Sky Blues fall to Victory but coach vows to never give up

Sydney FC was defeated 3-0 by arch rivals Melbourne Victory in a fast paced and physical showdown at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Sydney FC was defeated 3-0 by arch rivals Melbourne Victory in a fast paced and physical showdown at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Although creating a host of goal scoring opportunities themselves, the Sky Blues couldn-t capitalise and it was Melbourne who opened the scoring in the first half before adding another two at either end of the second half to round out the win.

It was the first time the two sides renewed hostilities at Etihad since the 2009/10 Grand Final and a speedy Victory secured the crucial three points with the help of raucous home crowd of 17,229.

The Sky Blues next match is against the Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday 24 October (4pm kick-off).

“This is a difficult situation for us. We must stick together and work hard. I still believe we are able to turn this around,” Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka said. “We conceded from a set piece and then our opponent sat back and played counter attack.”

“We pushed hard in the second half. I am the type of coach and I trust the players that we will never give up. We are going through a tough period but we never give up. We need to work hard and stick together.

“I really appreciate the Sydney FC fans for sticking with us and supporting us. They are sticking with us during this tough situation. Work, work, work.” Captain Terry McFlynn again turned in a gutsy performance and said his team will simply not give up.

“We definitely can [make the finals].We have got to dig deep. We have to work hard every day on the training pitch and just believe that we can,” McFlynn said. “After the second goal we had most of the possession and most of the chances but credit to Melbourne for catching us on the counter attack.

“We still believe in each other and we will stick together as a unit and come through it.”

In true Melbourne v Sydney FC style, the first half was a physical clash and it was the Victory who made most of the early running and in the 20th minute Carlos Hernandez swung in a cross from a free-kick situation, which Rodrigo Vargas got on the end of to head home and give Melbourne the lead.

Despite having less possession than Sydney FC, the Victory came close to adding to their lead in latter moments of the second half but would take the one goal advantage into the halftime break.

The second half started disastrously for the Sky Blues with Hernandez finding the back of the net for the first time this season after heading in a Tom Pndelijak cross un-marked in the 49th minute.

The second goal saw the introduction of Nicky Carle, returning from a six week layoff with a broken toe, who replaced Stuart Musialik, and he immediately went to his customary position in behind the strikers.

Carle had an immediate impact, cutting through the Victory defence on numerous occasions as the Sky Blues pushed Melbourne hard.

Sydney controlled the vast majority of the second stanza but nothing would fall their way and as they pushed further forward Melbourne again converted a fast break situation with Robbie Kruse getting on the end of a clever Pondelijak pass to get the ball past keeper Liam Reddy in injury time.

Sydney had 17 shots on goal to Melbourne-s 22 and ended up having 53% of possession but just couldn-t get it click.

Match Details:

Sydney FC: 0 Melbourne Victory: 3 (VARGAS -20, HERNANDEZ -49, KRUSE -90) Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK (10 Nicky CARLE -51), 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN (21. Scott JAMIESON -76)

Substitutes Not Used: 5. Hayden FOXE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: 21. Scott JAMIESON ‘90+1 Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Nil

Melbourne Victory Line-up: 1. Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC (27. Geoff KELLAWAY -65), 8. Grant BREBNER, 9. RICARDINHO (6. Leigh BROXHAM -69), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 14. Billy CELESKI (11. Marvin ANGULO -88), 15. Tom PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 21. Robbie KRUSE, 23. Adrian LEIJER

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Sebastian MATTEI (gk)

Yellow Cards: Billy CELESKI ‘58 Red Cards: Nil. Goals: VARGAS -20, HERNANDEZ -49, KRUSE -90

Referee: Ben WILLIAMS Crowd: 17 229 at Etihad Stadium.