Fast-finishing Sydney settles for draw with the Roar
A spirited second-half fight-back in tonight’s clash with the Queensland Roar might just prove enough to re-ignite Sydney FC’s campaign, with the Sky Blues storming home to claim a share of the spoils in their Hyundai A-League clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
A spirited second-half fight-back in tonight-s clash with the Queensland Roar might just prove enough to re-ignite Sydney FC-s campaign, with the Sky Blues storming home to claim a share of the spoils in their Hyundai A-League clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Captain Steve Corica scrambled a Robbie Middleby cross in at the back post on 64 minutes to secure the 1-all result, and the home side can consider itself unlucky not to have taken all three points in the end, despite the fact Queensland went to the break with a deserved 1-0 lead after Matt McKay opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
The home side struggled to cope with the Roar-s dynamic midfield in the first half, but showed plenty of fight to claw its way back into the contest following a listless first stanza.
“We started off well, but the goal we conceded was a slap in the face and we probably lost a bit of confidence,” coach John Kosmina surmised. “But we had them on the back foot for most of the second half I feel and we played some decent stuff.”
Kosmina opted for a re-jigged 4-3-3 formation this week, with Stu Musialik returning to the anchor role in midfield, and captain Steve Corica playing in a wider role in an attacking trio.
The early signs looked good, as positive interplay between the midfield unlocked the Roar-s defence, allowing John Aloisi to work Liam Reddy-s palms within just two minutes.
While Sydney tried to get its passing game into groove, Queensland showed how dangerous it is on the counter attack with Michael Zullo and Tahj Minniecon looking lively any time Sydney lost the ball.
Matt McKay got Queensland off to the perfect start on 12 minutes, showing typical energy to get to the ball first and bundle home the opening goal on the rebound.
It came off the back of incisive work from the dangerous Minniecon down the left flank. The youngster jinked inside Shannon Cole and Musialik at pace before launching a low drive on goal. Ivan Necevski could only parry and paid the price as the visitors opened the scoring.
The Sky Blues were struggling with Queensland-s pace and mobility and were becoming frustrated as they found it difficult to dictate the terms of the contest.
Charlie Miller was causing Sydney all sorts of problems. Iain Fyfe had to throw himself bravely in the way to divert a Miller thunderbolt on the edge of the area, before Necevski saved smartly off the Scottman-s drive minutes later.
A hopeful Bridge snapshot was all the side could muster until Aloisi had a golden chance to open his home account after 36 minutes. Bridge flicked the ball over the defence, but the marquee-man-s right-foot strike hooked across the face of goal.
Sydney had no choice but to start the second half in a brighter fashion, and after surviving some early scares its fortunes turned on 64 minutes when Corica scrambled home the ball at the back post to snare a vital equaliser.
Middleby floated the ball into the box, and Corica beat Danny Tiatto to the punch to deflect it in off his shin.
It gave the home side the impetus it needed to take the fight up to Queensland in the last half-hour. Alex Brosque replaced Petta and provided Sydney with a sharp outlet on the left, and with Cole working hard down the right Sydney was finally stretching the Roar.
Bridge had a glorious chance five minutes after the equaliser, storming onto a Middleby chip only to see his header cannon off the cross bar.
The Captain then found himself unmarked in the heart of the box, but his header floated over the bar as he couldn-t connect with Cole-s ball into the area.
Sydney might have been enjoying a positive spell, but Mitch Nichols had a guilt-edged chance to take all the points home to Queensland but only managed to hammer his late header into the post.
The crowd that braved Sydney-s terrible weather could have no complaints about both sides- second half efforts with Sydney-s leveller triggering end-to-end endeavour over the last half-hour.
Tiatto forced Necevski into another sharp save down to his left after creating space for himself on the outside of Fyfe,then only a desperate goal-line clearance by Nichols kept the game level as Sydney piled on the pressure with a flurry of corners.
Corica tried to drive the ball through a crowded area, and it appeared the ball was going to bounce awkwardly over Reddy into the goal but Nichols saved the day to the chagrin of the Sydney fans.
“It was great character from the guys and we-ll build on that from here onwards,” said the captain after the match.
Sydney FC will now go back out on the road for a round 14 clash with the Newcastle Jest which will be played in the Steel City next Sunday.
Sydney FC 1 (Steve Corica 64-) Queensland Roar 1 (Matthew McKay 12-)
Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2. Ianin FYFE, 5. Mitchell PRENTICE (32. Brendan GAN 81-), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 23. John ALOISI, 28. Bobby PETTA (14. Alex BROSQUE 54-), 29. Beau BUSCH.
Substitutes not used: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 31. Antony GOLEC.
Yellow Cards: Mitchell Prentice 81-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: Steve Corica 64-.
Queensland Roar: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DE VERE, 4. Craig MOORE (c), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Serginho VAN DIJK (23. Timothy SMITS 74-), 10. Charlie MILLER (18. Daniel TIATTO 40-), 12. Tahj MINNIECONN (17. Mitchell NICHOLS 72-), 15. Matthew McKAY.
Substitute not used: 20. Griffin McMASTER.
Yellow Cards: Tahj Minnieconn 68-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: Matthew McKay 12-.
Referee: Matthew Breeze. Crowd: 8,502.