from breaking the deadlock. His controlled right-footed shot curled towards the top right hand corner of the goal, only for Alexander to parry the ball away.
Although Rangers had the better of the second half they failed to breakthrough Sydney-s strong defence as the game remained all square at 0-0.
Sydney FC: 0
Glasgow Rangers: 0
Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER (13. Antony GOLEC 53-), 5. Hayden FOXE, 10. Nicky Carle (28 Hiro MORIYASU 45-), 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (9. Ibrahima THIAM 45-), 21. Scott JAMIESON (7. Brendan GAN 79-), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT (8. Stuart MUSIALIK 62-).
Substitutes Not Used: 11. Kofi DANNING, 17. Matt Jurman, 18. David GULLO, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 24. Terry ANTONIS, 30. Dylan MITCHELL (gk).
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Glasgow Rangers Line-up: 25. Neil ALEXANDER (gk), 2. Steven WHITTAKER, 3. David WEIR, 4. Kirk BROADFOOT, 5. Andy WEBSTER, 6. Lee MCCULLOCH (14. Jordon MCMILLAN 84-), 7. Maurice EDU, 8. Steven DAVIS, 9. Kenny MILLER (12. John FLECK 61-), 10. Steven NAISMITH, 11. Kyle LAFFERTY (19. Andrew LITTLE 80-)
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Ross PERRY, 17. Gregg WYLDE, 18. Jaimie Ness, 1. Alan MCGREGOR (gk).
Yellow Cards: Kenny MILLER 48-
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Matthew Breeze at the Sydney Football Stadium