Sydney turns Adelaide sky blue with a masterful performance

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Sydney FC has reminded their A-League rivals Adelaide United why they are the reigning champions, after opening the scoring in the sixth minute and taking a 4-1 victory. 

Adelaide are usually the fast starters at Coopers Stadium, but this time the visitors beat them to the punch when Adam Le Fondre got his head to Rhyan Grant’s looping cross and put Sydney ahead 1-0 in the sixth minute of the contest.

Stunned by the Sky Blues pressure in the opening minutes, United tried to quell Sydney’s attack by maintaining possession of the ball.

Although Adelaide were playing cautiously, Le Fondre had a chance to score another but his shot towards an open goal was turned away by a lunging Ryan Kitto.  

Soon after, Jordan Elsey made a two-footed slide tackle on Bobo that left him in a heap of pain. Despite the surrounding Sydney players appealing for a red card, Elsey was fortunate to escape with a yellow.  

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Heading into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead, the Sky Blues were determined to maintain their tempo and claim a commanding win on the road. 

Against the tide, Adelaide nearly equalised at the start of the second half when Reds’ skipper Stefan Mauk connected with Kitto’s cross, but the ball ricocheted off the post and Sydney cleared the danger.

However, the near-miss fuelled Sydney’s fire and they extended their lead when Le Fondre pounced on Bobo’s deflected shot and slotted away his second goal of the night, making it 2-0. 

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The scoreline went from bad to worse for the home side when Bobo made the most of Le Fondre’s accurate low cross and powered his shot past James Delianov, giving the Sky Blues a 3-0 advantage minutes after their second goal.

With the game slipping away from them, Adelaide’s hopes of a comeback continued diminishing when Elsey received his second yellow for pulling down Le Fondre in midfield and the Reds were down to 10 men. 

Moments later, substitute Patrick Wood made an immediate impact when he dribbled around United’s defence and fired his shot into the side netting to increase Sydney’s lead to 4-0. 

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Reflecting on his squad’s offensive clinic, Sydney manager Steve Corica was delighted with the way his team put Adelaide to the sword in the second half.

“The main thing was to carry on even when we went up one or two nil,” Corica said. 

“I explained at half-time that we want to really punish them if we could and, I think the boys did that tonight.”

Even though it was too late to salvage a draw, Adelaide found a consolation goal after Yaya Dukuly let loose from inside the box and scored for the first time in his A-League career. 

Dukuly’s goal pulled back the margin to three goals, but Sydney held on to secure a resounding 4-1 victory over the Reds.

During the post-match press conference, Adelaide head coach Carl Veart acknowledged his side struggled to keep up with Sydney’s quality across the park.

“We were just off the pace tonight,” Veart said.

“Whether that was an effect from the heavy schedule we’ve had, but physically they were much sharper and quicker than us.”

Following the Sky Blues triumph, Sydney remains in second place on the A-League ladder while Adelaide stays in fourth.

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.
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