Sydney FC take heart from clean sheet

Sydney FC Coach Frank Farina has positives aplenty to work on after watching the Sky Blues in a much-improved performance in a scoreless draw with Melbourne Heart, in front of a boisterous home crowd of 12,425 at Allianz Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC Coach Frank Farina has positives aplenty to work on after watching the Sky Blues in a much-improved performance in a scoreless draw with Melbourne Heart, in front of a boisterous home crowd of 12,425 at Allianz Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC had the better of the chances in the match but it was the starch in defence and the willingness to fight for the cause that underlined a performance that saw the Sky Blues take another step forward.

17-year-old midfielder Hagi Gligor was poised and effective in his starting debut, debutante goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic was confident and strong between the sticks and did his bit in maintaining Sydney FC-s first clean sheet since round three.

Both Sydney fullbacks, Rhyan Grant and Fabio, put in great displays charging up and down the touchline, with the latters- link up play with Yau causing Melbourne constant headaches.

The Panamanian may have felt he could have won the fixture, seeing a first half effort go the wrong side of the crossbar.

Despite pressing hard for a winner in the second half, the Sky Blues just couldn-t find the back of the net, with Joel Chianese, Alessandro Del Piero and Grant all going close

Caretaker coach Steve Corica, who remained in charge for the match, made four changes from the team that fell 2-1 to Adelaide United last week with Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis away on Socceroos duty, Sebastian Ryall suspended and Ivan Necevski omitted.

Grant was reinstated and was Sydney FC-s best performer and Chianese returned with verve in attack while Gligor and Janjetovic did enough to suggest they will play a role in Farnia-s plans.

Janjetovic-s debut handed him the honour of becoming the 100th player to play a competitive match for Sydney FC . The Heart had the first chance of the game, with a David Williams cross from the left flank finding Josip Tadic, who fluffed his lines and ballooned his shot over the bar from just six yards out.

Sydney-s first sight of goal also came from a wide position, with Fabio sending a looping cross into the far post, met by an onrushing Chianese, with the striker seeing his header flash past the wrong side of the post.

Fabio was a constant threat early on and a great ball down the left flank released Yau on 15 minutes, with the Panamanian sprinting clear of the Heart defence, before unluckily seeing his shot rise over the crossbar.

Playing in front of a vocal home crowd, Sydney were the dominant team in the first half, with Del Piero, Pascal Bosschaart and Grant all having good chances to find the target. Unfortunately though, they all failed to test Clint Bolton in the Heart goal.

Fabio and Yau combined for Sydney-s first chance in the second half, with the Panamanian striker winning a free kick 12 yards from goal on the left hand side of the penalty area after bursting onto Fabio-s delightful pass.

From the ensuing free-kick, Del Piero stung the palms of Clint Bolton as he attempted to curl an effort into the far post.

The visitors then jolted into groove and tested Janjetovic for the first time. Tadic and then Fred both missed gilt edged chances before the latter forced a great save from Janjetovic.

By this stage the game had opened up, with Grant next to try his luck, skimming the cross-bar from a superb 20m strike before a Del Piero free-kick caused havoc in the goalmouth.

Striking on goal from 30m, the Italian-s effort was fumbled by Bolton, forcing Gerhardt to hastily clear from the prowling Chianese.

In the last ten minutes of the game as both teams looked for the victory, Janjetovic making regulation saves from Macallister and Williams, ensuring a clean sheet on debut for the youngster.

Sydney FC 0 drew Melbourne Heart 0 Allianz Stadium Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: 12 425

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 3. FABIO, 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 8. Adam GRIFFITHS, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (12. Blake POWELL ‘67), 15. Terry McFLYNN (c), 16. Joel CHIANESE, 21. Yairo YAU, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Hagi GLIGOR (6. Jason CULINA ‘65). Sub not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 5. Nathan SHERLOCK. Yellow cards: Jason CULINA 88

Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint BOLTON, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. FRED, 6. Patrick GERHARDT, 8. Matt THOMPSON (9. Dylan MACALLISTER), 10. Josip TADIC, 15. David WILLIAMS, 17 Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Ben GARUCCIO (22. Nicholas KALMER), 24. Samuel MITCHINSON, 25. Jeremy WALKER (18. David VRANKOVIC). Sub not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE Yellow cards: Jason HOFFMAN 33, Jeremy WALKER 47, Matt THOMPSON 65