Sydney FC rues missed chances as Brisbane claims 2-0 win
Sydney FC was left to rue a succession of missed chances as they went down 2-0 to defending Champions Brisbane Roar in front of 15,789 fans at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.
While Brisbane stretched its unbeaten run to 30 matches, Sydney FC created enough clear chances to trouble the visitors but could not capitalise in front of goal.
In front of the biggest home crowd since March 2010, Sydney FC put up a good fight, trying to press the Roar high up the field to disrupt their rhythm but the missed chances and Brisbane’s clinical finishing saw the visitors take all three points.
The Sky Blues were forced into two changes for their first home game of the season. Midfielder Shannon Cole picked up a calf injury in training during the week and was replaced by Karol Kisel, while Bruno Cazarine came in for the suspended Mark Bridge.
Sydney started brightly with Nicky Carle latching onto a through ball just inside the penalty box in the first two minutes. The former Crystal Palace man beat two men but his attempt to pull the ball back into the path of a team mate was blocked and goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos was able to pick the ball up in his six yard box.
Brisbane were next to threaten with a smart run and shot by James Meyer in the seventh minute, but his 20 yard effort was easily saved by Liam Reddy.
Sydney’s early energy was curtailed on 11 minutes when captain Terry McFlynn’s tackle on Thomas Broich was adjudged to have been a foul by referee Strebre Delovski, despite the midfielder appearing to win the ball. The challenge saw the skipper given a yellow card.
Brisbane were foiled again by Reddy just after the quarter hour when a right wing centre was met by Eric Paartalu’s head inside the six yard box. But the big midfielder’s close range effort was held by the Sydney keeper, diving to his left to keep the scores level.
The Sky Blues almost took the lead just a minute later when a teasing left wing corner was not dealt with by the Roar defence and fell to Bruno Cazarine. However under pressure the striker could only lift his effort over the bar.
The best moment of the match so far came in the 24th minute. An excellent one-two between Antonis and Carle cut the Roar defence in half sending the youngster clear in the box. But having run a little wide, he saw his attempted chip brilliantly tipped over by Theoklitos in the Brisbane goal.
Sydney were on the offensive and a short time later Karol Kisel played Bruno Cazarine through on the edge of the area only for a Roar defender to clear the danger with the big striker appearing to have been impeded.
Sydney’s pressure was beginning to tell with Brisbane star Mitch Nichols booked for time wasting in 39th minute.
But the home team’s dominance went unrewarded and it was Brisbane who took the lead just before half time. Shane Stefanutto played the ball back from the left wing to the on-rushing Erik Paartalu. The midfielder’s 20 yard shot was fumbled by Reddy and Albanian striker Besart Berisha was on hand to tap in.
Brisbane’s tails were up and Meyer could have extended the lead in first half injury time but he put his shot across the goal from the right of the penalty box.
Sydney began the second half determined to re-dress the balance in front of the near 16 thousand crowd. Within minutes Kisel found Cazarine on the edge of the box, his pass put Carle clean through but having rounded the keeper the Australian international found his route to goal blocked and the danger was cleared by Brisbane.
Both sides continued to try and stamp their authority on the game but with little success until Brisbane went further ahead. With 20 minutes remaining Nichols picked up the ball after a loose clearance and played in former Sydney striker Kofi Danning down the right. The substitute pulled the ball back across the penalty box to the edge of the area where Thomas Broich had time to calmly slot it into the right hand corner.
Sydney rallied in the closing stages but couldn’t find the net, and the reigning champions headed back to Brisbane having extended their unbeaten record to 30 games.
Sydney FC: Reddy, Coyne, Bosschaart, Beauchamp, Emerton, Kisel, Cazarine, Carle, McFlynn, Antonis, Jamieson.
Subs: Ryall, Petratos, Grant, Necevski (GK).
Brisbane Roar: Theoklitos, Smith, Stefanutto, Jurman, Franjic, Paartalu, Berisha, Nakajima-Farran, Nichols, Meyer, Broich.
Subs: Murdocca, Danning, Adnan, Redmayne (GK).
Officials: Delovski (Referee); Edeling and Gallagher (Assistants); Ams (Fourth Official).
Goals: Brisbane Roar - Berisha (42 mins); Broich (70 mins).
Bookings: McFlynn (Sydney); Nichols (Brisbane).