The Australia Cup has returned to the Allianz Stadium as Sydney FC came from behind to defeat Brisbane Roar 3-1 on Saturday night.
A Fabio Gomes double and a Robert Mak strike secured the Cup as Joe Lolley notched the Mark Viduka Medal for player of the match.
Sydney FC 3 (Gomes pen 67’, 90’, Mak 72’) def. Brisbane Roar 1 (Waddingham 18’)
Moments That Mattered
7’ – CACERES GOES CLOSE – Caceres lines up a well-hit strike, which Freke gets down to his right to parry behind.
18’ – WADDINGHAM GOAL – Mileusnic is denied from close range, but Waddingham pokes in the loose ball for Brisbane.
31’ – CACERES DENIED – Caceres bursts into the box, but Neville’s great challenge stops his shot at the last second.
45+2’ – WOOD WIDE – Wood does well to get on the end of Lolley’s cross from the right, diverting just wide.
67’ – GOMES GOAL – After Hore’s handball in the box, Gomes starts off in style by tucking away the penalty kick.
72’ – MAK GOAL – Mak arrives from close range to tap home Lolley’s square pass to give Sydney the lead in the blink of an eye.
90’ – GOMES GOAL – Kucharski’s shot is parried by Freke, and Gomes is on hand to wrap it up.
What They Said: Steve Corica: “We’re obviously very happy to win the trophy, and for me it’s very important the way the boys turned it around in the second half.
“Obviously it’s been a few years since we’ve won a trophy, so we’re very happy to be back with a trophy in pre-season. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“It gets us into the AFC Cup which is fantastic, but now we’re ready to focus on the A-League season.”
Joe Lolley: “I thought we were brilliant in the second half and deserved to win the game. We had to show good character, and in the end it was a good performance.
“We had a few things to sort out after half-time – to be fair to them, they were excellent in the first half. Harsh and deserved words were said, and we came out in the second half a different team.
“Within five or 10 minutes of the second half starting, we looked far more confident and we went on to be the better side.”
Sydney FC have secured the Australia Cup again after coming from behind to overcome Brisbane Roar 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium.
Substitute Fabio Gomes fired his first two goals in Sky Blue in a ruthless second half, either side of Robert Mak’s effort to put Steve Corica’s army in front.
Tom Waddingham gave Brisbane a half-time lead at the Allianz, but a much improved display after the break proved enough for Sydney FC.
The win not only continues an unbeaten start to the season ahead of the start of the A-League Men campaign in a fortnight, but also earns a play-off spot in the AFC Cup.
The first 10 minutes looked encouraging for Sydney, creating a chance through Anthony Caceres, finding space to force Macklin Freke into a save down to his right.
But from there on in the first half, Brisbane got themselves onto the front foot and looked threatening in areas both wide and centrally.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Roar did open the scoring, as teenager Waddingham was on hand to poke home a loose ball after Nikola Mileusnic’s initial shot was blocked.
Whilst not creating too many more clear-cut chances, Ross Aloisi’s side did enjoy a lot of the ball, but Sydney FC looked to respond with Caceres again going close on the half-hour mark – denied by a well-timed block from Scott Neville.
In first-half injury-time, Pat Wood made an excellent run to meet Joe Lolley’s delivery, but diverted just past the post as the teams went in at the break separated by the solitary goal.
The second half started with a much different tempo for the Sky Blues, as Lolley burst clear down the right and looked for Wood, only for Neville’s interception.
Wood then had a couple more sniffs at goal, using his pace to reach a forward ball only to be smothered by Freke, before the goalkeeper then took in his shot on the turn from inside the area.
As the game opened up, Andrew Redmayne was also forced into action, making a save to keep out Jay O’Shea.
Jake Girdwood-Reich was next to go close, his deflected effort tipped over by Freke, before a turning point in the contest.
Henry Hore’s handball in the box from the resulting corner saw referee Ben Abraham take no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Gomes – on the pitch for no longer than two minutes – confidently dispatched the penalty to square the game, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
And the momentum was firmly with Corica’s men by this point, as they broke three-on-two into the Brisbane box. Lolley did excellently to pick out Mak, who was left with a simple tap-in to set the Allianz alight in sky blue.
Sydney’s belief was sky-high following the turnaround and the dominance continued to show into the final 15 minutes, as Lolley glided through the Roar defence to carve out another chance for Mak, who fired wide 10 yards from goal.
And Gomes’ clever run onto Max Burgess’ threaded pass nearly wrapped up the trophy, his chipped effort deflecting wide.
But as stoppage time beckoned, the cup was finally locked firmly in the cabinet, as Gomes added his second after Jaiden Kucharski’s shot was kept out by Freke. An initial offside flag was overturned by the referee, sealing the victory and the silverware.
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS (27. Kealey ADAMSON 46’), 8. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 10. Joe LOLLEY, 11. Robert MAK (25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI 84’), 12. Corey HOLLMAN (22. Max BURGESS 46’), 13. Pat WOOD (9. Fabio GOMES 65’), 15. Gabriel LACERDA, 17. Anthony CACERES, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©.
Unused Subs: 30. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 3. Aaron GURD, 28. Nathan AMANATIDIS.
Yellow Cards: Girdwood-Reich (39’).
Red Cards: None
Brisbane Roar: 1. Macklin FREKE (GK), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 5. Tom ALDRED ©, 6 Joe CALETTI (14. Jonas MARKOVSKI 79’), 7. Florin BELENGUER, 10. Nikola MILEUSNIC (22. Alexander PARSONS 65’), 13. Henry HORE, 15. Tom WADDINGHAM (12. Taras GOMULKA 61’), 19. Jack HINGERT, 26. Jay O’SHEA, 35. Louis ZABALA (27. Kai TREWIN 79’).
Unused Subs:29. Matthew ACTON (GK), 30. Quinn MacNICOL, 32. James NIKOLOVSKI.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Ben Abraham