Sydney FC defeats A.S. Cittadella 1-0

Sydney FC made it a hat trick of wins on its Italian tour with a 1-0 victory over A.S. Cittadella at the Stadio Comunale Picchi in Jesolo today.

Sydney FC made it a hat trick of wins on its Italian tour with a 1-0 victory over A.S. Cittadella at the Stadio Comunale Picchi in Jesolo today.

A first half goal to former Serie A trialist Vincenzo Italiano was enough for Sydney FC to defeat a youthful A.S. Cittadella side that sat back in defence and tried to hit the Sky Blues on the counter attack.

Coach Frank Farina rested the majority of his squad for the match with Terry McFlynn, Pascal Bosschaart, Vedran Janjetovic and Mitch Mallia joined by youngsters Jacob Tratt, Daniel Petkovski and Josh MacDonald as well as four trialists.

The Sky Blues struggled to gain control of the match in the first 10 minutes as A.S. Cittadella sat very deep in defence, forcing the Sky Blues to work hard to fashion any openings but with McFlynn and Bosschaart leading the way they soon grabbed the initiative.

MacDonald and Mallia both had chances before trialist Vedran Niksic rattled the post in the 30th minute with a curling left foot shot. Three minutes later in one of its first forays forward A.S. Cittadella won a penalty only for Sydney FC ‘keeper Janjetovic to save the spot kick, which was blasted straight down the middle.

Sydney FC then scored the opening goal of the game in the 35th minute when Petkovski beat a defender down the left hand side and put in a hanging cross for Italiano to volley home from the edge of the six-yard box.

The sides went to the break with Sydney FC holding a 1-0 lead and Farina sent the same 11 back out for the second half and the Sky Blues held the initiative and controlled possession for large periods without being able to break down the stacked A.S. Cittadella defence.

Farina made a glut of substitutions on 60 minutes with McFlynn, Tratt and Migliorini withdrawn while Alessandro Del Piero entered the field to another rousing reception in the 66th minute, replacing the lively Niksic.

The introduction of Del Piero ignited the crowd and also sparked Sydney FC as Mallia and MacDonald both had opportunities saved before Del Piero almost brought the house down when he struck the crossbar direct from a corner with the goalkeeper beaten in the 78th minute.

The final 10 minutes saw the Sky Blues pepper the A.S. Cittadella goal as the game was played around the edge of the Italians- penalty area but Sydney FC could not add to its single goal, running out 1-0 winners.

Sydney FC 1 (Italiano 35) d A.S. Cittadella 0 Stadio Comunale Picchi, Jesolo Crowd: 3, 121

Sydney FC team: Vedran JANJETOVIC, Jacob TRATT (Marco MODOLO 60), Pascal BOSSCHAART, Daniel PETKOVSKI, Vittorio GARGIULO, Terry McFLYNN (Bill DJORDJEVIC 60), Vincenzo ITALIANO, Andrea MIGLIORINI (Andrea BRIGLIA 60), Josh MACDONALD, Mitch MALLIA (Michele SANTAGATA 75), Vedran NIKSIC (Alessandro DEL PIERO 66)

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