YORKE AND PETROVSKI SPUR SYDNEY FC ONTO FIRST HOME

Sydney FC continued their unbeaten run, this time in their hometown debut, with a 3-1 victory over the New Zealand Knights in the opening round of Hyundai A-League Pre-Season Cup match at Aussie Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC continued their unbeaten run, this time in their hometown debut, with a 3-1 victory over the New Zealand Knights in the opening round of Hyundai A-League Pre-Season Cup match at Aussie Stadium tonight.

Strikers Dwight Yorke and Sasho Petrovski both scored for Sydney FC in front of an adoring crowd that had waited months to finally see their team on home soil. It only took until the 25th minute before debutant Yorke scored his first ever goal for Sydney FC bringing the crowd of almost 9,000 to their feet.

The former Manchester United star made no mistake from the penalty spot after Knights goalkeeper Danny Milosevic had taken down Sasho Petrovski, who was chasing a through ball from Alvin Ceccoli, in the box.

Yorke had been enterprising up until that point and combined well with Robbie Middleby who was sensational down the left side.

The Trinidad and Tobago international had the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout the match and looked like he may score three times before he netted the penalty.

There were times when Yorke showed the class that saw him as one of the most feared strikers in world football during the 1990-s.

Whether it was a deft touch of the ball, the vision to deliver a classic cross or his enthusiasm in defence, it was clear to everyone at the ground that Yorke was here to dominate the Hyundai A-League.

After the match Yorke said he had enjoyed the game and was happy with the result.

“For me the result is the most important thing and tonight we won so that is great,” Yorke said.

“It was a really enjoyable experience playing with this team.”

“I was impressed with my team mates and the way they conducted themselves on the pitch.

“We contested every ball and played hard throughout the game so that makes it an even better result.”

But if Yorke was the player the crowd came to see it was Petrovski they were talking about as they left the ground.

The prolific goal scorer was in brilliant form for Sydney FC throughout the World Club Championship qualifying rounds and he carried that standard on tonight. Petrovski scored the first of his two goals just seconds before halftime to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the break.

The goal came after David Carney flicked on an Andrew Packer cross on the near post for Petrovski to head past a despairing Milosevic.

Petrovski snared his second goal in the 71st minute when he latched onto a brilliant pass from midfielder Terry McFlynn.

McFlynn threaded the ball through the smallest of gaps between the Knights defence and Petrovski made no mistake from 15 metres out on the right side.

Only a minute earlier Petrovski had slid a similar chance across the face of goal.

Sydney FC coach Pierre Littbarski was pleased with the form of his strikers and said if Sydney FC-s future opponents spend too much time covering Yorke other members of his team would be ready to take advantage.

“When everyone marks Dwight it gives our other offensive guys more of a chance to score and Sasho and David Zdrilic have proved they can score also,” Littbarski said.

“I thought Dwight had a good debut and physically he was great.”

“Overall it was a very entertaining match and there was some good stuff from both teams - I enjoyed it from the bench.”

When Yorke was finally replaced in the 73rd minute by Ufuk Talay the crowd again rose to their feet to salute Sydney-s new hero and the striker returned serve, turning to each corner of the ground and politely applauding the fans.

Yorke remained on the ground for 15 minutes after the match to sign autographs and pose for photos with excited Sydney FC faithful.

For the victors Middleby was tireless until he was replaced by American striker Alex Salazar in the 70th minute, McFlynn was impressive and Bolton was his usual reliable self in goal repelling several good chances for the Knights in the opening half.

The Knights finally got on the score board in the 83rd minute when Steve Fitzsimmons, who had been one of his side-s best, fired a rocket from 20 metres out on the right hand side of the box that cannoned into the top corner of Clint Bolton-s net.

Sydney FC-s next game is against the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford at 7pm next Saturday.

Sydney FC 3 (Dwight Yorke, penalty 25th min, Sasho Petrovski 45th, 71st min) defeated New Zealand Knights 1 (Steve Fitzsimmons 83rd min) Aussie Stadium, Sydney Saturday July 23, 2005 Referee: Ben Williams Crowd: 8714 Sydney FC 1. Clint Bolton 2. Iain Fyfe 3. Alvin Ceccoli 7. Robbie Middleby 10. Steve Corica (c) 11. Sasho Petrovski 12. David Carney 14. Andrew Packer 15. Terry McFlynn 17. Jacob Timpano 19. Dwight Yorke Substitutes: 13. Alejandro Salazar on for 7. Robbie Middleby (70th min) 6. Ufuk Talay on for 19. Dwight Yorke (73rd min) 5. Steve Laurie, 20. Justin Pasfield did not play New Zealand Knights 1. Danny Milosevic 3. Ronnie Bull 4. John Tambouras 5. Danny Hay (c) 6. Neil Emblen 7. Steve Fitzsimmons 8. Ben Collett 9. Simon Yeo 10. Sean Devine 12. Cole Tinkler 15. Joshua Rose Substitutes: 16. Noah Hickey on for 15. Joshua Rose (68th min) 18. Xiaobin Zhang on for 8. Ben Collett (76th min)

17. Frank Van Eijs, 20. Glen Moss did not play

Yellow cards: Danny Hay (15th minute), Danny Milosevic (24th min), Simon Yeo (60th min), Steve Fitzsimmons (84th min)