Adelaide United
Sydney FC
A-League R1
Coopers Stadium

Sydney FC's dramatic late win in thrilling five-goal season opener

Ryan McGowan has come back to haunt his hometown club, scoring a late goal as Sydney FC beat a 10-man Adelaide 3-2 as the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season began with a bang on Friday night.

It was a thrilling encounter at Coopers Stadium that had a bit of everything with five goals, three VAR interventions and a red card to Adelaide defender Ryan Strain.

The Sky Blues led 2-0 inside 28 minutes through a double to Adam Le Fondre before goals either side of the break through Nikola Mileusnic and Al Hassan Toure drew the Reds level.

Momentum swung back in Sydney’s favour as Strain was sent off just before the hour-mark before McGowan’s late heroics made it a perfect start to the Sky Blues’ title defence.

The result continues Sydney FC’s stranglehold over Adelaide United, stretching their unbeaten run against the Reds to 10 games.

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Key moments

Le Fondre gives Sydney FC the lead

An attack for Sydney FC ended with Le Fondre’s attempt hitting the outstretched arm of Reds skipper Michael Jakobsen.

After consultation with the VAR, referee Alex King awarded the Sky Blues a penalty.

And Le Fondre made no mistake from the spot, blasting his effort into the top corner to open his account for the season.

WATCH: Le Fondre fires Sydney into the lead

Sky Blues double their lead

Sydney’s new-look attack combined brilliantly for this one.

After winning possession deep in Adelaide’s half, the Sky Blues produced a slick move with Milos Ninkovic finding Alex Baumjohann free in the box.

The German showed great vision to pass up the chance to shoot, unselfishly squaring a pass to Le Fondre to tap into an empty net.

WATCH: Le Fondre doubles his tally

Reds pull one back through Mileusnic

With the seconds ticking down before the break, Ryan Kitto won a free-kick right on the edge of the Sydney box.

Nikola Mileusnic showed great technique to hit a sweet free-kick, which went up over the wall and then dipped perfectly to nestle in the top corner of the net.

WATCH: Mileusnic pulls one back with a sensational free-kick

Debut goal for Toure

Reds boss Gertjan Verbeek handed Toure his Hyundai A-League debut and the 19-year-old repaid his faith with an excellent finish seven minutes after the restart

A clever flick from Halloran picked out Toure's run in the box and the teenager showed great strength to hold off a defender before sliding a shot past Heward-Belle.

Toure’s joy appeared to be short lived as the assistant referee flagged him for offside.

But VAR intervened with replays showing Toure was just onside, overturning the original decision and awarding the goal.

WATCH: Toure scores on Hyundai A-League debut

Strain sees red for the Reds

Just five minutes after drawing level, Adelaide’s momentum was halted when their right-back was sent off.

After failing to deal with a ball over the top, Strain allowed Le Fondre to get in behind him and then pulled the Englishman down just outside the box.

With Le Fondre clear through on goal before Strain’s intervention, referee Alex King had no choice but to show him a red card.

Where heroes are made

McGowan wins it at the death

On his Hyundai A-League debut, McGowan was Sydney FC's unlikely hero.

The Caltex Socceroos defender was left totally unmarked at a corner and made the Reds pay.

Brandon O’Neill’s outswinger from the right was perfectly weighted as McGowan timed his run brilliantly to power a header past Izzo.

WATCH: McGowan wins it for the Sky Blues

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Round 1: Adelaide United v Sydney FC man of the match

Who was your man of the match?
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Adam Le Fondre
Adelaide United
Adelaide United
Nikola Mileusnic
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Alexander Baumjohann
Adelaide United
Adelaide United
Riley McGree
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Ryan McGowan

Round 1: Adelaide United v Sydney FC man of the match


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