Sydney FC
Hyundai A-League
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Attendance: 25525
Fox Sports
Melbourne City FC


Sydney geared to go

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Preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

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Sydney geared to go
Sydney geared to go
Preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City
Preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

Preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

A blockbuster opener featuring one of the biggest clubs in the Hyundai A-League in Sydney FC against a club that has designs on being the biggest.

A fascinating clash made even more attractive by mega-wealthy City naming David Villa in their travelling party.

Saturday, 11 October 2014
Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 7.30pm local (7:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn

Assistant Referee 2: Ryan Gallagher

Fourth Official: Chris Young

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX SPORTS 1HD & 1 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 702 ABC Sydney, Local Radio NSW, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local radio Victoria Grandstand Digital, Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app 

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SFCvMCY

To purchase tickets visit  

Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 2.Sebastian RYALL, 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 5.Matthew JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 7.Corey GAMEIRO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 19.Nick CARLE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 25.Aaron CALVER, 28.Max BURGESS, 29.George BLACKWOOD.

***two to be omitted***

Ins: Not Applicable

Outs: Not Applicable

Unavailable: 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Hagi GLIGOR, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 21.Mark JANKO, 22.Ali ABBAS (all international duty), 23.Rhyan GRANT (knee – indefinite)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.David VILLA, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 26.Marco MARINO, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD

***two to be omitted***

Ins: 27.Ross ARCHIBALD (promoted – National Youth League)

Outs: Not Applicable

Unavailable: 4.Connor CHAPMAN (glandular fever – ongoing), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (calf – 3-6 weeks), 17.Jason HOFFMAN (suspended – 1 week), 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO (ankles – 3-6 weeks), 21.Stefan MAUK (international duty)


There is a real sense of excitement surrounding these two clubs this season but also an element of the unknown due to the huge amount of change to both sides.

Under experienced new boss Graham Arnold and with a plethora of new attacking options, there is huge expectation on Sydney to perform. Their depth will be tested with a host of key players through international duty and injury, including Marc Janko, Ali Abbas, Bernie Ibini, Sasa Ognenovski and Hagi Gligor.

Most of the focus surrounding City has centred on Spanish superstar David Villa and just how quickly he settles into the team after arriving in Melbourne less than a week ago. Villa is undoubted the superstar in John van ‘t Schip’s side but they have so much talent with ex-EPL playmaker’s Damien Duff and Robbie Koren also in the line-up.


Sydney FC’s five goals in the three A-League games against Melbourne City (Heart) last season all came in the first half of the match, while all three of Melbourne’s came after the half-time break.


While there are some fascinating match-ups all over the park, this contest is all about which of the teams’ new strikeforces will come out on top. In one corner is Sydney FC with the likes of Alex Brosque, Shane Smeltz and Corey Gameiro - City have Villa, Duff, David Williams and Mate Dugandzic.

Whichever of those game-breakers can have the biggest impact may just sway the advantage in their side’s favour.


Have we mentioned David Villa is playing?

The Spanish World Cup winner has arrived in Australia to much fanfare and expectation for his 10-game guest stint. City are hoping he can have a huge impact for them both on and off the field in his short stay. An opening night goal against the Sky Blues would certainly be an ideal start.


It’s always hard to gauge how a side is travelling based on pre-season results but Sydney FC couldn’t head into the new season in better shape. Graham Arnold’s side have lost just once (against EPL club Newcastle United) in 12 games and have looked impressive in both defence and attack.

After an inconsistent start to their pre-season campaign, City has improved with every game and their star-studded squad appears to be peaking at the right time. The two sides met in the Westfield FFA Cup, with Sydney winning 3-1 thanks to two extra-time penalties by Abbas.


Melbourne City (Heart) were unbeaten in their first seven games against the Sky Blues and recorded one of the most impressive wins in their history at Allianz Stadium, a 4-0 drubbing of Sydney FC in December 2011.


Sydney FC 1-1 Melbourne City

The Sky Blues have been the more impressive in the pre-season but the loss of half a dozen key players is a blow to their fluency and combinations. One thing in their favour is the squad certainly has the depth to cover this season.

It will be interesting to see if Van ‘t Schip opts to use Villa from the start despite his limited time with the squad. Both these sides look destined for strong seasons and are destined to play in the big end-of-season matches. They might just cancel each other out in this one though.

