A late comeback from Sydney FC wasn’t enough to deny Adelaide United the points at Coopers Stadium as the Reds secured a 3-1 win in front of their own fans.
A late comeback from Sydney FC wasn-t enough to deny Adelaide United the points at Coopers Stadium as the Reds secured a 3-1 win in front of their own fans.
Fabio Ferreira put the home side ahead in the 13th minute with a calm finish before Sergio Cirio gave United a two goal cushion early in the second half.
Sky Blues midfielder Matt Thompson struck with a quarter of an hour remaining to give Sydney FC some hope but as they pushed on in search of an equaliser, Reds striker Bruce Djite sealed the tie in the final minutes.
Alessandro Del Piero returned to the side after the 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar a week earlier and made an early impact delivering a cross which Sasa Ognenovski came close to heading home, before the Italian played in Urosevski for a chance but the young striker put his shot wide.
Adelaide were in front shortly after when Carrusca played a ball behind the Sky Blues back four. Ferreira calmly evaded the challenge of Ognenovski and coolly slotted beyond Janjetovic.
Sydney FC were almost on level terms just minutes later when a ball over the top found Antonis, but his pass to Garcia didn-t have the strength to give the forward a chance on goal.
Janjetovic was called into action to deny Djite in the 18th minute before an Alec Urosevski tackle, which the Reds took exception to, gave the game some added spice.
Neither side however created any more clear cut chances before half time and the home side went in at the break 1-0 up.
Sydney FC pressed further up the field early in the second half but it was the Reds who struck first.
Alessandro Del Piero took a pass from Garcia but was bundled off the ball allowing Adelaide to break through Carrusca. The midfielder drove to the edge of the Sydney FC penalty area and his deflected shot fell into the path of Cirio who clipped the ball over Janjetovic on the left edge of the six yard box.
The Sky Blues immediately brought on Chianese and Gameiro and the latter almost found the net with a header from a Petkovic corner.
Midfielder Matt Thompson was brought on with 25 minutes remaining and made an impact with 15 to go.
The former Newcastle Jet received a pass from Gameiro on the edge of the box following a good run from Petkovic at left back, and after winning a tackle he struck a composed right foot shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-1.
Sydney FC pushed on in an attempt to draw level and a clever turn and shot from Antonis was deflected over the bar by a last ditch Adelaide tackle.
The game was decided with three minutes to go when Djite received the ball on the edge of the penalty area from Marrone. The striker turned to give himself room for a shot and fired a left foot effort low into the back of the net.
The result means Sydney FC remain in the Finals positions with three games to go and face Melbourne Victory next weekend, before crucial home games against Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory.
Sydney FC 1 (Thompson 74-) def by Adelaide United 3 (Ferreira 13-, Cirio 54-, Djite 88-)
Ground: Coopers Stadium Referee: Kris Griffiths Jones
ADELAIDE UNITED: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK), 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 4. Jonathan MCKAIN (Michael MARRONE 43-), 5. Osama MALIK, 8. ISAIAS, 9 Sergio CIRIO (7. Jeronimo NEUMANN 62-), 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11. Bruce DJITE, 14. Cameron WATSON, 18. Michael ZULLO (Jordan ELSEY 81-), 21. Tarek ELRICH, 22. Fabio FERREIRA.
Unused Substitutes: 17. Awer MABIL, 20. Paul IZZO.
Yellow Cards: Tarek ELRICH 31-
SYDNEY FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Seb RYALL, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO © (28. Matt THOMPSON 65-), 11. Richard GARCIA (16. Joel CHIANESE 58-), 13. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 22. Ali ABBAS, 24. Hagi GLIGOR, 29. Alec UROSEVSKI (9. Corey GAMEIRO 58-).
Unused Substitutes: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 34. Aaron CALVER.
Yellow Cards: Alec UROSEVSKI 29-, Sasa OGNENOVSKI 31-, Richard GARCIA 37-, Joel CHIANESE 59-, Terry ANTONIS 84.
BATTLE FOR THE FINALS AWAITS - With two home games remaining, the battle for finals football is well and truly on for the Sky Blues. First to visit Allianz Stadium is the Wellington Phoenix with Sydney FC-s last minute winner in the previous encounter still fresh in the memory. A week later Perth Glory will visit in what will be a season defining game for the Sky Blues - will finals football beckon? Be at Allianz Stadium to see it all unfold.
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