23 Jul 2005
- Written by Sydney Morning Herald
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Yorke scored from the penalty spot in the 25th minute to give Sydney a 1-0 lead before forward partner Saso Petrovski clinically finished chances in the 45th and 72nd.
The former Manchester United striker, who became the star recruit of the fledgling A-League competition when he signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC two months ago, played 73 minutes in his first game in sky blue before jogging off to a standing ovation from an appreciative 8713-strong crowd.
Ten minutes earlier, the 33-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international nearly made it a debut double, but his strike from close range was well saved by Knights' keeper Danny Milosevic.
Milosevic, the former Olyroo who represented Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, provided stern resistance in goal for the Knights, who came into the match vastly underdone after having their full squad together for only the past fortnight.
Sydney, by contrast, have been mostly together for the past six months, and had already won both the Australian and Oceania legs of the FIFA Club World Championship.
Yorke tried to play down his star appeal during the week, but he was always going to be the the main attraction tonight.
His first touch was greeted with plenty of applause, and he earned the biggest cheer of the night when he casually slotted home a penalty under a diving Milosevic.
Yorke, though, was overshadowed somewhat by Petrovski, who earned Sydney's penalty kick and was a constant threat up forward all game.
The 30-year-old got his first goal with a header at the far post, capitalising on a quality Andrew Packer cross and clever David Carney flick-on.
His second score came via a lobbed pass from Terry McFlynn, which Petrovski latched onto in the box and thundered home.
New Zealand clawed one back in the 84th when Sydney failed to clear a corner, allowing Steve Fitzsimmons to send a scorching strike into the top left corner of the net.
Both sides were understrength with Sydney FC missing both team captain Mark Rudan (groin) and club captain David Zdrillic (lower back), along with utility Matthew Bingley (knee) and defender Mark Milligan (rested).
New Zealand, playing only its second game against an A-League opponent, were without midfielders Josh Maguire and Naoki Imaya, and utility Darren Bazeley.