Sydney FC Outclass Wellington Phoenix 4-1


Sydney FC solidified their finals credentials with an emphatic 4-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix at a wet and windy Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC solidified their finals credentials with an emphatic 4-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix at a wet and windy Allianz Stadium.

Alessandro Del Piero scored two and laid on two assists to ease the Sky Blues to a vital three points as Seb Ryall showed off his eye for goal with a neat volley before Ali Abbas rounded out the scoring with a fantastic long range strike.

Terry Antonis orchestrated the midfield in what was a dominant performance from the Sky Blues who were unrelenting in their attack.

The performance leaves Sydney FC in with a chance of finishing the regular season anywhere between second and seventh place, and three points above the Newcastle Jets with a superior goal difference.

Head Coach Frank Farina made one change to the squad that started against Melbourne Victory last week as he re-introduced a fit again Milos Dimitrijevic in place of Matt Thompson who started on the bench.

Hagi Gligor returned to the bench while youngsters Alec Urosevski and Aaron Calver continued their involvement with the first team as substitutes.

Both sides struggled to maintain possession on the sodden Allianz Stadium pitch early on, with the puddles slowing down even the hardest hit passes.

Alessandro Del Piero sparked the game into life in the ninth minute as he produced the first chance for the Sky Blues with a fantastic piece of skill just beyond the half way line.

Turning his marker the Italian surged forward, shrugging off a challenge from a Phoenix defender, before unleashing a powerful shot from distance that Glen Moss did well to palm to safety.

Some last ditch defending for Sasa Ognenovski kept the scoreline level in the 13th minute as Wellington Phoenix threatened to score on the counter.

Jeremy Brockie broke into the box before squaring the ball to Stein Huysegems on the six yard line and as the striker wound up to shoot Ognenovski came in with a perfectly timed slide tackle to block the shot and allow Vedran Janjetovic to smother the resultant deflection.

Chances were coming thick and fast as Garcia just missed a low driven cross from Seb Ryall before the right fullback sent a header inches wide of the post from a Del Piero corner.

The Italian also played through Joel Chianese in one of the better chances of the half, however the young forward saw his effort block by Moss.

For all their attacking threats the Sky Blues finally got their reward as they took the lead in the 31st minute from the penalty spot after Alessandro Del Piero was fouled inside the box.

The Italian drove forward with the ball before cutting inside his marker and bursting into the penalty area. The Phoenix defender had a grasp of Del Piero-s arm in the build-up, dragging the Sky Blue back leaving Kris Griffiths-Jones with no other option than to award a spot kick.

The marquee man coolly stepped up to stroke the ball inside the left post, sending Glen Moss the wrong way and the Sky Blues faithful into rounds of applause.

There was a brief respite in the 36th minute as a small scuffle ensued in the box after Sigmund came in late on a prone Janjetovic, allowing the players to catch their breath, before Alessandro Del Piero doubled Sydney FC-s advantage on the stroke of halftime.

With the Sky Blues on the attack Richard Garcia was fouled just outside the Wellington box. The Italian World Cup winner didn-t disappoint from the resultant free kick, as he strode forward and curled the ball into the top left hand corner to send Sydney FC in at half time two goals to the good.

Sydney FC started the second half in much the same vein as the first as they threatened the Phoenix time and time again and they should have increased their lead in the 50th minute.

The Sky Blues broke forward as Alessandro Del Piero sent Joel Chianese clean through with a neat ball beating the sole Phoenix defender on the half way line.

The youngster surged toward goal with only Moss to beat however he couldn-t get enough purchase on his shot as the New Zealander dived low to parry it away.

Del Piero had an opportunity to score his hattrick moments later after Sydney FC were awarded a free kick in a similar position to where he scored in the first half, however on this occasion he could only strike the cross bar with Moss stranded on his line.

Wellington drew a goal back in the 55th minute after Petkovic barged Brockie over in the box as he ran through to goal and Carlos Hernandez converted the spot kick, putting ball high into the roof of the net.

There was barely time for the Wellington Phoenix to reset however as the Sky Blues doubled their lead through Sebastian Ryall.

Sydney FC advanced forward with some neat, intricate, one touch passing before Ryall played a deft one-two with Del Piero, who flicked the ball over the Phoenix defence, allowing Ryall to run onto the ball and volley it low into the back of the net first time.

After seeing an earlier shot flash wide of the goal Ali Abbas made it four for the Sky Blues with a fantastic finish from distance in the 60th minute.

Alessandro Del Piero-s curled corner found no one in the box as it bounced out to Abbas on the left flank. The Iraqi international took one touch inside before unleashing a powerful rising shot that sailed into the roof of Moss- net.

In a brief flash of intent the Phoenix almost scored as Boxall and Boyd combined to see the latter hit Janjetovic-s post however the chances continued for the Sky Blues, who were unrelenting in the attack, as Matt Thompson went up the other end and saw his effort saved.

The pace of the game slowed in the final ten minutes with the Sky Blues content on holding possession and out passing the Phoenix, with a Hernandez free kick that curled just over the bar the final chance of note as Sydney ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

The Sky Blues are back at Allianz Stadium next Sunday (kick off 5pm) as they take on the Perth Glory in the final match of the regular season with a finals place and playoffs football to play for.

Sydney FC 4 (Del Piero 33- 45-, Ryall 57-, Abbas 61-) def Wellington Phoenix 1 (Hernandez 56-).

Ground: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 10,148
Referee: Kris Griffiths Jones

SYDNEY FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Seb RYALL, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (c), 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Sasa OGNENOVSKI (85- Aaron CALVER), 16. Joel CHIANESE (76- Alec UROSEVSKI), 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (70- Matt THOMPSON), 22. Ali ABBAS.
Unused Substitutes: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 24. Hagi GLIGOR.
Yellow Cards: 34- M.Dimitrijevic, 36- M.Jurman, 36- V.Janjetovic, 55- N.Petkovic, 67- A.Del Piero

WELLINGTON PHOENIX: 1. Glen MOSS, 5. Michael BOXALL, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS, 11. Jeremy BROCKIE, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND (80- Luke ADAMS), 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Matthew RIDENTON (51- Jason HICKS), 25. Shaun TIMMINS.
Unused Substitutes: 12. Tyler BOYD, 24. Roy KRISHNA, 30. Jacob SPOONLEY.
Yellow Cards: 36- B.Sigmund, 73- M.Boxall