Sydney FC playing without fear

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Sydney FC were back to their imperious best after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

The Sky Blues ran home easy winners thanks to two quick fire goals just after half time from Alex Brosque and Milos Ninkovic, in a display which delighted coach Graham Arnold.

“The boys did fantastically tonight, and it’s an improvement on the last two weeks and we’ll get better and better.

“I thought the whole 90 minutes was very dominant. The difference between the second half and the first was the last pass and finishing opportunities off,” he said.

Despite dominating possession for large chunks of the first half Sydney couldn’t find a way through the determined Adelaide defense, with the excellent Ninkovic coming close in the opening minutes before teeing up Filip Holokso for a goal that was controversially denied for offside.

The hosts proved in no mood to mess around in the second half though, with Brosque and Ninkovic both finding the scoresheet within 15 minutes of the restart – resilience which pleased Arnold after a frustrating first half.

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“I said to the front boys at half time that they looked like they were thinking too much and they just needed to do what comes naturally and finish the opportunities off.

The game plan was not to let them have any time on the ball, not to let Isaias have any time on the ball and dictate play with his passing ability, so we worked a lot on pressing this week,” he said.

Asked about the first half decision to disallow Filip Holosko’s goal, Arnold maintained that the players were unaffected by the disappointment.

“We spoke at the start of the year about removing refereeing decisions from the result, because we wanted to be in control of results ourselves – by winning the game and winning it well.

“It’s hard for the linesman. It was a great ball from Ninkovic – the timing was perfect – but you get some and you don’t get some and we showed great character to forget that and move on,” he said.

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The one sour note for the Sky Blues from Friday’s victory will be the loss of energetic right-back Rhyan Grant who will miss next Thursday’s Australia Day blockbuster against second place Melbourne Victory after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season.

Grant’s lunging 16th minute tackle on Marcello Carusca could have earned the defender a straight red, but Arnold remained unfussed about losing him for the top of the table clash.

“We’ve got the depth and just need to go out there and play without fear,” he said.

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