Sydney FC defied windy conditions to post a one nil win.
Sydney FC captain Steve Corica has celebrated his 200th game in Australian national leagues with a goal to set his side up for an important away victory against Wellington in the Hyundai A League match in Palmerston North.
The match was played in challenging conditions with the Sky Blues running into a wind of up to 85km an hour in the first half.
The visitors also suffered a setback losing John Aloisi to a hamstring injury before the match.
But Corica made the most of his opportunity in the 16th minute, slotting in a penalty kick to give his side a one nil lead .
The penalty was calmly taken from the experienced Corica after Alex Brosque was taken out in the box.
Conditions were extremely challenging with the aerial ball often proving to be a lottery for both sides.
Sydney had the best of the play in the first half despite the strong winds.
Sydney had a number of good chances to score in the second half, with a couple of Brosque strikes the best opportunities.
The visitors suffered a genuine scare late in the match when Simon Colosimo received a red card in the 80th minute for his challenge on Vince Lia.
Wellington tried their best to find a late equaliser but Sydney defended strongly to record a gritty win.
Coach Vitezslav Lavicka says the win was a big one and the result of some smart play.
“We knew in this wind if we keep the ball on the floor we have a good chance. First half was when we won the game. Against the wind we played smart football and deserved the lead. To come a long way and play disciplined in very difficult conditions was a good victory, good performance.”
“It was also good to win away from home because we haven-t done that for a long time. But next we have Melbourne and that is very important game for us so we must look forward immediately.”
The win away from home was a confidence boost for Sydney FC after recent away losses to Gold Coast and Perth.
It ended a run of 14 undefeated matches at home for Wellington.
Sydney FC has now set up an intriguing top of the table clash with Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium next Saturday night at 8pm.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Wellington Phoenix 0
Sydney FC 1
FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Local kick-off: 7.00pm (5.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Michael Hester
Wellington Phoenix squad: 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, , 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 17. Vince LIA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c).
Substitutes:23. Costa BARBAROUSES (67, 14. Adrian CACERES)
Substitutes not used: 30.Jonathan GOULD (gk), 5. DIEGO, 10. Michael FERRANTE.
Yellow Cards: 4. Jon MCKAIN (15), 17. Vince LIA (34), 11.DANIEL (90+1)
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3.Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 16. Chris PAYNE, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.
Substitutes: 2. Sebastian RYALL (81, 16. Chris PAYNE), 7. Brendan GAN (85, 6. Karol KISEL) 23. Ryan GRANT (90+3, 10.Steve CORICA(c))
Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)
Goals: 10.Steve Corica (16)
Yellow Cards: 10. Steve CORICA (c) (71), 14. Alex BROSQUE (78), 1. Clint BOLTON (84)
Red Cards: 4. Simon COLOSIMO (80)