Sydney FC claim first victory

by Jeremy Walker

Sydney FC have claimed their first victory of the 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-League season after coming from behind to beat champions Western United 3-1 at AAMI Park.

Sydney FC 3 (Le Fondre 39’, Mak 41’, Lolley 69’) def Western United 1 (Risdon 16’)

Robert Mak celebrates his goal with team-mates

Moments That Mattered:

LE FONDRE HITS WOODWORK (9’) – Rhyan Grant clips a cross towards the centre of the box which Adam Le Fondre heads goalward for Jamie Young to tip onto the crossbar.

RISDON GOAL (16’) – Josh Risdon strikes a shot from outside the box which ricochets off Patrick Yazbek and deflects in past Redmayne off the post.

LE FONDRE PEN. SAVED (24’) – Jamie Young saves Le Fondre’s penalty down the centre of the goal.

LE FONDRE GOAL, PEN. (39’) – The striker sends Jamie Young the wrong way as he powerfully strikes his penalty into the right corner of the net.

MAK GOAL (41’) – Róbert Mak cuts inside from the left and beautifully curls home from outside the box to the bottom right of the goal.

LOLLEY GOAL (69’) – Joe Lolley turns his defender to shift the ball onto his left foot and emphatically finds the far corner.

What They Said – Steve Corica:

“The result is the main thing at this stage picking up three points,” said Corica. “Some very good goals … and we had to see that game out at the end.”

“First half we weren’t at our best, I think we were second to a lot of them balls. We got ourselves back in front though in the first half and we missed a pen [penalty] as well in that period.”

“I think the second half was much better you know some good football, good goals and we defended well.”

Joe Lolley celebrates his first goal Down Under

Match Report:

Socceroo Josh Risdon opened the scoring for the hosts in the 16th minute as the right-back struck a shot which awkwardly deflected past Andrew Redmayne in goal.

The Sky Blues had the opportunity to equalise after Western United’s Leo Lacroix fouled Adam Le Fondre in the penalty area following a swift counterattack – however the striker had his spot-kick saved from an in-form Jamie Young.

Moments later Sydney were gifted a lifeline once again as Joe Lolley was taken down by Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the box and Le Fondre made no mistake this time around to level the scores in the 39th minute.

Joe Lolley is up-ended by Topor-Stanley and Le Fondre scores the spot kick

Just two minutes later Sydney had a second as Róbert Mak turned two defenders on the edge of the area to send a curling effort into the bottom right corner of the net to double his league tally and put Corica’s men 2-1 ahead.

Joe Lolley added to the visitor’s advantage in the 69th minute as the winger cut inside onto his left foot to lethally finish into the top left corner – scoring his first goal in Sky Blue and claiming man of the match.

Aaron Gurd defended resolutely at the back on his A-League debut as Redmayne remained alert and smartly saved a close-range Tongo Doumbia shot late-on in stoppage time to preserve the 3-1 lead and claim all three points.

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. James DONACHIE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE (21. Alexander PARSONS 78’), 10. Joseph LOLLEY (12. Patrick WOOD 89’), 11. Róbert MAK (22. Max BURGESS 62’), 16. Patrick YAZBEK (8. Paulo RETRE 79’), 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Diego CABALLO, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN, 29. Aaron GURD.

Unused Subs: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI, 28. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH.

Yellow Cards: Rhyan Grant 15’, Donachie 54’

Red Cards: None.

Western United: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 4. Leo LACROIX, 8. Lachlan WALES (26. Nicolas MILANOVIC 77’), 9. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (5. Dylan PIERIAS 63’), 10. Steven LUŠTICA (7. Tongo DOUMBIA 63’), 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI (38. Noah BOTIC. 86’), 17. Benjamin GARUCCIO, 19. Joshua RISDON, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 88. Neil KILKENNY.

Unused Subs: 37. Ryan SCOTT (GK), 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 27. Jacob TRATT.

Yellow Cards: Lacroix 23’, Milanovic 90+1’

Red Cards: None.

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne.

Referee: Alireza Faghani