Smeltz sinks Sydney

Gold Coast United has upset Hyundai A League competition leader Sydney FC one-nil in an entertaining match at Skilled Park, Robina, on Saturday night.


Gold Coast United has upset Hyundai A League competition leader Sydney FC one-nil in an entertaining match at Skilled Park, Robina, on Saturday night.

The home side, led by an enterprising and inspired performance from Socceroo Jason Culina, made the most of their chances to emerge with the win against their more fancied rivals.

Sydney FC dominated the opening 15 minutes but the momentum shifted sharply when captain Steve Corica limped off with a hamstring injury after a challenge with Steve Pantelidis.

A determined Gold Coast was desperate to perform in front of a much improved home crowd of more than five thousand fans and Culina didn-t disappoint. His precise cross was rewarded by a header to NZ international Shane Smeltz for the opening goal in the 37th minute.

Culina was involved in a push and shove exchange with Sydney-s Stuart Musialik which underlined the passion he had for this match. Gold Coast was unlucky not to score minutes later, beaten only by a brilliant reflex save from Clint Bolton who deflected Zenon Caravella-s attempt.

Sydney FC looked classy and dominated shots on goal in the first 20 minutes with Karol Kisel combining with Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque to give the visitors their best first half scoring chance.

Coach Vitezslav Lavicka was philosophical about the effort after the match.

“We started well and were playing well in the first 20 minutes but we lost Corica and McFlynn had a problem (head cut) and lost our way a little. Second half we had a lot of possession and created a couple of chances but couldn-t score - congratulations to the Gold Coast.”

Sydney FC remains on top of the ladder after Melbourne suffered a 4-nil defeat at the hands of the Central Coast Mariners.

Match Detail

Gold Coast United 1 (SMELTZ 37') Sydney FC 0

Gold Coast: 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 9. Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER (15. Tahj MINNIECON 80'), 16. Kristian REES, 23. Steve FITZSIMMONS (17. Matthew OSMAN 71'), 24. Anderson Alves DA SILVA (28. Mitchell BEVAN 89').

Substitutes Not Used: 30.Jerrad TYSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: 9. Jason CULINA 39', 2.Steve PANTELIDIS 89'. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Shane SMELTZ 37'.

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c) (7. Brendan GAN 19')(3. Stephan KELLER 85'), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (9. John ALOISI 60'), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.

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

Yellow Cards: 15. Terry MCFLYNN 24', 12. Shannon COLE 25', 8. Stuart MUSIALIK 39'. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Nil.

Referee: Ben Williams Crowd: 5,364 at Skilled Park, Robina.