Sydney Youngsters Star In 2-1 Win


Sydney FC continued its resurgence under Frank Farina with goals to in-form youngsters Sebastian Ryall and Rhyan Grant giving the Sky Blues a well-deserved 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix across the Tasman this afternoon.

Sydney FC continued its resurgence under Frank Farina with goals to in-form youngsters Sebastian Ryall and Rhyan Grant giving the Sky Blues a well-deserved 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix across the Tasman this afternoon.

The 10-man Sky Blues survived a late scare following a 91st minute Jeremy Brockie penalty but thoroughly deserved the victory after dominating the match at Westpac Stadium.

Farina made three changes to the side that arrested the four game losing streak last week with Jason Culina making his first starting appearance, Ryall reinstated after a one-match suspension and Blake Powell thrust into the striking role in place of the injured Alessandro Del Piero.

The Sky Blues started with purpose and renewed energy, especially in defence with the visitors winning possession high up the field through an emphasis on pressing the Phoenix player in possession.

Both sides also played with vigour in defence with Jeremy Brockie (Wellington) and Terry McFlynn (Sydney) picking up yellow cards inside the first 15 minutes.

As the game settled down, Sydney FC also had joy down the left hand side with Fabio over-lapping although there were few chances in the opening stages.

The first opportunity in front of goal fell to Yairo Yau after he ghosted into the back post to meet a Culina free kick but could only send the ball sailing over the crossbar from the edge of the six yard box.

Wellington did cause a few headaches when they broke quickly with a Brockie volley flashing past the far post in the 23rd minute.

Just as it looked like the Sky Blues would come up empty in the first half, Ryall bobbed up to head Sydney FC into the lead in the shadows of half time. A well-worked short corner saw Culina clip a cross to the far post and Ryall came around the back to head home unopposed.

Sydney FC started the second half by maintaining control and Wellington reacted by making a double change in the 54th minute with Louis Fenton and Tyler Boyd injected into the game in place of Alex Smith and Stein Huysegems.

Farina was next to make a move from the bench as Culina was replaced after 60 minutes by Paul Reid after putting in a fantastic performance in his first start for the Sky Blues.

The changes did little to alter the momentum as Sydney FC continued to dominate possession against a Phoenix team that struggled to break down the Sky Blues rear guard.

Sydney FC then took a deserved 2-0 lead on 70 minutes when Rhyan Grant slotted home after a delightful slide rule through ball from McFlynn unlocked the Phoenix defence.

Wellington introduced speedster Benjamin Totori with 15 minutes remaining and it allowed the home side to get back into the game as the Sky Blues looked set to close out the match.

Sydney FC had a nervous last few minutes when McFlynn received his second yellow card in the 85th minute when a shot cannoned into his arm with referee Kris Griffiths-Jones judging a handball.

Wellington pulled back a late goal when Brockie scored a late penalty after Adam Griffiths fouled Manny Muscat in the 91st minute, setting up a grandstand finish.

The last five minutes were frantic with chances at both ends of the field. Wellington ‘keeper Mark Paston was the first to pull off a great save, denying Yau in the 92nd minute before Vedran Janjetovic saved a Brockie header at full strength in the 94th minute.

In the end it was a well-deserved victory for the Sky Blues that continues the resurgence under Farina.

Sydney FC now switches its attention to the eagerly-anticipated “Sydney Derby” as Allianz Stadium prepares to host the Sydney FC v Western Sydney clash on Saturday night (December 15). Kick off is 7.45pm.

Sydney FC 2 (Sebastian Ryall 45, Rhyan Grant 70) d Wellington Phoenix 1 (Jeremy Brockie 91)
Westpac Stadium
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. FABIO, 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 6. Jason CULINA (9. Paul REID ‘61), 8. Adam GRIFFITHS, 12. Blake POWELL (24. Hagi GLIGOR ‘89), 15. Terry McFLYNN (c), 21. Yairo YAU, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT (14. Mitch MALLIA ‘78).
Sub not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI.
Yellow cards: McFlynn 13 and 85, Powell 37, Abbas 77, Griffiths 91.
Red card: McFlynn 85.

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Mark PASTON, 7. Leo BERTOS, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Alex SMITH (16. Louis FENTON ‘54), 17. Vince LIA, 8. Paul IFILL (9. Benjamin TOTORI ‘71), 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS (12. Tyler BOYD ‘54), 11. Jeremy BROCKIE.
Sub not used: 30. Griffin McMASTER.
Yellow cards: Brockie 9, Bertos 74.