Injuries, suspensions and Olympic duty tested Sydney FC’s depth but John Kosmina’s men have overcome the obstacles, and the Queensland Roar to win tonight’s Pre-Season Cup opener in Campbelltown.
Injuries, suspensions and Olympic duty tested Sydney FC-s depth but John Kosmina-s men have overcome the obstacles, and the Queensland Roar to win tonight-s Pre-Season Cup opener in Campbelltown.
FC struggled to contain the visitors in the first half, and went down a goal early in the second, but a five minute flurry shortly after the restart saw Sydney put its nose in front, and hold on to secure the victory.
“We had a bit of a makeshift team so I-m quite happy,” said coach, John Kosmina. “We-ve planned a pre-season program and you know, to get a result tonight was good.”
Queensland came close early when Serginho Van Dijk received the ball in space, and it took a great save from Sydney centurion, Clint Bolton to deny his strike after only three minutes.
Van Dijk had another chance soon after when Tim Smits delivered a cross from the left, but the Dutchman-s free header fell straight to the keeper.
Sydney struggled to find its rhythm and was kept firmly on the back foot, but Mitchell Prentice almost opened the scoring with a long-range rocket mid way through the first half.
Roar keeper, Liam Reddy denied Sydney FC-s new recruit however, and Queensland kept up the pressure, with Van dijk again the danger man, firing across the face of goal in the 32nd minute.
Queensland-s best chance came seven minutes before the break when Massimo Murdocca glanced towards goal from six yards out.
Bolton couldn-t get back in position but the ball dribbled just wide of the far post, and Sydney survived.
The sky blues suffered a scare of a different kind just after the restart when Simon Colosimo went to ground following a heavy challenge.
He was up quickly, but the Roar soon inflicted some real damage when Van Dijk made space for himself in Sydney-s box and finally added his name to the scoresheet.
Queensland-s lead didn-t last long however.
A free kick at the other end opened up Roar-s defence, and schoolboy sensation, Chris Payne was perfectly positioned on the far post to clean up the crumbs.
Four minutes later the visitors were reduced to ten men when Hyuk-Su Seo was sent from the field for bringing Alex Brosque down on the edge of the box, and Sydney took full advantage of the free kick, with Prentice-s sweet strike leaving the keeper stranded.
The Queenslanders almost clawed their way back into the game as time ticked down, but Tahj Minnieconn had his shot blocked by the desperate defence, and moments later it was Bolton that came to the rescue, rushing out to deny MInnieconn again.
Close to full time the Sydney keeper was forced to work hard to avoid embarrassment when he was caught well outside his area, but the custodian calmly rounded two attackers before disposing of the ball and the visitors didn-t get another opportunity, Sydney winning 2-1.
“We didn-t plan to have seven blokes out for the first serious game of the season, but that-s what we-ve got,” said Kosmina. “We knew two of them would be away, the two boys at the Olympics, so I was happy with it, you know we-ll play our way into some form.”
Next Sunday Sydney FC will travel to Gosford to take on arch-rivals, the Central Coast Mariners, before playing their last preliminary game in the Pre-Season Cup against the Wellington Phoenix in Wollongong on August 2.
Sydney FC 1. Clint Bolton (gk), 2. Iain Fyfe, 3. Nikolas Tsattalios, 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Mitchell Prentice, 10. Steve Corica [c] (18. Adam Casey 67-), 12. Alex Brosque, 15. Terry McFlynn (24. Ryan Walsh 74-), 16. Chris Payne, 17. Jacob Timpano, 21. Adam Biddle
Unused substitutes 20. Ivan Necevski, 25. Chris Van Leur
Unavailable 6. Tony Popovic (injury), 7. Robbie Middleby (suspension), 8. Stuart Musialik (Olyroos), 11.Brendon Santalab (injury), 19. Mark Bridge (Olyroos), 22. Mike Enfield (injury), 23. John Aloisi (injury)
Yellow Cards McFynn 17- Adam Casey 79- Simon Colosimo 86-
Red Cards nil
Goals Chris Payne 54- Mitchell Prentice 59-
Queensland Roar 1. Liam Reddy (gk), 2. Andrew Packer, 3. Luke Devere, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Seginho Van Dijk, 10. Charlie Miller (7. Michael Zullo 62-), 13. Chris Grossman ( 12. Tahj Minnieconn 69-), 14. Ben Griffin, 15. Matthew McKay, 16. Hyuk-Su Seo,23. Tim Smits (17. Mitchell Nichols 62-)
Unused substitute 20. Griffin McMaster
Yellow Cards Andrew Packer 44-
Red Cards Hyuk-Su Seo 57-
Goals Serginho Van Dijk 49-
Referee Matthew Breeze