Culina strikes on Gold Coast debut

Jason Culina needed just over 20 minutes to net his first goal for new club Gold Coast United, scoring on debut in United's 4-0 win over Singapore's under-23 national team.

Jason Culina needed just over 20 minutes to net his first goal for new club Gold Coast United, scoring on debut in United's 4-0 win over Singapore's under-23 national team.

Coming on at the 67th-minute mark of the friendly, Culina put a 30-metre drive into the back of the net with two minutes left on the clock.

The game, which was postponed for 24 hours after United's private jet was grounded in Port Headland, saw coach Miron Bleiberg pair last year's Johnny Warren medallist Shane Smeltz and Hartlepool signing Joel Porter up front for the Gold Coast.

The Smeltz/Porter combination showed promising signs, threatening the Singapore goal on numerous occasions.

Reward came in the 27th minute when Porter's cross was turned into his own net by Abdil Qalyyim. A second goal was added soon after when United vice-captain Michael Thwaite powerfully headed home a Matt Osman free kick in the 35th minute.

Smeltz nearly added a third for United on the stroke of half-time with a curling 25-metre that just sneaked past the uprights.

United continued on with its first-half dominance in the second and extended its lead in the 51st minute when Porter got his name on the score sheet, heading in a goal from a well-placed cross by Thwaite.

Culina completed the drubbing, his goal in the dying minutes the icing on the cake for a United outfit that was never threatened by Singapore thanks to dominant defensive performances from Dutch import Bas Van Den Brink and the classy Adam Griffiths.

It was also a successful night for fellow Hyundai A-League club Sydney FC which recorded a 4-1 victory over the Sutherland Sharks.

The Sky Blues cruised to their ninth successive trial victory, scoring two goals in either half against the New South Wales Premier League team.

Chris Payne scored first for the youthful Sydney outfit, calmly slotting in a loose ball after a stunning strike by Stuart Musialik couldn't be handled by Sharks' keeper Nathan Denham.

The goal seemed to lift the intensity of both sides with Brad Boardman going close to equalising just one minute later and Brendan Gan going close for the Sky Blues immediately after.

After several more near misses for both team, Gan combined with Kofi Danning in the 35th minute to push the lead out to two.

After beating his defender down the right flank Danning delivered a beautiful ball to the far post and Gan hammered home a fierce header, giving the keeper no hope and doubling Sydney's advantage leading into the break.

Coach Vitezslav Lavicka introduced some National Youth League trialists into the action in the second half but it didn't slow Sydney's momentum.

Kerim Bulut fought past two defenders to score eight minutes after the restart and moments later set-up Glen Trefiro who added Sydney's fourth.

Matthew Villazon scored a late consolation goal for the Sharks in the final seconds of play - the first goal Sydney has conceded in their past 800 minutes of football.

Meanwhile, Adelaide has announced it will take an under-strength line-up into Thursday night's clash with North Queensland Fury at the Darwin Football Stadium.

The Reds will be without a host of key movers including Brazilian pair Cassio and Cristiano, midfielders Paul Reid and Fabian Barbiero, Australian Under-20 Player of the Year Daniel Mullen and young striker Francesco Monterosso.

Two of the club's new foreign signings, Lloyd Owusu and Korean Shin In Sup, will also be absent for Adelaide.

North Queensland, which is yet to record a win in its two pre-season friendlies against Hyundai A-League sides, will be without marquee signing Robbie Fowler but has named former Reds Jason Spagnuolo and Osama Malik.

The match will be the second time Hyundai A-League football has been showcased in Darwin, following Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory's pre-season match in 2007.