Sydney FC secured its first win of the pre-season with a comfortable 3-0 result in front of 2352 fans over NSW Super League side St George FC
Sydney FC secured its first win of the pre-season with a comfortable 3-0 result in front of 2352 fans over NSW Super League side St George FC at WIN Jubilee Oval on Wednesday night.
Sydney FC-s coach, Vitezslav Lavicka, was pleased with the team-s performance but is hoping for a continual improvement.
“We improved, if I compare it to last week-s performance against Macarthur,” said Lavicka. “Tonight we improved the effectiveness and we did a pretty good team performance.”
“We are still working more for fitness but we are increasing tactic sessions but I was pretty happy tonight with the team but again we still have room to improve, to work and to get better."
"It-s early in our pre-season and we cannot get ahead of ourselves but full credit to the whole team because they did good sparring for us and they played well tonight.”
There were three changes to the starting team that drew 1-1 with Macarthur Rams one week earlier. Liam Reddy started in goals, Shannon Cole came into the midfield in place of Hiro Moriyasu and Juho Makela started with Bruno Cazarine on the bench.
Mark Bridge gave the Sky Blues a first half lead with a spectacular strike from the edge of the area in the 40th minute.
Cazarine added a second goal just five minutes after coming on and new Youth League signing Caleb Rufer found the back of the net from the penalty spot, giving Sydney a 3-0 win which reflected the Sky Blues control of the match.
The midfield diamond of Terry McFlynn, Karol Kisel, Cole and Nicky Carle moved the ball around well and over-whelmed the St George midfielders. Combined with Scott Jamieson and Jamie Coyne adding width with their overlapping runs from fullback, Sydney had a template in place to find their goal-scoring form.
In just the second minute Coyne made a run down the line before cutting the ball back to Bridge on the edge of the area. His shot was skewed into a host of bodies, where Makela tried to back heel flick the ball into the net but failed to beat the Saints keeper.
Five minutes later and Makela had another chance to get his name on the scoresheet, but this time his header flew over the crossbar.
In the 11th minute it was Carle through on goal after he latched onto a Jamieson long pass. The playmaker pulled the ball back across goal to Bridge, but his shot was deflected and another chance went begging.
It wasn-t until the 25th minute that St George really threatened Sydney-s goal when Michael Beauchamp was called upon to make a definitive sliding interception. From the resulting corner Reddy was almost tested for the first time in the night, but the on-the-turn volley was too high.
Bridge snatched the deserved lead five minutes before the break, and five minutes after the teams returned Cazarine found a second. Kisel broke down the right and delivered a perfect cross onto the head of the front man who, from six yards out, was never in doubt of nailing the header.
Along with Cazarine, who came on for Carle, Moriyasu also came on at the interval. McFlynn made way after a shift that suggested he could be on his way to rediscovering his best form from the defensive midfield role.
The Saints twice tried to hit back minutes after Cazarine-s strike but failed to hit the target on both difficult shots. In the 55th Makela attempted his own wonder strike, but his first time volley didn-t dip enough and went inches over the crossbar.
St Geore-s best chance came in the 68th when they managed to beat a re-shaped defence - Cole to right back and Jamie Coyne to center back after Beauchamp went off - but only managed to hit the post.
It was their last real chance of the game as Sydney FC closed out the match from there on in. Young talents, Hagi Gligor Caleb Rufer, Anthony Proia and Yianni Perkatis came on to get some game time and a chance to impress Lavicka.
Rufer was one who managed to do that, with the striker teaming up with Cazarine to cause havoc in the St George defence with two minutes remaining. He managed to win a penalty and never looked like missing as he stepped up to convert it and give the Sky Blues their third.
The Sky Blues again rested Pascal Bosschaart, Nathan Sherlock and Joel Chianese for the match while Dimi Petratos, Terry Antonis and Rhyant Grant had recently returned from the U20 World Cup in Colombia with the Qantas Young Socceroos and were also rested.
Sydney FC-s next match is on Wednesday 17th August against Parramatta FC at Parramatta Stadium (7:30pm kick off)
Sydney FC Starting Eleven: Liam Reddy (gk), Scott Jamieson, Sebastian Ryall, Jamie Coyne, Michael Beauchamp, Shannon Cole, Terry McFlynn (c), Karol Kisel, Nick Carle, Mark Bridge,Juho Makela.
Starting Bench: Ivan Necevski (gk), Hirofumi Moriyasu, Hagi Gligor, Bruno Cazarine, Caleb Rufer, Anthony Proia, Yianni Perkatis.