Sydney FC have begun their pre-season campaign with a convincing 3-1 win over the Macarthur Rams at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Sky Blues started the game fielding eight first team players including new signings Ali Abbas, Yairo Yau, Adam Griffiths and Fabio.
It wasn't long before the two-time A-League Champions took the lead. With 21 minutes on the clock Sydney were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Iraqi international Ali Abbas stepped up and the debutant wasted little time in curling the ball around the wall into the left hand corner.
Eight minutes later the lead was doubled when National Youth League striker Nick Taneski received the ball just inside the Rams box. A neat turn and some quick feet created space for the frontman, before he drilled a shot inside the goalkeeper’s right hand post.
Sydney were in the ascendency and seven minutes before half time they made it 3-0. Fabio created room down the left hand side, played a one-two with Yau, and cut the ball back for Petratos to steer the ball home from 12 yards.
Coach Ian Crook made 11 changes at half time as Croatian striker Kruno Lovrek and Socceroo Nick Carle were introduced and they started in a similar fashion, with Rhyan Grant and Lovrek both going close.
However a loss of concentration outside the Sky Blues' own box led to the Rams pulling a goal back. Sydney gave the ball away and it fell to defender Elali who beat Janjetovic with a clinical finish.
Despite the goal Sydney continued to threaten and went close through Mallia and Lovrek, but weren’t able to add to their total.
The result means a winning start to Ian Crook's coaching career at Sydney FC and some promise for what lies ahead.
Sydney FC 3 def Macarthur Rams 1
Sydney FC: First half:- Necevski, Dotti, O’Connell, Griffiths, Fabio, Antonis, Gligor, Petratos, Yau, Taneski, Abbas.
Second half:- Janjetovic, Grant, Petkovski, McClenahan, Calver, Stergiou, Carle, Lovrek, Mallia, Naumoff, MacDonald.
Macarthur Rams: Needham, Cooley, Elali, Fleming, Halstead, Brown, Hankin, Duarte, Craig, Wither, De La Caudra.
Officials: Delovski (Referee); Goldrick and Greenshields (Assistants); Ams (Fourth Official).
Goals:. Abbas 20 mins (Sydney FC), Taneski 28 mins (Sydney FC), Petratos 38 mins (Sydney FC), Elali 64 mins (Rams).