Hear from U18's Head Coach Jimmy van Weeren as he breaks down the Sky Blues' campaign at the 2018 Future Cup in Amsterdam over the weekend.
Saturday 31st March 2018
Ajax 2 vs Sydney FC 0
The tournament started with a tough first match against the host club, Ajax. The host club came out firing, showing intent and quality from the first whistle. Their build-up play matched equally by the quality of their striker saw them take the lead in the 8th minute. Shortly after, Ajax doubled their lead through direct play into their striker who managed to out-muscle our defenders and place the ball into the bottom corner. It remained 2-0 till the break, minor adjustments were made, and the squad showed real character, despite Ajax continuing to apply pressure, to keep the score at 0-2. A valuable learning experience against the tournament favourites.
Saturday 31st March 2018
Paris Saint-Germain 3 vs Sydney FC 2
A game that started with Sydney FC pressing higher up the pitch and almost taking the lead. Despite our early opportunities, PSG quickly converted one of their first opportunities, a quick break down our left, the ball was pulled back and finished first time.
They soon doubled their advantage this time with some good build-up play down our right-hand side, a ball played into the box, and the PSG striker reacted first to the rebound. We went into the break down 0-2. The second half saw us press PSG much higher and we were rewarded with a goal after some dominant defending near their penalty box through Jake Hollman. Sydney FC controlled the game with effective possession and equalised with 10 minutes to play through Marco Tilio. Knowing a win was needed to keep their tournament alive, Sydney FC continued to push players forward. Taking a gamble and pushing players forward left us vulnerable at the back and a quick PSG counter-attack with 4 minutes remaining saw them take the lead. The final moments saw Sydney FC apply great pressure to PSG but it ended 2-3: a game that the Sky Blues could have won and should have drawn.
Sunday 1st April 2018
Sydney FC 1 vs Sporting Lisbon 0
We entered our final group match against top-placed Sporting Lisbon, who had won their opening two matches. Lisbon were after a win to guarantee top spot in the group, while Sydney FC knew that a win here could put us third in the group. The Sky Blues started with a high pressing tempo and forced Sporting into numerous turnovers near their own goal, and this created the opportunity that Ryan Teague converted in the 2nd minute. Going forward at every opportunity, Sydney FC came close several times to doubling their lead. Sporting Lisbon were forced to play direct in the second half, launching long balls into our box, but the boys were resilient and cleared away most of their attacks. Lisbon did come close on a number of occasions, but Adam Pavlesic, our goalkeeper, played extremely well and ensured we kept a clean sheet. The Sky Blues also created numerous excellent chances on the counter with several opportunities going just wide. The 1-0 win was enough to give Sydney FC third place in the group on goal difference, as PSG lost 5-0 to Ajax.
Final Group Standings:
- Sporting Lisbon
- Sydney FC
- J-League Select
Final Tournament Standing: Sydney FC's third place finish saw the Sky Blues face a J-League Select side in the 5th/6th place playoff clash. The Sky Blues won 5-4 on penalties to finish 5th in this world class international tournament.
Final Positions: Ajax, Juventus, Anderlecht, Sporting Lisbon, Sydney FC, J-League Select, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain
We're the Hyundai A-League Premiers but we're #NotDoneYet...Be at Allianz Stadium for our remaining two clashes and secure your seats, say you were there and be a part of history!