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He came, he saw, he conquered. After months of anticipation, and weeks of hype, Dwight Yorke lived up to his billing with a goalscoring debut as Sydney FC comfortably accounted for the New Zealand Knights in last night's pre-season trial match.


The new competition's benchmark signing did all that could have been expected of him, and perhaps a bit more. He scored - albeit with a penalty - he worked hard on and off the ball during his 74 minutes on the park, and he helped pull a decent attendance. Not a bumper crowd, it must be said, but the gate of 8714 was encouraging as Sydney appeared on their home turf for the first time.

As a contest, it was effectively over by half-time as Sydney built a two-goal lead. But with new Australia coach Guus Hiddink watching from a VIP box, the Sydney players still had plenty to play for.

If Hiddink is indeed looking to start with a clean slate, Socceroos long shots such as Saso Petrovski, David Carney and Iain Fyfe can have done their slender hopes no harm.

Petrovski's two-goal haul was a highlight. But it was Yorke, a Trinidad and Tobago international, who stole the show, and deservedly so.

The moment the fans had come to see arrived 24 minutes and 13 seconds into the match, when Yorke opened his account for his newest club from the penalty spot. Alvin Ceccoli's lobbed pass had caught the Knights square at the back, and Petrovski collided with the oncoming goalkeeper Danny Milosevic as he tried to retrieve the ball.

Milosevic protested against what seemed a tough decision by referee Ben Williams, but once the fuss died down Yorke calmly steered his spot kick into the bottom corner, just under the despairing dive of the keeper. There were no wild celebrations from Yorke, but there was a loud roar from the stands.

With the pace of Robbie Middleby, and the craft of Yorke and Petrovski being well fed by the clever prompting of Terry McFlynn, Sydney threatened to turn the screws.

To their credit, New Zealand refused to cave in and caused the hosts some anxious moments, but they couldn't prevent

Sydney adding a second goal just before the break. Andrew Packer's delightful cross was flicked on by Carney and Petrovski converted a close-range header.

Sydney enjoyed a storming start, with Yorke having two good opportunities inside the first six minutes.

The first came after Knights fullback Ronnie Bull had gifted possession to Yorke outside the Knights penalty area, but Milosevic did well to save low to his left. Yorke again came close after Middleby was released by Petrovski, but Milosevic was equal to the challenge with a brave block at close range.

New Zealand showed their first signs of resistance shortly afterwards, when Neil Emblen unleased a 20-metre drive which dipped over the crossbar. Sean Devine, with a flick on that Ceccoli had to clear off his own line, and Simon Yeo, with a near-post header, also came close.