Sydney FC Celebrate Corica's 100th Match In Style

Sydney FC rejoined the Melbourne Victory at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night.


Sydney FC rejoined the Melbourne Victory at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night.

A precise 34th minute finish by the red hot Alex Brosque gave Steve Corica an early Christmas present in his 100th game for the Sky Blues and handed the Mariners their fourth straight loss of the 2009/10 campaign.

For Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka Wednesday night-s victory was hard earned. “Our opponent played very compact. They have strong tall players, it-s not easy to play them but I am happy that we played with passion today,” he said.

The Mariners came out with a physical presence and John Hutchinson was quick in sending his RSVP to the Steve Corica party with a late challenge on the Sky Blues veteran in the 5th minute of play.

Lined up in a dangerous position Karol Kisel-s free kick was watched safely over the bar by Mariners keeper Danny Vukovic.

Newly promoted striker Dylan Macallister was out to prove a point and minutes later he hustled his way in front of the Sydney defence to present the Mariners with their first chance of the evening.

Defender Brad Porter sent in a teasing cross, however Central Coast-s burley striker was unable to make any serious contact.

Sydney-s midfield was starting to click into gear and a 19th minute interchange of swift passing had the home crowd on their feet. Corica instigated the play feeding a ball to Mark Bridge with Brosque providing a clever fake to throw the defence off. Bridge served his first time pass to a well positioned Brosque who pulled the trigger centimetres wide.

As the match developed into a tough tussle Sydney found a spark in the 34th minute. With nothing doing Sydney-s chief play maker Corica spread the ball wide to Terry McFlynn who spotted Brosque making a run.

His 20 yard pass hit with the outside of the boot fell perfectly to the striker who-s first time hit from the edge of the box skidded into the bottom corner leaving Danny Vukovic with no chance.

“He was always a good player but I think this year he has shown that he is ready for the world stage,” captain Steve Corica said in reference to the man who is creating all the headlines. Mariners as always were not going away easily and Matt Simon continued to provide a nuisance up front. Despite their dominance Sydney was just the goal up at the break.

Central Coast increased their attacking movement and opened up the first opportunity in the second half with the danger man Macallister finding space inside the box. His angle was cut by a well positioned Clint Bolton who fended off the powerfully drilled shot.

With the Mariners moving men forward Sydney started finding space on both sides of midfield, with their first serious chance of the half falling to McFlynn. The Northern Ireland star however failed to get over the top of his 64th minute shot and kept the game on a knife edge.

Defender Dean Heffernan was making some promising runs down the Mariners left flank and had every reason to feel aggrieved with Matt Simon who should have done more with the well executed 69th cross.

With the Mariners increasing their chances Lavicka made a strategic substitution in the 79th minute introducing defender Sebastian Ryall for Sydney-s inspirational captain Steve Corica who received a standing ovation.

Half chances continued to present themselves for Sydney however they lacked the killer blow as the Mariners continued creating problems for Sydney defence particularly from corners. However it was too little to late as the Sydney defence remained rock solid.

Mark Bridge almost added some extra gloss on an impressive performance with a peach of a shot in the 90th minute curling perilously wide of the Vukovic far post.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 1 (14. Alex BROSQUE 34') Central Coast Mariners FC 0

Sydney FC Line-up:: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL (7. Brendan GAN 85'), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c) (2. Sebastian RYALL 79'), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (16. Christopher PAYNE 90+1), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN.

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

Yellow Cards: Nil. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 14. Alex BROSQUE 34'

Central Coast Mariners FC Line-up:: 2. Matthew CROWELL (9. Nik MRDJA 68'), 3. Shane HUKE (22. Nicky TRAVIS 56'), 5. Bradley PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matthew SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk).

Substitutes Not Used: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC.

Yellow Cards: 2. Matthew CROWELL 36', 18. Alex WILKINSON 53', 16. Nigel BOOGAARD 57', 11. Dylan MACALLISTER 87'. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Nil.

Referee: Matthew BREEZE. Crowd 12 689 at the Sydney Football Stadium.