Monday, October 4, 2010

Sydney FC lose yet again

There is a line in St Matthew’s Gospel in the Bible in which Jesus is quoted as saying: “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last”.

Well, that line is also appropriate to temporal matters, including this year’s A-League competition.

This evening, reigning champions Sydney FC remained in last place when they were beaten 2-1 at home at the Sydney Football Stadium by last year’s wooden-spooners, Adelaide United, who are in first place.

Sydney have yet to win this season and they have virtually no chance now of retaining their title. They have not won in 8 games and are a massive 18 points behind leaders Adelaide, who are unbeaten this season.

Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka must be feeling the heat now.

The home side led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of a 40th-minute Alex Brosque penalty, awarded after a corner-kick when Adam Hughes pulled an opponent’s shirt.

They had other chances to extend their lead in the opening half.

In the 28th minute, after a great run down the left, Brosque played the ball to the edge of the 6-yard box, where Bruno Cazarine missed.

In the 36th minute, Sydney had strong claims for a penalty turned down by referee Gerard Parsons after Hirofumi Moriyasu was tripped inside the box by Hughes

And, Sebastian Ryall had a header deflected by Robert Cornthwaite in the 38th minute.

Adelaide had one good chance, Sergio van Dijk’s header from Joe Keenan’s left-wing cross wrong-footing goalkeeper Liam Reddy, but the ball bounced just wide of the left-hand post.

Sydney suffered bad luck yet again when Adelaide equalised in the 56th minute through an own-goal. Lucas Pantelis made a diagonal run from the right and played the ball to van Dijk on the left of the box. His first touch was poor, but Shannon Cole, racing in to try and intercept, succeeded only in connecting with the ball and placing it past his own keeper and into the net.

A minute later, Cole tried to make amends but blazed high and wide at the other end.

Adelaide suffered a huge blow early in the second half when star midfielder Marcos Flores went off with a hamstring injury.

It was the opportunity to give captain Travis Dodd his first start of the season after a lengthy lay-off through injury and surgery, so the proverb about every cloud having a silver lining appeared apt.

In the 64th minute, Moriyasu had a tame shot parried by Adelaide keeper Eugene Galekovic and, when the ball fell to Terry McFlynn, his shot was charged down by a desperate Adelaide defence.

Two minutes later, Galekovic produced a brilliant save to thwart Mark Bridge.

A minute into stoppage time, Cornthwaite eluded Stephan Koller on the right of the box and cut the ball back for substitute Iain Ramsey, the former Sydney FC player, to score from 15 metres, thus confirming that well-known ‘curse of the ex’.

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