Sky Blues continue winning ways under Arnie

Sydney FC will meet Brisbane Roar on Saturday night for the right to be crowned Townsville Football Cup champions after an “outstanding” display helped the Sky Blues defeat the Newcastle Jets 4-2 tonight.

Sydney FC 4 (Abbas 34’ pen, 66’ pen, Brosque 40’, Gamiero 42’) d. Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Griffiths 44’, Montano 61’)

Two penalties from Iraqi international Ali Abbas, a first goal on his return to Sydney FC from Alex Brosque and a 10th goal in seven pre-season games for Corey Gameiro secured the Sky Blues second win in the tournament, and a sixth win out of seven games for Head Coach Graham Arnold since taking charge.

Sydney FC went 3-0 up in the first half before the Jets pegged the score back to 3-2 on the hour, but Abbas slotted home his second penalty to secure the win moments later.

The Jets were reduced to 10 men shortly after the penalty when Jeronimo Neumann was shown a straight red card for a two footed tackle on Abbas to effectively put the result beyond doubt.

What They Said

Graham Arnold: “I think it was a performance of two halves.  The first half was outstanding.  It was beautiful football from the 1st minute to the 45th minute. We could have been up 6 or 7 nil at half time. 

“We let a sloppy goal in right on half time which let them get back to 3-1.  Our challenge as a team is to play the way we played in the first half for 90 minutes. 

“I’m sure this will come in time as we have made a lot of changes in a short space of time.  We’ll have ups and downs along the way and the only disappointment for me was the two sloppy goals we conceded.”

Arnold on Bench vs Jets

Goals

34’ ABBAS PENALTY – Despite their first half dominance, Sydney FC took the lead from the penalty spot rather than open play.  The ball was played across the box to Bojic on the inside left. He was bundled over by Gallaway and referee Alan Milliner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.  Penalty taker Ali Abbas stood up to slot home to his right, the keeper’s left.

40’ BROSQUE GOAL – Sydney FC were further ahead six minutes later from the best goal of the game.  Gersbach swung in a wonderful left footed cross from the left hand side and Brosque timed his run perfectly to glance a header into the far corner of the net, scoring his first goal for the club since his return.

42’ GAMIERO GOAL – The Sky Blues were 3-0 up two minutes later when Madaschi played the ball back to keeper Birighitti not accounting for Gameiro’s pace.  The striker was onto the keeper in a flash, charging down his clearance to see the ball rebound and roll into the bottom of the net.

44’ GRIFFITHS GOAL – In a frantic finish to the half the Newcastle Jets pulled one back when Craig Goodwin crossed from the left hand side of the field to former Sky Blue Joel Griffiths who hit a shot beyond Necevski.

61’ MONTANO GOAL – The Jets were back in the game just after the hour mark when Carney, who had looked dangerous on set pieces all evening, whipped in a left wing cross to the far post to Montano who was free to nod the ball home.

66’ ABBAS PENALTY – The game was sealed for Sydney FC five minutes later when Gallaway again fouled in the box, this time pushing over Gameiro near the penalty spot and again Abbas stepped up to fire home. Birighitti was a little unlucky this time with the ball squeezing under his body.

Other Key Moments

17’ GAMEIRO CHANCE - Corey Gamiero came so close to giving Sydney FC the lead when his pace caught out Birighitti who dwelled too long on the ball when looking to pass out from the back and the striker tackled him.  With the Jets keeper stranded Gameiro tried to get the ball out of his feet to fire into the empty but couldn’t succeed, and by the time he did the Newcastle defence were back to tackle him and clear for a corner.

21’ DISALLOWED GOAL - Good work from Bojic got him to by-line on the right edge of the box. As he crossed, he was fouled and the referee blew for a free kick just as Gameiro volleyed the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards.

22’ OGNENOVSKI SHOT BLOCKED - Petkovic took the free kick that Antonis had won and from a very acute angle tried to beat Birighitti at his near post.  The keeper parried the ball into the six yard box where the waiting Ognenovski powered a shot back towards goal but it was blocked by a Newcastle leg and cleared.

25’ GAMEIRO SHOT SAVED – Pedj Bojic got into a good position on the right flank after some good Sydney FC build up play. He crossed to the far post where Gameiro was unmarked, however his first time shot struck the leg of Birighitti and went out for a corner.

30’ TOUGH TACKLE FROM STEELE  - Newcastle Jets midfielder Jonny Steele runs 15 metres to dive into a tackle on Abbas who attempts to dink the ball over him. The midfielder’s extremely late challenge upsets the Sydney FC players and a melee ensues.  Steele is booked along with Ognenovski after the confrontation.

58’ JANKO DEBUT – Sydney FC International marquee comes onto the pitch for Alex Brosque to mark his first appearance in a Sky Blue jersey.

69’ RED CARD – Jeronimo Neumann is show a red card for a two footed lunge at Ali Abbas right in front of the enraged Sydney FC bench.  Abbas escapes uninjured but Milliner says Neumann has to go.  Neumann apologised to Abbas after the game.

Team News

Sydney FC 4 (Abbas 34’ pen, 66’ pen, Brosque 40’, Gamiero 42’) d. Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Griffiths 44’, Montano 61’)

Ground: Townsville Sports Reserve

Referee: Alan Milliner

Arnold rotated his goalkeepers once again giving a start to Ivan Necevski with young Anthony Bouzanis making way and Vedran Janjetovic coming onto the bench.  Sasa Ognenovski replaced Matt Jurman who was selected as a substitute while Ali Abbas and Corey Gameiro were also recalled at the expense of Hagi Gligor and Nicky Carle, who both started against Northern Fury FC on Sunday.

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4. Pedj BOJIC (27. Aaron CALVER 77’), 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO (19. Nick CARLE 70’), 11. Bernie IBINI, 13. Christopher NAUMOFF (12. Hagi GLIGOR 58’), 14. Alex BROSQUE (21. Marc JANKO 58’), 16. Alex GERSBACH, 17. Terry ANTONIS (26. Dylan CATON 85’), 22. Ali ABBAS (5. Matt JURMAN 69’).

Subs Not Used: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 24. Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 25. George TIMETHEOU.

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