A third consecutive clean sheet and three well-taken goals were the highlights as Sydney FC finished pre-season with an entertaining 3-0 win against Wellington Phoenix.
Sydney FC 3 (Caceres 69′, 81′, Burgess 86′) def Wellington Phoenix 0
Anthony Caceres notched a double and Max Burgess a late third as the Sky Blues ran out winners against a tough Kiwi outfit.
The sides traded early chances with Brattan’s shot in the fifth minute flying just over before Kosta Barbarouses forced Andrew Redmayne into a diving save to his left in the 12th.
Another Brattan long range effort was deflected behind midway through proceedings and on the half hour Diego Caballo intercepted a pass to put Joe Lolley in on the angle. However the winger’s low shot was saved by keeper Oli Sail’s legs.
Sydney FC’s best chance of the half came in the 36th minute when Adam Le Fondre was brought down in the box. The striker picked himself up to take the spot-kick but edged it just past the keeper’s left hand post as they went in goalless at the break.
Redmayne was to the rescue early in the second half saving from close range from Yan Sasse following a ball across the face of goal from Kraev.
A short corner from Burgess to Lolley ended with the Englishman drilling the ball just over the bar just after the hour.
Two minutes later Burgess, this time on the left, drilled the ball across the face of goal where Paulo Retre’s flick was bundled behind. Lolley’s corner flashed across the face of goal this time and was cleared off the line at the back post.
Sydney FC took the lead in the 69th minute with Brattan launching a phenomenal long pass out to Lolley behind the full back. The Englishman controlled it first time, cut inside and drilled a low shot which was saved by Sail but fell to Caceres at the back post to calmly finish.
The Sky Blues thought they had gone further ahead two minutes later after a slick move resulted in Robert Mak feeding Burgess in the box to finish from a tight angle. However the assistant referee’s flag stopped the celebrations.
A Pat Yazbek effort was deflected wide and an acrobatic effort from Aaron Gurd went close as Steve Corica’s men continued to press in the final stages.
Redmayne tipped one over from Pennington with quarter of an hour to play before a Retre shot from distance at the other end went narrowly wide.
The second eventually came with nine minutes remaining.
Lolley fed Yazbek down the right and he cut the ball back to Caceres who finished low into the corner from the centre of the box.
Phoenix almost pulled one back with five to go when Kraev hit the post from inside the box.
But then Burgess put the result beyond doubt shortly after when he cut inside from the left to finish low, right footed just past the keeper’s outstretched right glove.
Phoenix hit the bar from a free-kick late on but the clean sheet was preserved and Sydney FC head into next Saturday’s opening round match against Melbourne Victory at the new Allianz Stadium high on confidence.