God’s Fury too strong for Sydney

The third stunning goal in a many weeks from former Liverpool legend, Robbie Fowler lit up the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night and gave the North Queensland Fury its first ever victory in the Hyundai A-League against a Sydney FC team that was down on form from previous outings.


The third stunning goal in a many weeks from former Liverpool legend, Robbie Fowler lit up the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night and gave the North Queensland Fury its first ever victory in the Hyundai A-League against a Sydney FC team that was down on form from previous outings.

In a performance that can only be described as ‘heaven sent- the man nicknamed ‘God- put on a football master-class in front of a season-high crowd of 16,699 fans at the SFS and sealed the 1-nil win for his side.

“He scored a brilliant goal,” assessed Sydney FC skipper Steve Corica after the match. “A top striker like that, he only need one chance and he had it. Full credit to him.”

For the hosts, it was a case of what might have been after John Aloisi-s lined up a spot kick in the first half that was punched away by Paul Henderson, denying Sydney an invaluable earl y lead.

It took little time for Fowler to get into his groove. Seconds after kick-off the star striker attempted an audacious scissor kick from a cross into Sydney-s area - his failure to connect spared the home side early blushes.

The Sky Blues had to wait until the tenth minute to carve out their first opening with a floated Karol Kisel free kick just missing the outstretched boot of fellow import Stephan Keller.

In a match that was shaping up as an open affair, North Queensland-s Rostyn Griffiths threatened to breach Sydney-s defence, creating space inside the box, but sending his curving shot safely wide of Clint Bolton-s goal.

The game roared to life in the 25th minute when a set piece was orchestrated to perfection by the Sky Blues, catching the Fury completely off guard. A neat through ball found its way to the feet of Alex Brosque who, in the process of rounding the keeper was brought down.

Referee Chris Beath wasted little time pointing to the spot for the penalty, but Henderson-s smart dive to the left denied Aloisi the opener.

With neither side able to take the clear ascendancy, a scrappy piece of defending in the 32nd minute almost opened the door for the Fury. A miscued Rhyan Grant clearance fell to the feet of a lurking Griffifths - his second opportunity of the half had Bolton edgy for a brief moment but the shot skidded well wide.

Keller-s hulking frame was causing problems for the Fury defence whenever he pressed forward, and he almost had his first goal for the Sky Blues following a 38th minute corner - but his flicked header fell harmlessly into the arms of Henderson and the teams went to the sheds all-even.

North Queensland came out firing in the second stanza and looked dangerous from the half-s opening whistle. In the 54th minute the North Queensland captain came to the fore.

An innocuous goal kick was flicked into the path of Fowler by Daniel McBreen. The Fury striker spotted Clint Bolton slightly off his line and crashed home a stunning volley from well outside the area, providing what would ultimately prove the match winner.

As time ticked away Alex Brosque chested a 75th minute ball to substitute, Mark Bridge on the edge of the box. In space, Bridge pulled the trigger but fired his shot over the bar.

Sydney continued the fight to find an equaliser but couldn-t crack the resolute Fury defence and in the end failed to avoid its second loss of the season.

After back-to-back defeats, Coach Vitezslav Lavicka is urging an improved effort from his charges when they return to the Sydney Football Stadium next Sunday.

“We need to be more aggressive, more hungry to score - more courage,” he said. “We don-t give up. We know that we played bad tonight but the season is long.”

Sydney FC-s round-7 clash with the Newcastle Jets will be played at the SFS next Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 0 North Queensland Fury 1 (Fowler 54-)

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER (17. Matthew JURMAN 80-), 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 9. John ALOISI (11. Kofi DANNING 66-), 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE (19. Mark BRIDGE 60-), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT.

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: Rhyan GRANT 34-, Sung Hwan BYUN 88-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: nil.

North Queensland Fury: 1.Paul HENDERSON (gk), 2.Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3.Chris TADROSSE, 6.Ufuk TALAY (24.Dyron DAAL 75-), 8.Shane STEFANUTTO, 9.Robbie FOWLER (c)( 11.David WILLIAMS 84-), 18.James ROBINSON, 19.Daniel MCBREEN, 21.John TAMBOURAS, 22.Karl DODD, 23.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (14.Chris GROSSMAN 67-).

Substitutes Not Used: 30. Matt HAM (gk).

Yellow Cards: Paul HENDERSON 35-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: Robbie FOWLER 54-.

Referee: Chris Beath. Crowd: 16,699 at the Sydney Football Stadium.