Sydney FC 0 Central Coast Mariners 3

Sydney FC will play Newcastle Jets in the 2007 Pre-Season Cup Play-Offs at Parramatta Stadium on August 4 after its loss to Central Coast Mariners.

Sydney FC will play Newcastle Jets in the 2007 Pre-Season Cup Play-Offs at Parramatta Stadium on August 4 after its loss to Central Coast Mariners.

The unavailability of six influential players - David Carney, Steve Corica, Iain Fyfe, Mark Milligan, Jacob Timpano and Ruben Zadkovich - forced Sydney FC coach Branko Culina's hand when he was filling out the team sheet, with Terry McFlynn lining up at centre half and trialist Daniel Severino in central midfield as the club used a 4-4-2 formation at Canberra Stadium.

Sydney FC had the better of the opening exchanges and should have taken the lead in the 19th minute. Alex Brosque broke down the left wing and his cross found the feet of Brendon Santalab but the striker, playing despite barely training in the week leading up to the match, shot straight at Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Matthew Trott.

Nigel Boogaard and former Sydney FC striker Sasho Petrovski had chances for Central Coast Mariners before Matthew Osman put the Gosford-based club in front in the 36th minute, his 25-metre piledriver flashing past Clint Bolton's outstretched hands.

Adam Kwasnik made it 2-0 to Central Coast Mariners one minute before half time, beating Sydney FC's offside trap before lobbing the ball over Bolton.

Tony Popovic entered the field after the break to make his Sydney FC debut but the ex-Qantas Socceroos star, winner of 58 national team caps, was powerless to prevent Central Coast Mariners scoring their third goal in the 52nd minute when Andre Gumprecht volleyed home spectacularly from the edge of the penalty area.

"We're a long off where we want to be and where we were in the Asian Champions League," said Culina following Sydney FC's second successive defeat.

Sydney FC 0 Central Coast Mariners 3 (Matthew Osman 36', Adam Kwasnik 44', Andre Gumprecht 52') Date: Sunday, July 29, 2007 Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra Referee: Ben Williams Crowd: 5735

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 4. Mark RUDAN (captain), 7. Robbie MIDDLEBY, 9. David ZDRILIC, 11. Brendon SANTALAB (6. Tony POPOVIC 46'), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry McFLYNN, 18. Adam CASEY (3. Nikolas TSATTALIOS 38'), 19, Michael ENFIELD, 23. Ufuk TALAY, 25. Daniel SEVERINO (24. Ben VIDAIC 66').

Substitutes not used: 30. Matthew NASH (gk).

Yellow cards: Clint Bolton 51', Nikolas Tsattalios 63', Tony Popovic 65', Alex Brosque 68'.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Matthew TROTT (gk), 6. Andre GUMPRECHT, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Damien BROWN (13. Tony VIDMAR 81'), 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON (captain), 19. Adam KWASNIK (5. Brad PORTER 74'), 22. Sasho PETROVSKI (10. Tom PONDELJAK 69'), 23. Mile JEDINAK.

Substitutes not used: 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk).

Yellow cards: Mile Jedinak 55', Nigel Boogaard 90'.