Preview: Sydney FC v Gold Coast United
Go for Gold! Can Sydney finally beat their Queensland rivals and get some revenge
Sydney FC v Gold Coast United Saturday 8 January 2011 7PM
Go for Gold! Can Sydney finally beat their Queensland rivals and get some revenge for that recent defeat at Skilled Park?
If ever there was a good time to start anew, it is the New Year. Therefore, as Sydney FC play their first home game of 2011, they will be looking to finally get one over a side that completely dominates them. Since they joined the Hyundai A-League last season.
Gold Coast United have been a perpetual thorn in Sydney-s side. In their inaugural campaign, the club from Queensland scored an amazing hat-trick of wins over the Sky Blues, including a very impressive 1-0 victory against the eventual Champions at Sydney Football Stadium last January.
When the teams met up at the same venue this season, it seemed as though the home side were set to gain some sweet revenge after Bruno Cazarine headed home from a corner. It was sloppy goal for the usually strong Gold Coast defence to concede, but they came back into it on the stroke of half-time, with Bruce Djite scoring his first goal for the club following another corner.
The match, which had been thoroughly entertaining anyway, really burst into life with the introduction of United sub John Curtis. Literally seconds after coming on, he was red carded for a rogue elbow on Hirofumi Moriyasu. Talk about a substitute having an immediate impact! However, despite having a man advantage, the Sky Blues were unable to turn possession into goals, and United escaped with a point.
Sydney, conversely, escaped with nothing more than a hiding when they visited Skilled Park later in the year. Minus key players Nicky Carle and Mark Bridge through injury, the side from the Harbour City raised the white flags and found themselves turned over by a stunning United display.
Joel Porter scored his first goal of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season on 15 minutes before Jason Culina effectively wrapped up the points with a stunning long-ranger on the stroke of half-time. Porter topped that strike with a magnificent individual goal in the second-half before Cazarine scored what was barely a consolation.
The big Brazilian will be looking to get on the score-sheet for the third game against Gold Coast in a row on Saturday and, with a less depleted squad at his disposal, boss Viteslav Lavicka will be hopeful that his players can finally produce the goods against their bogey side.
United though, don-t just go into the game boasting stunning dominance over Sydney, but their confidence will be further boosted by the fact that they have proved to be very hard to beat for much of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season. There are few teams better equipped to go away from home and get a result, so the Sky Blues need to be very wary indeed.
There is still so much to play for in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, starting with this intriguing match-up, so make it a Sky Blue Summer Saturday night at Sydney Football Stadium. Jump up Sydney Cove, and cheer your team on to a big win against the side from the Gold Coast. Make some noise!