Sydney FC have beaten Scottish Champions Celtic in the Sydney Super Cup and go into the World Cup break on a high, defeating Ange Postecoglou’s green and white, 2-1 in a highly entertaining match at Allianz Stadium.
A deflected first half opener from Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi was quickly cancelled out by a superb run and strike from Robert Mak, before Max Burgess found the net in the second half.
Sky Blues keeper Tom Heward-Belle made a number of fantastic saves to keep Celtic at bay and give Steve Corica’s men their first win in the new Allianz Stadium.
Sydney FC 2 (Mak 26’, Burgess 60’) def Celtic 1 (Furuhashi 24’)
Moments That Mattered:
MAK HITS BAR 16’ – Joe Lolley finds Paulo Retre’s run down the right wing as the midfielder drives to the byline and cuts back for Róbert Mak, who fires his shot against the bar.
LOLLEY HITS BAR 22’ – Celtic fail to clear Adrian Segecic’s cross from the left wing as Joe Lolley smacks the bar with a first-time curling effort from the right side of the box.
HEWARD BELLE TIPS OVER – 23’ – Tom Heward-Belle flies full length to tip over a ferocious shot from Turnbull.
KYOGO GOAL 24’ – Alexandro Bernabei picks up the ball outside the area following a corner and strikes a powerful shot which deflects in off Kyogo Furuhashi.
MAK GOAL 26’ – Joe Lolley skips past his defender in midfield then nutmegs another with a pass to send Mak through on goal as the Slovakian neatly slots into the bottom right corner.
HEWARD-BELLE SAVES WITH LEG – 43’ Heward-Belle sticks out a leg to deny Kyogo a certain goal.
HEWARD-BELLE LOW SAVE – 50’ Tom Heward-Belle plunges low to deny a Celtic header before a further shot is blocked.
BURGESS GOAL 60’ – Lolley chops past his marker in midfield and passes out to Max Burgess on the right who cuts onto his left inside the area to produce a delightful curling effort past Benjamin Siegrist.
What They Said – Steve Corica: “It was a very good performance, two probably different halves.
“The first half we played some really good football, some good flowing football.
“We defended really well in that first half, and in the second half they made a lot of changes.
“They brought on some really good quality players and had us on the back foot for a lot of that second half.
“But Maxi [Max Burgess] scored a fantastic goal and we defended really well.”
The Sky Blues started the match on the front foot and came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute as Paulo Retre cut back precisely from the right wing for Róbert Mak to venomously hit the bar from close range.
Just six minutes later Sydney FC again went close with Celtic failing to deal with an Adrian Segecic cross from the left wing as Lolley’s first-time shot from inside the area curled powerfully onto the bar.
Despite Sydney FC’s early pressure Celtic would open the scoring in the 24th minute as Alexandro Bernabei’s effort from outside the area deflected in off centre-forward Kyogo Furuhashi.
Steve Corica’s men would respond just two minutes later with Lolley gliding past his defender in midfield and nutmegging another to play Mak through on goal as the attacker found the bottom right corner of the net with composure.
The sides entered the break 1-1 thanks to two fantastic saves from Tom Heward-Belle, tipping a shot over the bar from Turnbull and saving with his left leg from Kyogo.
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic would start brightest in the second term but the Sky Blues remained alert in defence to snuff out any danger as central defenders Aaron Gurd and Adrian Vlastelica marshalled the troops at the back.
Heward-Belle again saved the Sky Blues with a low right handed save from a header before the rebound was blocked.
Celtic would eventually rue their missed chances as Sydney took the lead in the 60th minute through a scrumptious curling effort from Max Burgess with Lolley chopping past his defender in midfield to assist.
The Sky Blues withstood a lot of Celtic pressure in the closing stages to claim the 2-1 victory – their first at their new home of Allianz Stadium.
Sydney FC: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 8. Paulo RETRE, 10. Joseph LOLLEY (12. Patrick WOOD 86’), 11. Róbert MAK (25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI 61’), 18. Diego CABALLO (5. Connor O’TOOLE 61’), 19. Adrian SEGECIC (16. Patrick YAZBEK 61’), 22. Max BURGESS (21. Alexander PARSONS 69’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN (28. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH 69’), 27. Adrian VLASTELICA (33. Dejan BAKRDANIKOSKI 74’), 29. Aaron GURD.
Unused Subs: 30. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 31. Oscar PRIESTMAN, 32. Kealey ADAMSON, 34. Hayden MATTHEWS.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Celtic FC: 31. Benjamin SIEGRIST (GK), 4. Carl STARFELT, 8. Kyogo FURUHASHI (69. Rocco VATA 66’), 11. Liel ABADA (9. Sead HAKSABANOVIC 45’), 14. David TURNBULL (35. Scott ROBERTSON 66’), 21. Yosuke IDEGUCHI (41. Reo HATATE 45’), 25. Alexandro BERNABEI (3. Greg TAYLOR 45’), 28. Oliver ABILDGAARD (33. Matt O’RILEY 45’), 49. James FORREST (17. JOTA 45’), 56. Anthony RALSTON, 57. Stephen WELSH (50. Bosun LAWAL 78’).
Unused Subs: 29. Scott BAIN (GK).
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Alex King