Sydney have class but show their grit

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Sydney FC have made a huge statement to the rest of the league – downing their closest rivals with a man down for the majority of the match.

Throughout the season the Sky Blues have been utterly dominant over most teams, but the contest against Melbourne City on Sunday showed another side to their game.

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The win will go down as a “backs against the wall” performance considering City’s one man advantage for most of the match.

After going behind, Socceroo right-back Rhyan Grant was given his marching orders for a reckless challenge. The defending champions rallied from there.

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Coach Steve Corica said he could not be prouder of his team and gave plenty of plaudits to his side.

“We showed great character,” he said.

“There were times where we kept the ball for long periods with ten men.”

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Sydney proved they can win the physical and mental battle when faced with adversity during a match.

Corica says this pragmatic approach can set them apart from the rest of the league.

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“There is a long way to go (in the season),” he said.

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“We just have to beat the opponent we are playing against.

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“We frustrated City and defended well, especially with their balls into the box.”

A key moment in the match was Alexander Baumjohann’s substitution for the more defensively-minded Anthony Caceres at half-time.

“We just needed to make sure we were a little more compact,” Corica said.

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“Alex was having a good game so it’s unfortunate for him, but he understands. In the end it paid off.”

Kosta Barbarouses netted the winner late-on and he said the result speaks volumes.

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“I have played in other teams where we have had to dig deep,” he said.

“This squad is up there in terms of the mentality and the respect we all have for each other.”

“The red card was a big set back but in saying that I think we dominated a lot of the game.”

With a nine point gap atop of the A-League ladder coming into the new year, Sydney will be incredibly hard to stop.

With elegance and grit installed in their team, no one looks like coming close to the four-time competition winners.

They are at home next weekend against Adelaide.

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Jordan Warren
Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.

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