De Jong stunner lifts Sydney FC over Adelaide

Siem de Jong’s sublime free kick paved way for Sydney FC’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United in Sunday evening’s cagey Hyundai A-League contest.

The Dutchman fired home expertly from a 13th-minute dead ball, while Jacob Tratt’s thundering header established a two-goal buffer over the Reds, a deficit which was swiftly halved via Craig Goodwin’s penalty.

But Adelaide – who had beaten reigning Champions Melbourne Victory 2-0 midweek – failed to muster the same intensity in their quest for an equaliser and fell to their eighth consecutive match without a Hyundai A-League win over the Sky Blues.

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De Jong was shackled comprehensively in the Round 1 stalemate between the two sides but broke the deadlock in stunning fashion, lashing a powerful free kick across the Adelaide wall and leaving Paul Izzo rooted to the spot.

Ken Ilso resembled the most likely source of an Adelaide equaliser but was withdrawn at the interval, and the Sky Blues doubled their advantage when the towering Tratt dispatched Brandon O’Neill’s corner past Izzo with a bullet header two minutes after the break.

However, it was Ilso's half time replacement George Blackwood who sparked an instant reply for the visitors, drawing a foul from Aaron Calver in the box and allowing Goodwin to bury his second penalty in as many weeks.

Goodwin was the spectacular hero in Adelaide’s FFA Cup 2018 triumph over Sydney FC but there was no similarly emphatic display from the Reds talisman as the Sky Blues remained on course in their pursuit of leaders Perth Glory.