Super-sub seals win for Sydney

SYDNEY FC enjoyed the perfect return to the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night, beating Adelaide United 1-0 thanks to a 77th minute winner from substitute striker, Mark Bridge.

SYDNEY FC enjoyed the perfect return to the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night, beating Adelaide United 1-0 thanks to a 77th minute winner from substitute striker, Mark Bridge.

Both sides enjoyed a handful of chances in the open, high-tempo encounter, but Bridge-s crafty give and go with Alex Brosque broke the dead lock and maintained the Sky Blues- perfect start to the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season.

Coach Vitezslav Lavicka has promised a more disciplined, European approach from his players, and the Sky Blues, marshalled by Simon Colosimo and Stephan Keller, proved they will be hard to crack this season.

“We have a clean sheet this week, that-s an improvement,” Lavicka assessed. “I appreciated the players- approach - the quality, discipline and every player gave more than 100% for the team.”

The home side was bolstered by the return of captain Steve Corica, playing just in behind marquee man John Aloisi, and he called Eugene Galekovic into action for the first time on 18 minutes. Brosque dropped his shoulder and showed a clean pair of heels down the left flank; Karol Kisel and John Aloisi did wonderfully well to flick the ball into the skipper-s path, but Galekovic threw his leg out to deal with his shot across the goal.

Brosque was a threat all contest, and just before the half hour he bobbed up in the middle and slipped a ball through to Corica into the box. The number 10 cut inside and at first glance looked to have been felled by an Adelaide defender. It was the first real flash point in the contest, but referee Matthew Breeze correctly waved play on.

Adelaide immediately marched down the other end and Alemao kept Clint Bolton on his toes, forcing a sharp save at the near post.

The Reds enjoyed their best spell of the match in the middle of the half, but the best they could offer was a Robbie Cornthwaite header that whistled wide.

The home side-s two veteran strikers carved out two decent chances at the back end of the half. Aloisi hooked a Cole cross back across the face, but Brosque-s effort was quickly blocked.

Soon after, Corica peeled off to the left flank and whipped a perfect ball into the six yard box. Aloisi flicked it onto Kofi Danning, but the youngster couldn-t adjust his body and sliced wide.

The start to the second half was just as even and open. Pantelis latched onto a skidding centre from Alemao and sent Bolton down quickly to his right; Sky Blue livewire Danning peppered the Reds with a string of decent crosses; while Corica released Brosque on the counter attack, but the left-footer didn-t get enough venom behind his on-target effort.

Classy centre back Simon Colosimo is like a new signing leading the Sky Blues- defence this campaign, but he also showed his attacking wares with a thirty metre drive that sent Galekovic sprawling to his right. By the final quarter of the match, the Sky Blues had the Reds under the pump.

Lavicka said he always “believed”, and bringing on Mark Bridge proved an inspired substitution with 25 minutes left. He showed the side-s depth, coming off the bench to work one of his pet training ground moves with Brosque to carve the only goal of the contest.

He picked the ball up on the edge of the area and flicked it to Brosque, whose inch-perfect return header put Bridge clear on goal -and the striker rattled the back of the net with an unstoppable left foot drive.

Adelaide caused a few late heart flutters, most notably Adam Hughes- deflected strike, but the Sky Blues back-four couldn-t be broken and snared their first clean sheet for season 2009/10.

Up next for Sydney is a trip to Gosford and a local derby against the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium next Saturday, August 22nd.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 1 (Bridge 77') Adelaide United 0

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 9. John ALOISI, 10. Steve CORICA (c) (19. Mark BRIDGE 66-), 11. Kofi DANNING (7. Brendan GAN, 82-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE (17. Matthew JURMAN 90+2-), 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.

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

Yellow Cards: Simon Colosimo 26-, Shannon Cole 52-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: Mark Bridge 77-.

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2. Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3. ALEMAO (16. Inseob SHIN 63-), 4. Ian FYFE, 7. Lucas PANTELIS (15. Francesco MONTEROSSO 84-), 9. CRISTIANO, 10. Adam HUGHES, 12. Paul REID, 13. Travis DODD (c), 14. Scott JAMEISON, 17. Michael MARRONE.

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21. Mark RUDAN.

Yellow Cards: Scott Jameison 70-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: nil.

Referee: Matthew Breeze. Crowd: 14,924 at the Sydney Football Stadium.