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Melbourne City press conference

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Sydney FC press conference

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Sydney v City extended highlights

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Villa marks debut with classy finish

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Melbourne City press conference
Melbourne City press conference
Sydney FC press conference
Sydney FC press conference
Sydney v City extended highlights
Sydney v City extended highlights
Villa marks debut with classy finish
Villa marks debut with classy finish

Sydney FC 1 Melbourne City 1: Villa marks debut with classy finish

David Villa made an immediate impact on the Hyundai A-League with a goal on debut to help Melbourne City grab a point in a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The Spanish World Cup star – on a 10-game guest stint with City – scored 15 minutes after coming on as a second half substitute, cancelling out Corey Gameiro’s stunning opener early in the second half.

The Sky Blues almost won it at the death with only the crossbar denying Terry Antonis from becoming the hero from a powerful dipping volley.

City will head home to host Newcastle Jets next week confident thanks to the quality of their first-up showing while Sydney FC will look to show more in front of their home fans with the visit of fierce local rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.

What they said:

“Both teams probably created as many chances as each other. We could have taken it at the end there with Antonis’ shot but probably a fair result in the end. – Alex Brosque

“It’s good to get the season underway and see where we’re at really. I think we deserved more out of the game but to get a point after going 1-0 down is fair enough. – Damien Duff.


1-0 - Gameiro (54’)

Nick Carle found some rare space in midfield and feed Gameiro on the left, with the in-form attacker curling a stunning shot over Andrew Redmayne and into the far, top corner of the net.

1-1   – Villa (63’)

Massimo Murdocca sent Damien Duff free down the right, with the Irishman getting into the box and cutting the ball back to the top of the box, where Villa took one touch to get around Sebastian Ryall before burying his shot into the corner of the net.

Key moment

Introduced into the contest early in the second half, Villa received a warm welcome, with even many Sydney FC fans rising to their feet for the Spanish star. And while he wasn’t sighted for the first 15 minutes, Villa showed his world-class ability with a goal of great skill and composure to drag his side back into the contest just when it looked like the Sky Blues were wrestling the ascendancy.

Highlights reel

City dominated the first half and would have taken a deserved lead if not for a superb save by Vedran Janjetovic midway through the first half. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box, with Mate Dugandzic hitting a powerful, first-time volley back towards goal which had the Sky Blues ‘keeper at full stretch, diving to his left to keep it out.

Coach killer

Sydney struggled to keep possession under City’s midfield press, often tuning the ball over in the middle of the park. It left the Sky Blues open to be hit on transition, giving the likes of Damien Duff and James Brown plenty of chances to run at a retreating back four. No matter how solid Arnold has got his side’s defensive structure, it won’t survive long if they keep giving the ball away in dangerous areas.

Back to the drawing board

Without Mark Janko, Bernie Ibini (both on international duty) and Shane Smeltz (injured), Sydney FC struggled to create many genuine scoring chances and really pressure City’s central defence of Patrick Kisnorbo and Rob Wielaert. Skipper Alex Brosque and Corey Gameiro had their moments but missed the presence of their other big-name team-mates.

The Final Word

After an impressive pre-season campaign, Sydney FC looked rather disjointed but it could have had a lot to do with the amount of players they had missing. Janko, Ibini, Ali Abbas, Shane Smeltz, Hagi Gligor and Chris Naumoff were all unavailable and it affected their cohesiveness. Arnold will be pleased his side still managed to grind out a result when below their best, but they will need to improve with some big challenges awaiting them in coming weeks.

Considering the amount of new faces in the City side, John van ‘t Schip will be pleased with the way his troops combined. Duff, Mooy, Villa and Paartalu all performed and indications are they will be a much tougher proposition in season 2014/15.

Sydney FC: Janjetovic, Ryall, Ognenovski, Petkovic, Jurman (Gersbach 69’), Antonis, Dimitrijevic, Carle, Gameiro (Burgess 89’), Brosque (c), Blackwood (Triantis 51’)

Melbourne City: Redmayne, Archibald, Wielaert, Kisnorbo (c), Eamsay, Paartalu, Mooy, Murdocca, Duff, Dugandzic (Marino 73’), Brown (Villa 48’)

Scorers: Gameiro 54’, Villa 63’

Red cards: N/A

Yellow cards: Antonis (25’), Carle (36’), Mooy (72’)

Conditions: 23C, dry

Attendance: 25,525