Sydney FC have been soundly beaten 4-0 by English Premier League outfit Newcastle United in the opening game of the Football United tour in Dunedin, New Zealand.
In a disastrous opening half an hour, the Sky Blues conceded three times as the Premiership club opened them up with ease making them pay for errors in defence.
Both benches were afforded game time in the second half as the Geordies added a fourth in the final ten minutes for a comprehensive victory.
in an emotional start to the evening, the game was preceded by a minute’s silence for two Newcastle United fans who tragically lost their lives on flight MH17. A wreath was also laid by United’s captain Fabricio Coloccini and coach Alan Pardew
On a cold evening, Sydney began with new young signing Alex Gersbach in a starting line-up that also included off-season acquisitions Alex Brosque and Bernie Ibini.
Following an even start to the game, a goalkeeping howler gifted the Magpies the opening goal inside the first 20 minutes.
From a back pass by Nikola Petkovic, Ivan Necevski mis-kicked the ball and Siem de Jong pounced on the possession to slot home from distance.
With their tails up, United made it 2-0 five minutes later when a low cross by Yoan Gouffran picked out Manu Riviere who side-footed home with ease in front of goal.
And with the Australian club in disarray, United defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa grabbed a debut goal just minutes later with a deflected strike off central defender Sasa Ognenovski which flew in past the hapless Necevski.
Down 3-0 at half-time and with Petkovic in the book for a handball, it was a 45 minutes to forget for Graham Arnold’s men against a far slicker opponent.
As Sydney sought some inspiration, Sky Blue midfielder Nick Carle was withdrawn early in the second half replaced by Milos Dimitrijevic.
Yet on the hour mark it should’ve been four to the Magpies but Jack Colback’s corner just evaded substitute Haris Vuckic and Coloccini.
Sydney defensive midfielder Peter Triantis came on for Alex Brosque as Arnold shuffled his pack once more.
It sparked the Sky Blues into life and in a rare moment for the Hyundai A-League side, striker Corey Gameiro came close with a good curling effort pushed wide by Rob Elliott minutes later.
Ognenovski joined Petkovic in the book after a strong challenge on Ayoze Perez as the game entered its final 20 minutes.
United made it 4-0 in the final few minutes with Adam Armstrong’s turn and shot on the edge of the box after good lead up play from Perez.
Triantis’ long-range effort just fizzed past the United posts in a late effort for Sydney FC who ended the night easily beaten by a much stronger opponent.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), Wellington face West Ham United in the second match of the tour in Auckland.