Sydney FC produced one of their performances of the season to calmly dispatch the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday.
Sydney FC 5 def. Central Coast Mariners 1
Sydney FC produced one of the performances of the season to dispatch the Central Coast Mariners 5-1 at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night.
A brace to Marc Janko coupled with strikes to Bernie Ibini, Alex Brosque and a first ever A-League goal to Christopher Naumoff earned the three points for Head Coach Graham Arnold as he took bragging rights against his old club on his first visit back.
The Sky Blues dominated the first half as they enjoyed plentiful amounts of the ball to carve open space time and again. The deadlock was broken 16 minutes into the game through Marc Janko and Sydney FC never looked back as a goal two minutes later combined with Bernie Ibni’s final minute strike sent Sydney FC into the break three goals to the good.
The intensity in the second half didn’t abate and Marc Janko put the match seemingly to bed as he capitalised on a Central Coast error to increase Sydney FC’s margin. The Mariners slowly clawed back some possession however, and got their name on the scoresheet with a quarter of the match still to play but Alex Brosque sealed the win seven minutes later with a rare right foot strike.
The Sky Blues performance will fill them with confidence as they have next weekend off before travelling to nib Stadium to face Perth Glory on Saturday 7th February.
What they said
Graham Arnold: “I’m just proud of my players because we’ve been through a lot. It’s not easy for team mates when they see four of their mates go down with horrific injuries and it takes it toll psychologically. Thankfully the Asian Cup really gave us a good chance to recruit well and those two French/Senegalese boys are probably 60 or 70 percent fit and they were very good.
“They have lifted the standards in the whole group and taken our professionalism to a whole new level and that’s what you want from foreign players and hopefully that’s the way we can move forward.
“The break might have been bad for other teams but we used it well. We gave the players one week off and then the next week we hurt them at training and really pushed them to run out games like that and Marc Janko is now settling.
“The performance was fantastic and I think we should have been four or five up at half time. Disappointing to nearly conceded another one or two on the counter when we had a corner but we’ll work on it. I spoke a lot about the senior players but I really want to give a lot of credit to Gersbach 17, Naumoff 18, Calver 18, years of age. I don’t enjoy anything more than developing Australian kids.”
16’ JANKO GOAL – A lofted cross from Alex Gersbach falls to Janko at the far post and the Austrian makes no mistake from close range as he fires it in low and hard through Reddy’s legs.
18’ NAUMOFF GOAL – Aaron Calver picks the ball up in the right touchline and with time and space to pick a player deliver the ball to the back post. Naumoff, free in the area receives the ball and sidefoots it home first time for his first ever Hyundai A-League goal.
44’ IBINI GOAL – On the cusp of half time Bernie Ibini strikes against his old club as a slide ball from Calver releases the young winger who cuts inside his marker before sending a daisy cutter into the bottom corner of the net.
47’ JANKO GOAL – Marc Janko capitalises on Zach Anderson’s poor back pass to deftly chip the ball over an on-rushing Reddy with the second half only minutes old.
66’ MAJOR GOAL – Josh Rose makes a lung busting run down the left touchline to go one on one with Vedran Janjetovic. He takes on the keeper before squaring the ball to Travis Major to tap into an empty net.
72’ BROSQUE GOAL – Fantastic passing between Ibini and Janko sees the latter released into the box. The Austrian takes one touch before looking up and squaring to an onrushing Brosque who places the ball in the net first time with his right foot.
4’ IBINI SHOT – A loose ball falls to Bernie Ibini on the edge of the area but his snap shot flies wide in what was the first real chance of the match.
13’ IBINI FIRES OVER – Alex Gersbach breezes down the left touchline before whipping in a teasing ball to Bernie Ibini at the back post. The former Mariner takes a touch but he fires over when well positioned.
29’ IBINI GOES CLOSE – Picking the ball up in the break, Bernie Ibini charges forward. He unleashes across goal but Reddy is down to make a smart save.
44’ JANKO MISS – Marc Janko blazes the ball over the bar from point blank range in the last action of the first half, after being smartly found by Gersbach.
61’ CALVER HEADER – A whipped free kick from Milos Dimitrijevic is met by a leaping Aaron Calver. The youngster can’t generate any power on the header however, and it flies over the bar.
83’ JANJETOVIC SAVE – A brave save from Vedran Janjetovic denies the Mariners a second goal late on as he dives at the feet of a surging Matt Simon to gather the ball.
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold made three changes to his squad as the Hyundai A-League emerged from its AFC Asian Cup hiatus. New duo Mickael Tavares and Jacques Faty slotted straight into the team while Christopher Naumoff built on his substitute appearance in Wollongong to start tonight. Aaron Calver reprised his role at right back in his third consecutive start while fellow new boy Robert Stambolziev missed out on the match as his ITC was not cleared in time. Matthew Jurman returned to the Sky Blues bench after missing the latter half of the year through illness.
Ground: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford.
Referee: Jarred Gillett.
Attendance: 12, 102
Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI, 13. Christopher NAUMOFF, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Alex GERSBACH, 21. Marc JANKO (74’ Shane SMELTZ), 25. Aaron CALVER, 26. Jacques FATY (82’ Matthew JURMAN), 27. Mickael TAVARES (60’ Rhyan GRANT).
Subs Not Used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 18. Peter TRIANTIS,
Yellow cards: 35’ Tavares , 50’ Janko, 79’ Grant.
Red cards: None.
Central Coast Mariners: 12. Liam REDDY, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 10. Anthony CACERES (57’ Travis MAJOR), 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 18. Glen TRIFIRO (45’ Nick MONTGOMERY), 19. Matthew SIMON, 25. Eddy BOSNAR.
Subs Not Used: 30. Adam PEARCE, 2. Storm ROUX, 17. Richard VERNES.
Red cards: None
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