Undefeated Sydney celebrates Corica’s milestone in style

SYDNEY FC has tonight celebrated veteran Steve Corica’s 400th competitive club appearance by claiming a share of the Hyundai A-League competition lead, with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Adelaide United.

SYDNEY FC has tonight celebrated veteran Steve Corica-s 400th competitive club appearance by climbing t the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Adelaide United.

Substitute Brendon Santalab put the icing on the cake with a thunderous 35 metre monster to maintain his record of spectacular strikes against the Reds.

The home side laid the platform with a dominant first half display. A sublime drive by Terry McFlynn got Sydney off to the perfect start in the second minute of the match, before Alex Brosque-s composure in front of goal gave Sydney the unassailable lead close to the break.

Adelaide United started lethargically on the back of their midweek Asian Champions League quarter final against Kashima Antlers, and the Sky Blues made them pay for their listless performance in difficult circumstances.

“I think the way that we played took all the sting out of Adelaide, and when you cop a smack in the jaw like we gave Adelaide in the first couple of minutes it-s pretty hard to pick yourself up,” Coach John Kosmina assessed.

McFlynn continued his fantastic start to the campaign with a peach of a goal - latching onto Brosque-s flick-on to rifle the ball past a helpless Eugene Galekovic from the edge of the area. The midfielder was clearly enjoying himself in a box-to-box performance, showing deft skill to complement his energy.

John Kosmina-s attacking trio of Mark Bridge, Corica and Brosque were enjoying time and space on the ball, rotating across the paddock with fluid movement that Adelaide could not contain, nor reproduce.

Corica almost found himself on the score sheet on seventeen minutes after a swift move down the left - Brosque linked up with Robbie Middleby bombing down the flank, but Corica couldn-t get a clean shot on goal off Middleby-s centre.

Galekovic had to scramble to stave off a bizarre goal soon after, when the ball rebounded thirty meters off Stuart Musialik-s slide-tackle, requiring the Adelaide custodian to tip it over the bar. Clint Bolton had no such concerns, comfortably dealing with Adelaide-s crosses throughout the night.

Alex Brosque chimed in after 34 minutes with a well-taken, classy piece of finishing. Brosque, who was given more of a free role tonight, latched onto Tony Popovic-s diagonal ball after it floated over Sasa Ognenovski-s head. He sucked in Galekovic, flicked the ball away from the oncoming goalkeeper before calmly slotting the ball home.

The only threat to Sydney-s lead was their own lapse in concentration - the home side was saved by the left-upright just before half time when Cristiano seized upon an uncharacteristic error from Popovic, but the Brazilian scuffed his side-s best chance under pressure from Bolton.

Sydney never reached top gear in the second stanza. Adelaide-s inexperienced line-up enjoyed a better spell, but wasteful shooting from Paul Reid, Alemao, and Cassio summed up the Reds- night. When they managed to apply pressure in Sydney-s box, Iain Fyfe salvaged Sydney-s clean sheet with some desperate, scrambling defence on the goal line.

Santalab was introduced for Bridge and added energy and life to the contest. With eleven left on the clock, Adelaide stood off, and the confident striker had all the time in the world to listen to the crowd-s demand for a shot before unleashing a 35 metre pile driver. He showed his ability to caress the ball into the net at the Adelaide Oval last year, but this shot had venom behind it to seal the 3-0 win.

Kossie brought Steve Corica off to a standing ovation as he wound down the clock, but despite glimpses of Sydney-s attacking flair, Kosmina warned that his undefeated side still has a lot of improvement left.

“I think we-ve got another 20 to 30 per cent,” he said. “I think there were a lot of times we could-ve got in and around the edge of the box and we didn-t. We turned the ball over a couple of times a little bit too easily in bad areas of the park and nearly got punished for it. So when you take those out of the game, then we-ll be at our peak.”

Match Detail

Sydney FC 3 Adelaide United 0

Sydney FC: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 6. Tony POPOVIC (c), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (27. Matthew JURMAN 89-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (11. Brendon SANTALAB 70-), 23. John ALOISI (25. Dez GIRALDI 77-).

Substitute Not Used: 20. Ivan NECESVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: nil

Red Cards: nil

Goals: McFlynn 2-, Brosque 34-, Santalab 79-

Adelaide United: 20. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 3.ALEMAO, 5. Michael VALKANIS, 6. CASSIO, 8. Kristian SARKIES,10. CRISTIANO, 15. Jonas SALLEY (25. Robert YOUNIS 59-), 16. Daniel MULLEN, 19. Sasa OGNENOVSKI (2. Robert CORNTHWAITE), 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO (14. Scott JAMIESON 54-), 24. Paul REID.

Substitute Not Used: Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk).

Yellow Cards: Paul Reid 20-, Sasa Ognenovski 62-

Red Cards: nil

Goals: nil

Referee: Ben Williams Crowd: 12, 462