Unbeaten Run Continues With City Draw

Sydney FC played out a 1-1 draw with Melbourne City at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening, stretching our A-League Men unbeaten run to six matches.

Sydney FC 1 (Courtney-Perkins 29’) Melbourne City 1 (Tilio 61’)

Moments That Mattered

22’ – MAK HITS POST – A huge chance for the Sky Blues, as Mak clatters a shot against the post after Young saves from Lolley.

29’ – COURTNEY-PERKINS GOAL – A wonderful move from Sydney drives through the Melbourne midfield before Caceres finds Courtney-Perkins on the left, his finish crashing into the top corner.

61’ – TILIO GOAL – From Sydney’s corner, goalkeeper Young claims the ball and launches a pinpoint ball up to Tilio, who advances forward and fires in the leveller.

Courtney-Perkins fires is home witjh his left boot. Photo: Jaime Castaneda

What They Said: Ufuk Talay: “It’s frustrating to drop two points at home, of course. I thought we played well, but just couldn’t convert chances at times and it was disappointing to concede from our attacking corner.

“I thought the game was in the balance at times, and there were perhaps moments in the first half when we should have scored. They did their homework on us and let our full-backs receive the ball in wide areas, as opposed to our nines and tens making forward runs. We still got into good areas, but weren’t quite clinical enough.

“We’ll be preparing for the derby now, and we’ll be going there to win.”

Courtney-Perkins celebrates scoring

Match Report:

Sydney FC were forced to settle for a point on Saturday evening against Melbourne City, but with a 1-1 draw continued their A-League Men unbeaten run to six games.

Jordan Courtney-Perkins gave the Sky Blues a deserved half-time lead by finishing off a superb team move in sumptuous style.

Marco Tilio was assisted by goalkeeper Jamie Young to level the clash in the second half, and that goal emerged to be the last of the scoring on the night.

Ufuk Talay opted for an unchanged starting XI from last weekend’s victory over Adelaide United, with his side approaching matchday in fine form.

During a first half which saw Sydney produce some elegant play in possession, Talay’s side maintained their position on the front foot and created a genuine chance inside the first four minutes, Fabio Gomes heading Luke Brattan’s pinpoint long ball just wide.

A strong 15,000+ crowd at Allianz Stadium today.

Midway through the half, Joe Lolley showed his quality once again and carved open space to force City’s Young into a smart save. The ball was nonetheless parried to Robert Mak, whose rebound came back off the near post.

But just before the half-hour mark, the opener arrived from an unlikely source. A superb move starting from the Sky Blues’ defensive half on the right-hand side, the ball was threaded through the midfield and out to Courtney-Perkins on the left via Anthony Caceres. The left-back strode forward with the confidence built from his recent displays, showing the initiative to reach the penalty area and arrow a terrific strike into the top corner, leaving Young rooted to the spot.

The belief remained in Sydney throughout the first half, and if not for Young, Caceres’ well-struck volley would have doubled the advantage 10 minutes later. Mak then tried his luck with a curling effort just inside the area, floating just the wrong side of the far stick.

Luke Brattan’s 5th booking of the season means he will miss the Sydney Derby next week

The importance of retaining focus at the back demonstrated itself two minutes before the interval, as Rhyan Grant made a critical intervention to deny Socceroos teammate Mathew Leckie a near-certain goal from close range, following a square pass from Melbourne’s right-hand flank.

As a result, the Sky Blues were certainly good value for the slender lead that remained after the first 45.

The second half was one without a great deal of clear-cut chances, but the Sky Blues continued to hassle and press, seeing plenty of the ball high up the pitch.

Mak’s deflected shot looped onto the roof of the net, before Young pulled off an important stop from close range for a Sydney corner.

Claiming the resulting set-piece, Young’s long kick found Tilio on the right-hand side, and his rapid footwork enabled him to stride on and find the far corner for a Melbourne equaliser.

Marco Tilio equalises for City

The hosts looked to regain the advantage and found space in the final third, with Max Burgess and later Nathan Amanatidis and Jaiden Kucharski on the field.

A couple of Lolley attempts aside, Young was not forced into great difficulty and Melbourne later passed up a golden chance to claim the points, as Jamie Maclaren’s free-kick was blocked by the Sydney wall, before the visitors’ captain then headed over the following chipped cross unmarked.

A buoyant Allianz Stadium encouraged their team towards goal as the minutes ebbed away, and a strong double opportunity in injury time saw Lolley denied from a tight angle, before Burgess volleyed off target.

The Cove were fantastic yet again. Photo: Jaime Castaneda

Those glances at goal proved to be the final actions of the contest, as the teams shared the points. The draw keeps Sydney fifth on the A-League ladder after 18 rounds, with March beginning next week in the shape of a potentially crucial Sydney derby in Parramatta with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 8. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 9. Fabio GOMES (22. Max BURGESS 69’), 10. Joe LOLLEY, 11. Robert MAK (28. Nathan AMANATIDIS 75’), 12. Corey HOLLMAN (25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI 88’), 17. Anthony CACERES, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©, 27. Hayden MATTHEWS.

Unused Subs: 20. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 15. Gabriel LACERDA, 18. Matty SCARCELLA, 19. Mitch GLASSON.

Yellow Cards: Brattan (43’), Burgess (84’), Redmayne (87’)

Red Cards: None

Melbourne City: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC (17. Terry ANTONIS 60’), 7. Mathew LECKIE (21. Alessandro LOPANE 69’), 8. James JEGGO, 9. Jamie MACLAREN ©, 14. Vicente FERNANDEZ, 15. Andrew NABBOUT (44. Marin JAKOLIS 69’), 22. Curtis GOOD, 23. Marco TILIO, 25. Callum TALBOT (4. Nuno REIS 90’), 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN.

Unused Subs: 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 37. Max CAPUTO, 38. Harry POLITIDIS.

Yellow Cards: Lopane (76’)

Red Cards: None

Venue: Allianz Stadium

Referee: Adam Kersey

Attendance: 15,120