Sydney FC 3 (Le Fondre 22’ (Pen), 28’, McGowan 87’) def. Adelaide United 2 (Mileusnic 44’, Toure 52’)
Sydney FC have won an epic encounter to open the Hyundai A-League season with a bang in securing a 3-2 away win at Adelaide United, despite missing a number of key stars.
Moments That Mattered:
- Baumjohann Shot - 7’ – The first shot in anger comes from Baumjohann as he unleashes from 25 yards to sting the palms of Izzo.
- Le Fondre Goal – 22’ – VAR halts play to award a Sky Blue penalty that Le Fondre thumps into the top right hand corner.
- Heward-Belle Save – 26’ – The A-League debutant makes a brilliant low diving save to his right to deny a certain goal.
- Le Fondre Goal – 28’ – Ninkovic slips in Baumjohann who commits the keeper before intelligently squaring to Le Fondre who bags his second of the night.
- Mileusnic Goal - 44’ – Mileusnic pulls back one for the home side after finding the top corner from a free kick on the stroke of halftime.
- Toure Goal - 52’ – Toure squares the game up as he slots past Heward-Belle. It’s initially ruled offside but VAR overturns.
- Strain Red Card – 57’ – Strain brings down a goal bound Le Fondre and is sent for an early shower.
- Barbarouses Disallowed Goal 60’ – King splits the Adelaide defence for Barbarouses to curl around Izzo but VAR intervenes to rule offside in the smallest of margins.
- Barbarouses Chance - 69’ – Barbarouses has his effort cleared off the line by Jakobsen.
- McGowan Goal 87’ – O’Neill whips in a wicked corner for McGowan to rise above the pack and head past Izzo.
In what was a pulsating first 45 minutes of the season, the Sky Blues looked to be the aggressor, finding space in behind the reds defence early and often.
The early dominance paid off as Sydney FC bagged a quick fire double through Le Fondre. The Englishman coolly converted from the spot before finishing off some brilliant build up play by Ninkovic and Baumjohann with an easy tap in.
The goals sparked the home side into action and the Reds pulled one back on the stroke of halftime courtesy of a well-hit free kick from Mileusnic.
Adelaide continued to press at the start of the second half and squared the ledger through youngster Toure after VAR overturned an offside decision.
Corica’s men looked to have retaken the lead after an inch perfect King pass allowed Barbarouses to slot around Izzo. VAR overturned the decision to award the goal by the smallest of margins.
Just as the game looked to be heading for a draw, the Adelaide hometown boy McGowan sunk Adelaide hearts with a thumping header.
Sydney FC will turn their attention to their first home game of the season next week as they go up against Wellington Phoenix.
What they said:
Adam Le Fondre: “The first 30 we were brilliant. I think we got what we deserved in the end.
“The boys have been brilliant, and the new boys have been added to the quality of the side.”
Steve Corica: “You always want the first game over and done, and it’s great to get the three points. It’s a difficult place to come and play so we’re pleased.
“We wanted to bring quality players and good guys. It was great to see McGowan grab a goal in his first game.
“If you look at the game overall, we definitely had the better chances. Once they went down to ten men, we had the quality to finish the game.”
Sydney FC: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN (17. Anthony CACERES 75’), 6. Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (18. Luke IVANOVIC 90+3’), 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 16. Joel KING, 26. Luke BRATTAN.
Subs Not Used: 40. Tristan PRENDERGAST (GK), 21. Harry VAN DER SAAG, 27. Jordan SWIBEL.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None.
Adelaide United: 20. Paul IZZO (GK), 4. Ryan STRAIN, 7. Ryan KITO, 8. Riley McGREE, 14. George BLACKWOOD, 17. Nikola MILESUNIC, 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 23. Jordan ELSEY, 26. Benjamin HALLORAN, 27. Louis D’ARRIGO (5. Michael MARIA 66’), 35. Al Hassan TOURE (11. Kristian OPSETH 78’).
Subs not used: 30. Isaac RICHARDS (GK), 2. Michael MARRONE, 6. Vince LIA,
Yellow Cards: 5. Michael MARIA 77’
Red Cards: 4. Ryan STRAIN 57’
Ground: Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee: Alex King