Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold has secured a 5-1 victory over the Macarthur Rams in his first game in charge of the Sky Blues.
The 2013 Hyundai A-League Championship winning coach watched on as a brace from Corey Gameiro, plus goals from Nick Carle, youngster Bai Antoniou and own goal from Louis Duchesne gave the Sky Blues the win.
Arnold began the game with a near full strength starting eleven with Bernie Ibini making his debut alongside youngster Alex Gersbach at left back. Alex Brosque pulled on a Sydney FC shirt for the first time since his return to the club as Australian marquee.
The opening 18 minutes were a little cagey with both teams finding their feet on a chilly night in West Sydney, before the Sky Blues, wearing their black away kit, took the lead in the 19th minute. A Seb Ryall cross from the right was deflected past his own keeper by Rams centre half Louis Duchesne to make it 1-0.
Sydney FC went further ahead soon into the second third of three 30 minute periods, when Alex Brosque made a burst in the right channel and crossed for Gameiro to score inside the penalty box on 33 minutes.
Gameiro made it a double five minutes later when he intercepted a defensive pass from the Rams and delightfully chipped the keeper when one on one; 3-0 after 38 minutes.
Another Sydney FC goal followed just before the hour mark when debutant Ibini made good ground down the right hand flank and crossed to find Nick Carle who slotted home.
Having already brought on Petkovic, Caton, Burgess and Janjetovic, Arnold revamped his side for the final third, giving a chance to impress to some of his youth league hopefuls.
The Rams pulled a goal back in the 69th minute when forward Reuben Agyei-Danso latched onto a little bit of indecision in the Sky Blues defence and tucked the ball home from close range.
The scoring wasn’t finished however and Sydney FC capped off the night for the new Head Coach when youngster Bai Antoniou dribbled through the Rams defence to put the ball into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner.
“I’m very pleased with the result,” said Arnold. “But tonight was more about putting into practice the high standards we’ve been setting on the training pitch and working on our structure. That’s something we’ll continue to do throughout this pre-season but it’s a good start.
“It felt a bit strange pulling on a Sydney FC tracksuit at home before I came to the game but I’m very, very happy at the club.
“It’s a fantastic place to work, it’s a big job and a challenge I’m looking forward to,” he concluded.
The Sky Blues now head for New Zealand on Sunday where they will take on English Premier League sides Newcastle United in Dunedin and West Ham United in Wellington in their second and third pre-season games.
Sydney FC 5 (Duchesne og ’19, Gameiro ’33, ’38, Carle 58’, Antoniou ‘87) def. Macarthur Rams 1 (Reuben Agyei-Danso ’69).
Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
SYDNEY FC STARTING XI: 1 Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 5. Matt JURMAN, 7. Corey GAMEIRO, 11. Bernie IBINI, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Nick CARLE, 22. Ali ABBAS, 26. Alex GERSBACH.
Substitutes also used: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC(GK), 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 13. Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 18. Peter TRIANTIS, 24. Dylan CATON, 21. Dylan FOX, 28. Max BURGESS, 25. Bai ANTONIOU, 26. George TIMOTHEOU, 29. Daniel ARAUJO, 31. Danny CHOI, 32. John GRODANOVSKI,