Sydney FC striker Corey Gameiro fired a brace while youngster Max Burgess scored his first goal for the club as the Sky Blues defeated Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3-2 in front of 2,190 fans at Leichhardt Oval.
Gameiro’s goals, both in the second half, takes his tally to six in four pre-season games and gives Graham Arnold his third win as Sydney FC boss.
It was a win the Sky Blues deserved despite having ten first team players unavailable and twice coming from behind.
“It was another good workout for us and we are making good progress,” said Arnold
“It was good to win but the most important thing for me was that some players who didn’t get much game time in New Zealand got a good hit out tonight in preparation for next week’s FFA Cup tie against Melbourne City.
“Bonnyrigg were a good test tonight and you can see why they are top two in the New South Wales Premier League.
“But results don’t matter at this stage and these games are all about coming together as a team and progressing as a team.
“Another important aspect for me is that what we are doing on the training field is now being replicated on the pitch,” he said.
Arnold began with a number of regular first team players in the line-up which also included young goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis making his first, first team appearance, alongside 17 year old striker George Blackwood.
Nikola Petkovic again captained the side as Sydney FC began the half with more purpose than their IGA NSW Premier League opponents.
Nick Carle was the first to go close when he shot only to see the effort deflected wide in the 7th minute.
In 14 minutes the Sky Blues again looked a threat with Antonis playing the ball through to Gameiro but it fell slightly ahead of the young striker and Gobbo was able to gather in the White Eagles goal.
Centre half Matt Jurman made a vital interception two minutes later when Canak pushed the ball inside from the right of the penalty area looking for Younis, but the former Brisbane man was there to clear the danger.
Sydney FC continued to dominate possession and play and on 24 minutes Milos Dimitrijevic struck a thunderous goal bound shot which was closed down at the last minute by the Bonnyrigg defence.
The Sky Blues were almost in front just after the half hour when Gameiro again found space on the left of the box but dragged his left foot shot agonisingly past the post.
Against the run of play Bonnyrigg took the lead in the 36th minute when Canak broke down the Sydney FC left. The linesman’s flag stayed down despite a hint of offside and when the midfielder crossed, Younis was on hand to control and calmly slot past Bouzanis.
That was the last meaningful action of the half with the White Eagles taking the advantage at the break.
Bonnyrigg made a number of second half changes while Sydney FC replaced Triantis and Blackwood at the start of the second half with youngsters Max Burgess and James Andrew.
Bouzanis pulled off a good save early in the half from Edosomwan before Sydney FC finally made the break through.
A left wing corner from Petkovic created a scramble in the Bonnyrigg box and Gameiro was first to pounce and slot the ball beyond Gobbo to make it 1-1.
The White Eagles weren’t put off however and restored their lead within three minutes. A right wing cross to the far post was headed back across the Sky Blues six yard box to Edosomwan who nudged the ball over the line with his head.
The lead didn’t last for long and it was Gameiro again who squared the ledger. Petkovic curled in a dangerous corner, this time from the right, and Gameiro met his pinpoint cross with a firm header from 12 yards to make it 2-2 after 64 minutes.
The striker almost had his hat-trick in the 70th minute when he found space and struck a shot that deflected wide of the post, but he was on hand four minutes later to play his part in the Sky Blues winner.
The Young Socceroos striker headed the ball back across goal from a right wing cross to Max Burgess and the Foxtel National Youth League midfielder controlled the ball on his chest and fired home to win the game for Sydney FC.
Sydney FC 3 (Gameiro 59’, 64’, Burgess 74’ ) d. Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Younis 36’, Edosomwan 62’)
at Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Kurt Ams
SYDNEY FC: 30. Antony BOUZANIS, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC (Captain), 7. Corey GAMEIRO (26. Bai ANTONIOU 84’), 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 16. Alex GERSBACH, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Peter TRIANTIS (24. Max BURGESS 45’), 19. Nick CARLE (Nick WARD 60’), 28. George BLACKWOOD (29. James ANDREW 45’).
Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC(GK), 25. George TIMOTHEOU, 27. Dylan CATON, 32. Themba MUATA-MARLOW.
BONNYRIGG WHITE EAGLES: 22. Liam GOBBO, 2. Alex MANSUETO, 4. David VRANKOVIC, 5. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Nikola ZONJIC, 8. Alexander CANAK, 9. Robert YOUNIS, 12. Dylan FOX, 18. Adrian UCCHINO, 19. Aaron PETERSON, 21. Bo HYUN CHUN.
Subs: 20. Tristan PRENDERGAST, 10. Tynan DIAZ, 11. Benjamin SPENCE, 14. Jordan CRIGHTON, 16. Howard FONDYKE, 17. Mitchell OSMOND, 24. Alexander DOYLE, 26. Tarik ERCAN, 27. Harrison FELLER, 30. Nikola KRLJAR, 32. Osadolor EDOSOMWAN, 36. Braedan ROBINS, 37. Carlos ENWIYA, 39. Jayden PRIEST.