Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sydney FC 1-1 North Queensland Fury: Bottom-of-the-table clash ends in stalemate

Sydney FC have now gone 8 games without a win in the A-League after drawing 1-1 with North Queensland Fury in a torrential downpour at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

The home side dominated the first half and led 1-0 at the break, but the Fury refused to sink in the second period, grabbing an equaliser and threatening Sydney on the break. Two second-half substitutions by Fury coach, Frantisek Straka, were inspired.

Eugene Sseppuya and Jack Hingert came on and had an important influence on the match.

Sydney still created some good chances, however, and could have added to their tally.

There was huge debate about a chip from captain Terry McFlynn in the 82nd minute which hit the underside of the Fury bar and bounced down and off the base of the far left-hand post before the ball spun back into play. It looked originally as if the ball had crossed the line, but TV replays seemed to back the assistant referee’s decision not to award the goal. He was level with the goal-line and did not signal a goal because the whole of the ball had not crossed the line.

Sydney’s Mark Bridge, playing his 100th A-League match, almost put his side ahead in the 34th minute but the ball hit the outside of Mark Pasfield’s left-hand post.

Three minutes later, Shannon Cole scored one of the best goals of the season to give Sydney the lead. A poor clearance by Fury’s Eric Akoto went to Bridge, who lobbed the ball wide to the right. Cole controlled the ball on his chest, avoided the attentions of David Williams, and volleyed a superb goal with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the box.

In the 72nd minute, Pasfield had to dive to his right to keep out a header by Alex Brosque following Cole’s right-wing cross.

Four minutes later, it was 1-1. Sseppuya gained possession on the left and played a diagonal ball back towards the D, where Williams’s shot surprised an embarrassed Reddy and flashed into the roof of the net.

The first corner of the game did not come until the 81st minute. Sydney cleared it and attacked, leading to McFlynn’s controversial chip against the woodwork.

With 2 minutes remaining, McFlynn missed a good chance to give Sydney the win. Stephan Keller released Brosque down the left, but his cross was headed tamely over the bar by the Sydney skipper.

The result leaves Sydney FC in last place, 3 points adrift of second-last North Queensland Fury.

The attendance of 6,978 was a record low for Sydney FC at home.

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