Sky Blues Fall To Sterjovski Strike

A second half deflected strike from Mile Sterjovski condemned Sydney FC to a one nil defeat at Allianz Stadium, in front of 16,006 fans on a hot and humid night.

A second half deflected strike from Mile Sterjovski condemned Sydney FC to a one nil defeat at Allianz Stadium, in front of 16,006 fans on a hot and humid night.

The Sky Blues could have taken something from the game had Ranko Despotovic not had a 30th minute strike ruled out for offside, while Nick Carle and Corey Gameiro also had good chances to net for Sydney FC.

Meanwhile Mariner-s forward Matt Simon had a header cleared off the line before Sterjovski sealed the points for the Mariners in the 58th minute.

Sydney FC Head Coach Frank Farina made one change to the team that started in the Sydney Derby last weekend. Corey Gameiro made his first start in a Sky Blue jersey, taking the place of retired Socceroo and Sydney FC midfielder Brett Emerton, while new signing Milos Dimitrijevic started on the bench with Joel Chianese who returned from an ankle knock.

The Sky Blues were almost in front within the first minute. Alessandro Del Piero picked the ball up on the Mariners byline and floated a cross into the back post that Nick Carle met with a fierce volley that could only find the side netting from an acute angle.

Striker Corey Gameiro, who made his full debut, came to the Sky Blues aid three minutes later as he blocked a powerful goal bound header from Daniel McBreen on the line. Sydney FC cleared the resulting rebound.

In the 8th minute the Sky Blues were only inches away from opening the scoring. Ali Abbas whipped in a dangerous cross from the right channel that Ranko Despotovic rose to meet, however he could only steer his header wide with Reddy doing enough to put the Serbian off.

The Mariners should have been in front in the 11th minute when Josh Rose evaded the Sky Blues offside trap and was played in one on one with Janjetovic, but the Sydney FC goalkeeper proved his worth with a strong save at his near post.

Ranko Despotovic had the ball in the back of the net in the 30th minute however it was ruled out for offside as the crowd joined Ranko in belated celebrations.

Alessandro Del Piero received the ball from a throw in and played it into the path of Despotovic. The Serbian took one touch, rounded Reddy and slotted the ball into an empty net before the linesman-s flag intervened.

The first half closed with Liam Reddy called into action in the 40th minute when Ranko Despotovic broke the Mariners line and drove towards goal. His shot was deflected and fell to Abbas at the far post who drove a venomous half volley at Reddy that he parried away to safety to end the opening period.

The Sky Blues started the second half in the same way they finished the first.

Gameiro was played through on goal from a Despotovic flick on however he could only put the ball wide of the goal.

The Mariners took the lead in the 58th minute with the aid of a deflection.

Mile Sterjovski picked the ball up on the edge of the Sky Blues penalty area and hit a sweet strike on goal. The shot deflected off Matt Jurman-s hand and wrong footed Janjetovic as it nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

Sky Blues fans were introduced to their latest acquisition in the 65th minute as Farina went in search of an equaliser. Marc Warren and Nick Carle made way for Joel Chianese and Milos Dimitrijevic.

Janjetovic continued his rich vein of form in the 85th minute to deny Duke as the shot stopper dived at the forward-s feet.

The linesman-s flag came into question again when Joel Chianese was adjudged to be offside when played in by Dimitrijevic in the final chance of the match for the Sky Blues.

Sydney FC next head to Melbourne and AAMI Park on Sunday for their traditional Australia Day clash against the Melbourne Victory, kicking off at 5pm.

Sydney FC 0 def. by Central Coast Mariners 1 (Sterjovski 58-).

Allianz Stadium

Referee: Peter O-Leary

Attendance: 16,006

SYDNEY FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 3. Marc WARREN (65- J.CHIANESE), 4. Ranko DESPOTOVIC, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Pedj BOJIC, 9. Corey GAMEIRO, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (c),15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Nick CARLE (65- M.DIMITRIJEVIC), 22. Ali ABBAS.

Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Seb RYALL, 28. Matt THOMPSON.

Yellow Cards: 60- N.Petkovic, 74- T.McFlynn, 86- R.Despotovic.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS: 12. Liam REDDY, 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 11. Nick FITZGERALD (75- M.DUKE), 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (68- B.IBINI).

Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD, 4. Marcel SEIP, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS.

Yellow Cards: 23- M.Simon