Sydney FC secured passage into the semi-finals of the Australia Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 victory over Western United, to set up a pulsating tie away at Melbourne City in the last four.
Sydney FC 3 (Caceres 12’, Wood 30’, Rodwell 67’) def. Western United 0
Moments That Mattered
5’ – BRATTAN HITS POST – Brattan moves into space just outside the area and hits a rasping right-footed strike, which comes back off the upright.
12’ – CACERES GOAL – Lolley advances down the right and excellently spots the run of Caceres, who in turn finishes very well to open the scoring.
24’ – LOLLEY SHOOTS WIDE – Wood turns his man and finds Lolley inside the area, who rolls inches past the post.
30’ – WOOD GOAL – Lolley’s shot is trapped by Wood eight yards from goal, and he does the rest to double the lead.
67’ – RODWELL GOAL – After being denied by the post with a header just seconds earlier, Rodwell taps home Lolley’s low cross for his first Sydney FC goal.
What They Said: Steve Corica:
“It was a great performance and a very good scoreline as well.
“We defended well and we’re very pleased we got through the game with no injuries as well. We’re looking forward now to a good match-up with Melbourne City.
“We were solid defensively and pressed from the front. We won the ball back high up the pitch and created some good chances, and got the goals we deserved.
“Being in the last four means a fight for silverware. It gives teams an opportunity to play in Asia as well, like it has done for Macarthur from last year, so we want to win.”
Sydney FC are into the last four of the Australia Cup, courtesy of Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Western United at the Leichhardt Oval.
Anthony Caceres and Pat Wood both picked up where they left off from the quarter-final win at the same venue against APIA Leichhardt, putting Sydney FC two in front at the break.
Jack Rodwell then netted his first goal in Sky Blue midway through the second half to wrap up a deserved win.
Steve Corica’s side will now make the trip to face Melbourne City in an eagerly anticipated semi-final clash.
Sydney FC came out firing in the demanding heat, Luke Brattan striking the post with a well-struck shot after just five minutes.
And it was not to be long before the opening goal arrived, as Caceres’ run was picked out with a very neat Joe Lolley pass, the midfielder smartly applying the finish.
Lolley continued to be a threat down the right flank, rolling a shot wide after good work from Wood, and the two combined successfully half an hour into the game to double Sydney FC’s tally.
Another strike towards goal from the Englishman was trapped from close range by Wood, who fired into the back of the net past Thomas Heward-Belle.
Western struggled to get a foothold throughout the afternoon, with an off-target strike from Michael Ruhs late in the first half and a free-kick from Daniel Penha in the second – routinely saved by Andrew Redmayne – the best they could muster.
The second half for the hosts, however, would bring further fortune, as Rodwell added gloss to the win with his first goal in Sydney FC colours.
The moment could in fact have arrived roughly 10 seconds earlier for the centre-half, rising highest to head onto the post, but staying forward from a set-piece rewarded Rodwell – who tapped home a low pass across the six-yard box from Lolley to etch his name in the club’s goalscoring archives.
The return of Rhyan Grant from injury provided Corica with a welcome boost as he entered the fray for the final 14 minutes – and an unscathed 67 minutes too for Robert Mak, who started despite only returning from international duty with Slovakia under 72 hours ago.
Melbourne City next up it is, for a Sydney side buoyant in confidence ahead of the upcoming A-League Men campaign.
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 6. Jack RODWELL (3. Aaron GURD 85’), 8. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 10. Joe LOLLEY, 11. Robert MAK (25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI 67’), 12. Corey HOLLMAN (22. Max BURGESS 67’), 13. Pat WOOD (19. Mitch GLASSON 76’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©, 27. Kealey ADAMSON (23. Rhyan GRANT 76’).
Unused Subs: 30. Adam PAVLECIC (GK), 18. Matthew SCARCELLA.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Western United: 1. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 4. James DONACHIE, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 8. Lachlan WALES (11. Daniel PENHA 59’), 9. Michael RUHS, 17. Benjamin GARUCCIO, 19. Joshua RISDON ©, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI (39. Matthew GRIMALDI 71’), 32. Angus THURGATE (10. Steven LUSTICA 59’), 41. Oliver LAVALE (38. Noah BOTIC 59’), 77. Riku DANZAKI.
Unused Subs:33. Matthew SUTTON (GK), 27. Jacob TRATT, 35. Max BISETTO.
Yellow Cards: Risdon (89’)
Red Cards: None
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Casey Reibelt