Sydney FC have dampened South Melbourne’s first competitive meeting with an A-League club smashing the Victorian National Premier League outfit 5-1 at the Lakeside Stadium on Wednesday night.

A crowd of 5,747 watched in driving rain as the A-League champions showed their superiority by scoring two and three goals in the first and second halves respectively.

Two goals for striker Bobo and one each for David Carney, Seb Ryall and Matt Simon gave Sydney their heavy goal tally while winger Leigh Minopoulos was the only scorer for the home team.

A calamitous opening to the night put South Melbourne on the back foot immediately.

A mistimed aerial battle from Kiwi centre back Luke Adams favoured Alex Brosque to quickly play Carney in behind the misshapen back four and the winger slotted cooly past goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic in just the fourth minute.

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The path of the match descended further for the home side when Marcus Schroen – an FFA Cup hero for Hume City in 2015 – exited the match in the 16th minute when he fell awkwardly and forced the premature introduction of Minopoulos.

South Melbourne kicked themselves into gear after the opener and conjured a number of solid chances throughout the first half.

Minopoulos and right-back Tim Mala supplied crosses for the Nick Epifano, Milos Lujic and Matt Millar but no chances could be converted.

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Sydney found the back of the net again rather quickly when Jordy Buijs went on a carving run through the middle of host’s formation and slipped in Bobo to strike home the Sky Blues’ second after 18 minutes.

South Melbourne didn’t lose heart as Epifano continued to manufacture attacks playing a ball over the top for Millar who found Lujic in space. But the striker struck a beat too early and scuffed the ball to the goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.

Sydney’s directive was clear – get the ball into the final third quickly with lobbed passes over the slow South Melbourne centre backs and exploit the space in behind.

The A-League side worked this play several times with the front three of Bobo, Brosque and Carney playing a combination of quick long balls and crosses to each other to link up in dangerous spots.

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A tame Brosque header and a Carney shot from a smart cutback tested Roganovic, but the goalkeeper’s strong hands were up to the task on each occasion to restrict the scoreline to 2-0 at half-time for Sydney.

The rain swept down hard after the break and South Melbourne’s opener came with it when defender Kristian Konstantinidis played a searching ball over the Sydney defence and it landed with Minopoulos on the right; the winger took the ball it down and side footed a 47th minute goal.

The NPL outfit formed a solid spell after scoring with Millar making a few chances, curling a hopeful opportunity past the goal face and sending a more speculative long shot inches wide of the woodwork when Redmayne botched his clearance and left the teeth of goal exposed.

The game became almost unassailable when an anti-climactic third goal went in via the heel of Bobo in a goal-mouth scramble; the decision finalised by the linesman who saw the ball minutely scoot over the line and catching the crowd unawares.

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A fourth flew in for Sydney when Ryall punched home a shot from a corner and the fifth came in the 84th minute from a free header from substitute Matt Simon, by which time the majority of the drenched Lakeside crowd has already filed out the gates.

The win for Sydney sees them in to a second consecutive FFA Cup final and will play either Adelaide United or Western Sydney Wanderers on October 24.

South Melbourne 1 (Minopoulos 47′)
Sydney FC 5 (Carney 4′, Bobo 18′ 66′, Ryall 73′, Simon 84′)

Lakeside Stadium (Crowd: 5,747)

Referee: Chris BEATH
Assistant Referees: Wilson BROWN & Daniel ILIEVSKI
Fourth Official: Luke BRENNAN

South Melbourne:
1. ROGANOVIC Nikola (GK), 2. MALA Tim, 3. KONSTANTINIDIS Kristian (12. ZINNI Stefan 85′), 4. EAGAR Michael, 5. ADAMS Luke, 7. EPIFANO Nick, 8. PAVLOU Luke (15. DALEY Jesse 69′), 9. LUJIC Milos, 10. SCHROEN Marcus (27. MINOPOULOS Leigh 16′), 18. MILLAR Matt, 23. FOSCHINI Matt (c)

Unused substitutes: 21. ZENELI Zaim (GK), 22. KECOJEVIC Andy

Sydney FC:
1. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK), 4. WILKINSON Alexander, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua, 7. ZULLO Michael (8. RETRE Paulo 81′), 9. BOBO, 10. NINKOVIC Milos (16. KALIK Anthony 84′), 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 14. BROSQUE Alex (c) (18. SIMON Matt 72′), 17. CARNEY David, 22. RYALL Sebastian

Unused substitutes: 30. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas (GK), 11. MIERZEJEWSKI Adrian

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Football and Aussie rules commentator, writer and radio host/producer from Melbourne.