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Author Topic: Sydney FC takes upper hand with 2-2 draw  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Brej

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Sydney FC takes upper hand with 2-2 draw
« on: February 12, 2006, 07:32:37 AM »
Sydney FC took one significant step towards hosting the inaugural Hyundai A-League grand final following a tense and highly entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg of the Major semi-final against Adelaide United in Adelaide today.

Goals to Steve Corica and Sasho Petrovski send Sydney FC back to the rematch at Aussie Stadium on Sunday not only buoyed by holding the home team to a 2-2 draw but with two crucial away goals in the back pocket.

It was a thrilling match with some great goals in a gripping encounter that lived up to all the pre-match hype.

Sydney FC will now return to Aussie Stadium on Sunday as favourites to win through to the grand final but there is no doubt that the 5th meeting between the two teams will be as tight and tense as the previous four encounters.

Pointedly, it was the first time that the home team has not won a game between these two sides and it could prove the difference.

While all the pre match talk surrounded Sydney FC stars Dwight Yorke and David Carney it was the experienced heads of Corica, Matthew Bingley and Mark Rudan that stood tall as the Adelaide United midfield duo of Ross Aloisi and Carl Veart was played off the park.

Rudan also kept Shengqing Qu completely out of the game with a commanding performance that has stamped his return to the team.

Corica not only scored the first goal but he was dangerous all day in behind the forward line and Bingley set up the second goal with some vintage football and was a rock in the middle of the park for the entire 90 minutes.

Sydney FC went into the game with an unchanged line up from the team that defeated Adelaide United 2-1 at Aussie Stadium last weekend.

The only changes came on the bench with Iain Fyfe suspended following yellow card trouble with Andrew Packer and teenage debutante Tolgay Ozbey coming into the squad.

Adelaide United was forced to make one change from last weekend’s match with Lucas Pantelis ruled out with a leg injury. That resulted in a start for Robert Cornthwaite as part of a reshuffle that saw him slot into the right fullback role and Richie Alagich moved to the midfield.

Sydney FC’s stability helped in the early stages as it was the visiting team that settled into a pattern first, in front of a strong but slightly disappointing home crowd of 15,104 that seemed to startle Adelaide United.

In the 9th minute the crowd was silenced when Corica scored after a deft ball from Ruben Zadkovich, who was once again industrious on the left flank.

The teenager beat his man, surged through the centre of the park and rolled the ball in behind the defence for Corica, who chipped the ball over Daniel Beltrame as the ‘keeper dived at his feet.

It was exactly what Sydney FC deserved and they should have gone 2-0 in front in the 30th minute when Yorke had a gift chance to double the lead but he was unable to poke the ball home following a goal-mouth scramble.

Adelaide took advantage and within two minutes they were 2-1 in front and the momentum of the match had changed.

First it was Travis Dodd who made a break down the left and beat two defenders before firing home on 31 minutes and then Fernando Rech scored with a simple header at the far post from a corner in the 33rd minute.

The game looked like changing but Sydney FC never panicked and equalized in the 39th minute through Petrovski but a lot of the credit should go to Bingley.

The former Socceroo midfielder switched play beautifully from the centre of the park to Carney on the right and continued his run to get a return pass before crossing to an unmarked Petrovski, who headed home at the far post.

It was vintage Bingley and at 2-2 the game was there to be won for either team at half time.

Sydney FC did have to make a change at half time when defender Jacob Timpano felt a twinge in his groin and he replaced by Andrew Packer, who went to right fullback with Mark Milligan slipping back into the middle of defence.

The tempo continued at breakneck speed in the second half with both teams giving nothing, especially in the centre of the pitch, which was particularly tough.

Both teams had chances to grab a winner but neither team was able to break the 2-2 deadlock and Sydney FC comes home with momentum and a significant lift in confidence.

The two teams will now meet in the return clash at Aussie Stadium with the winner of the two-legged tie winning through to the grand final, as hosts, on March 5.