Sydney FC’s Foxtel Y-League squad ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Canberra United at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra on Sunday.
The kick off was pushed back to 6:00pm due to extreme hot weather concerns and was switched to the AIS due to poor pitch conditions at the original venue of Deakin Stadium.
Despite the later kick off, the match was still played in searing temperatures edging over 30 degrees which required drinks breaks in each half.
Canberra United set up with five at the back as they started with a 5-4-1 formation and it took Sydney FC some time to find a break through the compact defensive lines.
As the Sky Blues enjoyed the majority of possession a delightful ball was swung into the penalty area by skipper Liam McGing, with the delivery finding Marco Tilio running into space who took the ball in his stride with a deft touch before slamming home the opener after 31 minutes.
Sydney FC’s dominance was again rewarded just before the break when they doubled the lead after Jordi Swibel laid the ball back to Callum Talbot on the edge of the box.
Talbot unleashed a strong shot which took a deflection over the diving keeper into the back of the net for 2-0 at half time.
Sydney FC controlled the second stanza with the Canberra outfit reliant on long direct balls which were well sniffed out by McGing, Ben Van Meurs and Joel King across the backline.
The Sky Blues looked to extend their lead at every opportunity and were unlucky when Ben Koop struck the post with a well directed shot, while Harry Van Der Saag saw his effort on goal well saved by the Canberra custodian.
The pressure finally paid dividends with some clever combination play between Sam McIllhatton and Van Der Saag on the right hand side.
The interplay sent Van Der Saag surging forward and he crossed to the back post for Jordi Swibel to rise above the defence and head home the third in the 78th minute and wrap up the points at 3-0.
The win and three goal margin moved Sydney FC to the top of the Conference B ladder on 15 points equal with Western Sydney Wanderers but ahead on goal difference with a +8 differential (14:6) against the Wanderers +6 (13:7).
The two sides will meet in the final round of the Foxtel Y-League regular season next Sunday 27 January, with the Premiership and a ticket to the Grand Final on the line.
The match will be played at Marconi Stadium 4:30pm kick off.
Sydney FC 3 (Marco Tilio 31′; Callum Talbot 45 +3′; Jordi Swibel 78′) def. Canberra United 0
Sydney FC Line Up – Duro Dragicevic; Callum Talbot (Harry Van Der Saag 58′); Liam McGing; Ben Van Meurs; Joel King; Sam McIllhatton; Patrick Scibilio; Giuseppe Tilio / (Ryan Teague 65′); Marco Tilio / (Ben Koop 73′); Jordi Swibel; Hamish Lamberton.
Sub not used: Adam Pavlesic (GK)