Mbappe and Cavani score as PSG overcome Sydney FC in China
Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani both got on the scoresheet as Paris Saint-Germain overcame a spirited Sydney FC 3-0 in a competitive clash in China on Tuesday night.
The Sky Blues made the French champions work hard for their win, with the first goals coming within a six-minute period just before half-time.
Youngster Metehan Guclu then completed the scoring two minutes from time with a sublime back-heel finish to ice the cake for his side.
PSG started the likes of French starlet Mbappe, Uruguayan striker Cavani, German playmaker Julian Draxler and Spaniard Ander Herrera in what is one of the club’s final hitouts before the new Ligue 1 season.
And it was their array of superstars that made the difference when it mattered, although Sydney FC also had their moments with Adam Le Fondre going close on a couple of occasions.
The Stomach bug that hit the Sky Blues squad after they arrived in China meant the likes of skipper Alex Wilkinson, midfielder Brandon O’Neill and defender Michael Zullo missed the clash.
It meant a starting debut for 19-year-old Harry Van Der Saag at right-back, while 18-year-old left-back Joel King also got a start in the Sky Blues’ defence.
Despite the reshuffle it was Sydney FC that created the first chance inside 10 minutes, with Le Fondre’s curling effort from outside the box kept out by keeper Kevin Trapp.
The French champions were soon into their stride, with only a full-strength fingertip save by Andrew Redmayne keeping Pablo Sarabia’s cross-turn-shot out via the post.
Sydney were intent to be patient for their opportunities and thought they had the opener nine minutes before the break.
Alexander Baumjohann’s delightful free-kick was headed back across goal by Rhyan Grant before Milos Ninkovic bundled the ball over the line, only to be denied by an offside flag.
And it proved costly for the Hyundai A-League champions.
Just a minute later PSG struck at the other end as Mbappe drove into the box and drilled a powerful shot beyond Redmayne at his near post.
It was PSG’s other superstar attacker Cavani that doubled the lead, slamming in the rebound from close range after Sarabia’s initial attempt was saved.
Le Fondre was inches away from pulling one back a minute before the break with a rasping drive that flew just wide of the post as the Sky Blues continued to have their moments.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel replaced all his outfield players at the break but it didn’t affect his side’s rhythm, with Adil Aouchiche forcing Redmayne into another smart save down low to his right.
Luke Brattan came on for his Sky Blues debut and he stung the palms of Tratt with a long-range effort 18 minutes from time before Guclu rounded out the scoring at the death.
Sydney FC will now return home for next Wednesday night’s FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 clash against Brisbane Roar.
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