Sydney FC sparkle in A-League return

The Sky Blues have defeated Adelaide United 3-1 in Adelaide, after two goals by Fiona Worts and a penalty scored by Princess Ibini, saw Sydney FC return to winning ways in the Liberty A-League. The Sky Blues now climb to 7th on the ladder with games in hand after they returned from their AFC Women’s Club Championship campaign.

Sydney FC 3 (Worts 20’, 27’, Ibini 78’) def. Adelaide United 1 (Blake 45+3)

Fiona Worts celebrates her goal

Moments that Mattered:

15′- CONNORS CHANCE– Fiona Worts releases the ball to Princess Ibini and taps the ball off to Shea Connors, who dribbles around Emily Hodgson. She then smacks the ball towards the left corner of the goal, but Grove can sway the ball away. The ball finds the feet of Tori Tumeth, who cannot find the target. 

20′ WORTS GOAL– Worts opens the scoring against the Reds after Tori Tumeth ran through the Adelaide left side and laid the ball off to Fiona Worts, who slotted the ball into the Adelaide net.  

27′ WORTS GOAL- Abbey Lemon runs past Hodgson and crosses the ball onto the head of Fiona Worts, who nods the second goal of the afternoon for the Sky Blues. 

28′ WHYMAN SAVE– Adelaide looked to respond immediately when Hannah Blake received the ball on the edge of the box and fired it towards the left corner of Whyman’s goal. However, after extending her right arm, the Sky Blues keeper diverted the shot for a corner. 

45+ 1′ CONNORS CHANCE– Lemon receives the ball in the centre of Adelaide’s half and lays the ball off Shea Connors, who fires a shot towards the bottom left corner of Grove’s goal. However, the ball skims the post, denying the Sky Blues the chance to go 3-0 up at the break. 

45+3 BLAKE GOAL – Hannah Blake receives the ball from a sharp through ball from Emily Hodgson. Blake then smacks the ball into the bottom right corner of Whyman’s goal.   

48’ HOLMMAN CHANCE – Shea Connors receives the ball inside the box and tries to out-dribble Annalee Grove. However, one-too-many touches see her lose possession. However, Fiona Worts picks it up and crosses it to Shay Hollman, whose shot ricochets off Grove for a corner. 

62’ IBINI CHANCE- Princess Ibini hits the ball from a long distance, and the ball loops towards the Adelaide goal, forcing Grove’s intervention.

78’ IBINI PENALTY- Annabel Haffeden trips Princess Ibini by her right foot, who tries to drop the shoulder inside the box. The referee then calls a penalty and Ibini thumps the ball from the penalty spot past Annalee Grove into the bottom left corner. 

Princess Ibini celebrates with Charlotte McLean

What They Said: Ante Juric

“Today was a great performance considering our recent games and overseas travel.

Overall I was very happy, though if I am being critical, we do need to take our chances. If we did that today we could have been up by 5 at half time.

We are looking forward to next weekends game and we will prepare accordingly.”

Match Report:

In a physical affair between Sydney FC and Adelaide United, two goals for Fiona Worts in six minutes and a penalty in the second half by Princess Ibini saw the Sky Blues wave away a potential Adelaide comeback after a late first-half goal by Hannah Blake. 

Initially, Sydney FC looked confident in their first match back in Australia since their Asian campaign, turning over the ball in Adelaide’s half. The Sky Blues were physical, which stopped Adelaide’s flow and allowed Sydney FC to generate chances.

The Sky Blues first significant sniff at the Red’s goal came in the 15th minute when Shea Connors released the ball towards Annalee Grove before a second shot by Tori Tumeth skied the crossbar.

Sydney FC’s early attacking momentum paid off when Tori Tumeth broke through Adelaide’s left side and drew out Grove before centring the ball to Fiona Worts, who popped into the centre of an open net.

The Sky Blues doubled their advantage a few minutes later when Abbey Lemon picked up the ball outside the box and sneaked past Hodgson. She then lobbed the ball over the Adelaide defence. She found Fiona Worts, who headed it unmarked into the bottom-left corner of the Adelaide net.

Sydney FC continued to stretch Adelaide’s defence and kept Adelaide in their half; however, Emily Hodgson slotted the ball past the Sky Blues’ defence and found an unmarked Hannah Blake, who halved the deficit after squeezing it past an astonished Jada Whyman.

Abbey Lemon challenging for the ball

It seemed that the late-half goal didn’t phase the Sky Blues as they immediately returned to their clear-cut chance attack, which troubled the Adelaide defence. This time, a flurry of chances by Connors and then Hollman saw Sydney FC stretch The Reds’ defence yet again.

As the match wore on, Adelaide began to dominate possession, duplicating the aggression the Sky Blues employed in the first half. This attack troubled the Sydney defence, which saw Abbey Lemon pick up a yellow card after a challenge against Hannah Blake.

Charlotte McLean and Jess Seaman celebrate at full time
Zara Kruger challenges for the ball

As full-time beckoned, Sydney FC took a bigger foothold in the game after Princess Ibini scored a penalty. However, Annalee Grove picked the correct side but was unable to stop it. Annabel Haffenden conceded the sentence after she tripped the Sky Blues captain.

In the end, considering the length of travel in the past week, Sydney FC will be happy to pick up three points ahead of their return to Sydney next week against Melbourne City.

An injury to Lucy Johnson was the only blemish to a good afternoon in South Australia

Sydney FC: 1. Jada WHYMAN (GK), 3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 4. Tori TUMETH, 9. Shea CONNORS (13. Aideen KEANE 57’), 14. Abbey LEMON, 18. Taylor RAY, 20. Princess IBINI-SEI ©, 21. Shay HOLLMAN, 22. Indiana DOS SANTOS (6. Lucy JOHNSON 69’ (19. Zara KRUGER 73’)), 23. Fiona WORTS, 25. Jessica SEAMAN.

Unused Subs: 30. Tahlia FRANCO (GK), 2. Margaux Chauvet.

Yellow Cards: Hollman (13’), Whyman (45+3), Juric (coach) (45+3′), Lemon (63’), Keane (81’).

Red Cards: None

Adelaide United: 1. Annalee GROVE (GK), 2. Emily HODGSON, 5. Sarah MORGAN, 6. Hannah BLAKE (14. Jenna HOLTZ 73’), 7. Mariah LEE, 11. Isabel HODGSON © (18. Annabel HAFFENDEN 75’), 12. Nanako SASAKI, 13. Ella TONKIN, 16. Dylan HOLMES, 19. Maruschka WALDUS (9. Rosetta TAYLOR 67’), 23. Alana JANCEVSKI (28. Chrissy PANAGARIS 85’).

Unused Subs: 21. Claudia JENKINS (GK).

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Venue: Marden Sports Complex

Referee: Lara Lee