It was a feel-good finish to a frustrating season for Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday evening, humiliating the Newcastle Jets 4-0 in one of the side’s most vibrant performances of the campaign.
It was a feel-good finish to a frustrating season for Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday evening, humiliating the Newcastle Jets 4-0 in one of the side-s most vibrant performances of the campaign.
An exquisite first-half double from Alex Brosque put a listless Newcastle out of the contest, and two late goals ensured Iain Fyfe and his other departing teammates were sent off on the right note.
While the win was scant consolation for missing the finals, John Kosmina felt the entertaining display showed what might have been.
“It was a good performance, and it shows was a difference a player or two can make,” Kosmina reflected. “There-s no substitute for success, but as things worked out you wonder about a couple of opportunities [3-0 up against Central Coast and leading Melbourne 2-0] that would-ve given us five extra points.”
Adam Griffiths started off a horror afternoon in his final match as a Jet by missing the target with a 7th minute free-header wide off a Song corner.
It was all the home side from then on. Brosque slotted a curling finish past Ante Covic after 12 minutes, latching onto Stuart Musialik-s first-time ball to punish Newcastle for carelessly giving away possession in defence.
The opener proved the tonic the Sky Blues needed to begin to enjoy themselves, with the goal spurring the hosts into a carefree passing game highlighted by Brosque, Mark Bridge and Steve Corica-s movement up front.
To be fair, Newcastle helped the Sky Blues cause with some disinterested defending.
Griffiths, who was hooked by his coach at half-time, sloppily flicked the ball away to Shannon Cole on the edge of the area who cannoned a shot into Tarek Elrich for a corner, from which Brendan Gan tried his luck from distance with a swirling strike that brushed past the top corner.
Skipper, Steve Corica had a spring in his step all afternoon, but spurned a guilt-edged chance on 28 minutes when he nudged a pin-point Cole cross into Covic-s grasp when he could-ve buried it with a clear sight on goal.
A pedestrian Newcastle was restricted to a Tarek Elrich long range effort, as compact Sydney defending looked much more assured with Simon Colosimo marshalling the backline for the first time in 5 months.
On the other side of the ledger, a champagne piece of interplay between Brosque and Bridge produced Sydney-s deserved 2-0 half-time advantage.
A Bridge flick-on, Brosque header, and a wall-pass between the pair put the number-14 free onto goal, where he sold Covic with a shimmy before delightfully chipping the ball home for his and his side-s second.
Sydney could-ve put Newcastle out of its misery by the end of the stanza – the best chance came when Corica pinched the ball from Griffiths, strolled into the box and forced Covic to palm away sharply down to his left, with Bridge testing the Newcastle keeper again on the rebound.
The second term was played with the freedom of a dead-rubber, with the Sky Blues launching onslaught after onslaught on the Jets- defence.
Captain Corica made way for John Aloisi to a standing ovation after an hour, as the small but enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the final exchanges of the season.
They willed Brosque on as he chased his hat-trick. He enjoyed a host of half-chances, and came within the width of the crossbar when he guided Rhyan Grant-s well-weighted chip onto the woodwork on 63 minutes.
Jin-Hyun Song and young substitute, James Virgili should-ve nicked a goal for the Jets as the 2nd half wore on, and if their wayward finishing summed up Newcastle-s performance, then Mark Milligan-s own goal capped off their awful afternoon.
Fyfe pinched possession from Antun Kovacic dwelling on the ball, and Milligan flung out his leg to block the centre, only to see it roll past a helplessly stranded Covic.
The effervescent Kofi Danning came on to an electric reception and was all energy as he peppered Newcastle-s right flank.
Sydney-s other rising star Grant, who Kosmina said played like “he-s been out there for 10 years”, floated another great ball into the box for an Aloisi header, which the marquee man saw tipped onto the crossbar by the visiting custodian.
The dominant performance was round out in the 85th minute when Bridge snared a goal in his best game of the year.
Brosque peeled off down the left flank and drilled a low cross across the face that rebounded into Bridge-s path and infuriated a livid Covic.
While Newcastle search to pick up the pieces heading into the Asian Champions League, Sydney can look forward to seeing the likes of Brendan Gan, Danning, Grant and Matt Jurman flourish after their impressive first taste of top-flight football.
The Sky Blue-s two goal hero, Brosque summed it up after the match, saying “it shows what could-ve been” in a season that started and ended with much promise.
Sydney FC 4 (Alex Brosque 12-/41-, Mark Milligan (OG) 76-, Mark Bridge 85-)
Newcastle Jets 0
Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c) (23. John ALOISI 61-), 12. Shannon COLE (35. Kofi DANNING 69-), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 27. Matthew JURMAN, 32. Brendan GAN, 34. Rhyan GRANT (15. Terry McFLYNN 86-).
Substitutes not used: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk).
Yellow Cards: Iain Fyfe 21-.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Alex Brosque 12-/41-, Mark Milligan (OG) 76-, Mark Bridge 85-.
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ante COVIC, 2. Adam GRIFFITHS (28. Jarrad ROSS 46-), 7. Kaz PATAFTA (27. Jesse PINTO 87-), 8. Matt THOMPSON, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG (31. James VIRGILI 67-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 17. Antun KOVACIC, 26. Mark MILLIGAN, 32. Brodie MOOY.
Substitutes not used: 30. Justin PASFIELD (gk).
Yellow Cards: nil.
Red Cards: nil.
Referee: Kevin Docherty.
Crowd: 9,551 at the Sydney Football Stadium.