Sydney FC draw 1-1 with Macarthur Rams

Sydney FC opened its 2011/12 preseason with a 1-1 draw against Macarthur Rams in front of 2,349 fans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Sydney FC opened its 2011/12 preseason with a 1-1 draw against Macarthur Rams in front of 2,349 fans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The Sky Blues dominated play in the first half with numerous shots on goal but were unable to convert their chances to make the scoreboard reflect their attacking possession.

While disappointed not to win, coach Vitezslav Lavicka commented after the match that fitness levels were more important than the score in the opening match of Sydney FC-s preseason.

“It was a frustrating game for us but it was the first game since May so we have plenty of time to improve,” said Lavicka. “I am happy physically and we can build in attack going forward as our training so far has been more about fitness.”

“We had a good opponent tonight and Macarthur gave a very aggressive and enthusiastic performance. We conceded an unluckily goal after a deflection but we should have scored more goals.”

“Both sides worked very hard and we were coming to play from good training preparation. In the first half I think we had seven good opportunities to score and our main problem tonight was we missed too many opportunities.”

“We need to pick up the pace and players fitness levels over the next week and we would like to improve our finishing skills next week.”

Sydney FC dominated possession in the first half but was unable to convert their chances, with shots either going wide or saved by Macarthur-s keeper.

Sydney almost opened the scoring early in the second minute after a Macarthur defender slipped just as the ball was crossed towards goal but luckily for him Cazarine was unable to get a clear shot on target.

Cazarine had an even easier opportunity in the 12th minute when Macarthur back-passed straight to an unmarked Cazarine but his first touch pushed him wide resulting in a shot that also went wide.

New signing Jamie Coyne looked comfortable in defence but also looked just as comfortable in attack as he continually pushed up the right wing, creating several chances and he almost scored his own after a suburb free kick was crossed towards goals by Karol Kisel. Coyne jumped high but his hands pushed into a Macarthur defender-s back and both came down without connecting with the ball.

The midfield attack was led by Kisel and Nick Carle and it was Carle who almost set up a goal in the 28th minute, after he sliced a ball through to Mark Bridge on goal but the pass was hit with too much vigour and flew through to the keeper-s safe hands.

The second half was a more subdued affair despite both teams scoring a goal each as Sydney substituted many of its more experienced players with youth throughout the half.

Sydney opened the scoring in the 55th minute when Bruno Cazarine controlled the ball and the opposition with his strength and shot the ball low into the net.

It looked like the floodgates could open but the Sky Blues advantage only lasted 12 minutes when in the 67th minute, Macarthur levelled after a deflected shot wrong-footed Ivan Necevski and flew into the net.

After Macarthur-s goal the match levelled out with Sydney FC using many of its youth squad players including 16-year-old Hagi Gligor who made his senior debut after impressing the Sky Blue staff at training.

The Sky Blues rested Pascal Bosschaart, Nathan Sherlock and Joel Chianese for the match while Dimi Petratos, Terry Antonis and Rhyant Grant are playing at the U20 World Cup in Colombia with the Qantas Young Socceroos and were not available to play.

Sydney FC-s next friendly is against St. George Saints at WIN Jubilee Kogarah on Wednesday August 10.

Sydney FC Starting Eleven: Ivan Necevski, Scott Jamieson, Sebastian Ryall, Jamie Coyne, Michael Beauchamp, Hirofumi Moriyasu, Terry McFlynn (c), Karol Kisel, Nick Carle, Mark Bridge, Bruno Cazarine.

Starting Bench: Liam Reddy, Juho Makela, Shannon Cole, Joe Gibbs, Hagi Gligor, Daniel Petkovski, Blake Powell, Jared Lum.