Antlers too good for Sydney FC

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A vocal 7320 fans – the highest crowd since January – witnessed Kashima Antlers defeat Sydney FC 3-0 at the SFS on Wednesday night.

A stand-out performance from Nozawa Takuya was enough to down a depleted Sydney missing three key players, that of Carle, Williams and Ryall, all out injured.

Nozawa scored the opening goal in the 41st minute after an initial shot by Gabriel from close range was saved by Sydney ‘keeper Liam Reddy. Chasing down the rebound Nozawa thumped home to give Antlers a one goal advantage at the break.

The best chance for Sydney came in the 35th minute with a powerful Bruno Cazarine effort following a Shannon Cole corner. The Brasilian leapt high but struck the ball just wide.

Youth was the order of the day with Dimi Petratos and Rhyan Grant replacing the injured Williams and Carle while Kofi Danning and Joel Chianese came on as second half substitutes. Whilst the new look Sydney looked composed in the opening quarter the pedigree of their opponents soon became apparent.

The second goal came from an inch perfect cross by the architect of the night, Nozawa on 51 minutes. The cross found Gabriel at the back post who obligingly headed home.

Despite Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka emptying his bench the boys in Sky Blue could do little to break the Antlers’ defense. Substitute Kofi Danning should have levelled the scores in the 69th minute but chose the wrong option, choosing to take a touch instead of shooting first time.

A pacey Shinzoh Kohrogi clinically put the match well beyond doubt latching onto a cutting pass through the middle in extra time. Three nil the final score which leaves Sydney FC a very slim chance to make the next round of the AFC Asian Champions League.

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Matt Greenlaw
Editor of The Football Sack for three years, Matthew now spends his time sipping merlot whilst watching the reruns of Thursday FC.

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