Sydney FC Move Further Ahead

Sydney FC moved four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League after earning a valuable away point from their 0-0 draw against Perth Glory at ME Bank Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC moved four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League after earning a valuable away point from their 0-0 draw against Perth Glory at ME Bank Stadium tonight.

The Sky Blues, without key defender Simon Colosimo through suspension, striker Alex Brosque and young defenders Sebastian Ryall and Matt Jurman through injury, withstood a barrage Perth attacking raids and lopsided possession to claim their 39th competition point for the 2009/10 season.

Keeper Clint Bolton alongside defenders Terry McFlynn and Anthony Golec, who was starting his first A-League match, turned in outstanding defensive performances and were the key factors in Sydney FC-s fifth consecutive clean sheet which equals an A-League record.

“To get a point is a good result in Perth especially after Melbourne lost today also,” coach Viteszlav Lavicka said. “Perth played well in the first half and put us under pressure and played better but we defended very well.”

“After halftime we started to keep possession and improved our attacking play and in the last 15 minutes we improved again and could have won with Chris Payne and Steve Corica.”

Lavicka praised the performance of 19-year-old Golec and his outstanding aerial job on Perth striker Jaime Harnwell.”We defended very well. The back four and Clint Bolton were strong but I thought Anthony Golec deserves special credit for his performance,” Lavicka said.

“He is a young player and today was a good experience for him. He defended strongly and confidently.”

Perth dominated the first half, having nine shots on goal to the Sky Blues two and would finish the game having had 15 corners to Sydney-s seven but despite having a number of good chances could not breach Bolton.

Sydney almost stole the game in the 90th minute through an amazing individual effort from substitute Chris Payne. Payne gained possession in Sydney-s own half and charged down the field, beating five defenders and unleashed a left foot strike that struck a Perth defender and deflected away.

The height of Harnwell and the creativity of Chris Coyne caused headaches for the Sydney FC defence but the Glory lacked that killer blow.

John Aloisi brilliantly tricked a Perth defender before punching in a low cross that the outstretched foot of Mark Bridge narrowly missed tapping in. The narrow miss saw scores locked at 0-all at halftime.

The second half started slowly for both sides as each side flooded their opponents attacking half. By the 50th minute Perth had 11 corners to the Sky Blues one but still could not finish.

Sydney upped the ante midway through the second half and captain Steve Corica had his left foot shot well saved in the 79th minute.

Harnwell forced Bolton into another strong save in the 82nd minute before Payne, who replaced Aloisi in the 76th minute, almost pulled off what would have been a serious contender for goal of the season.

Sydney FC boasts the best defence in the A-League and captain Steve Corica said it was the clear reason the Sky Blues will return home with a valuable point.

“We are very pleased with the point given how the game went and how much Perth put us under pressure,” captain Steve Corica said.

“They put us under enormous pressure and it took us a long time to adjust. The second half was much better for us. Clint made a number of crucial saves. We work hard to be a close unit and not concede goals. We did well in the second half.”

Sydney FC returns home tomorrow and begin preparations for their match against Gold Coast United at the SFS on Sunday 17 January.

Match Detail

Sydney FC: 0
Perth Glory: 0

Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI (16. Chris PAYNE 76-), 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 13. Anthony GOLEC, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (24. Hayden FOXE 90- + 2), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 18. Adam CASEY

Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Goals: Nil

Perth Line-up: 1. Tando VELAPHI, 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 6. Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 12. Scott NEVILLE, 16. Adrian PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH (2. James DOWNEY 74-), 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (13. Scott BULLOCK 88-)

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 23. Andrija JUKIC

Yellow Cards: 6. Jaime COYNE 57-,
Red Cards: Nil
Goals: Nil

Referee: Srebre DELOVSKI
Crowd: 9,139 at ME Bank Stadium