Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Sydney down to 10 draw with Mariners
By Stephen Webb

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 4
7:30pm, Saturday 28 August, 2010
At Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

Sydney FC 1
(Scott Jamieson 47')
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(Patricio Perez 71’ pen)

(Patricio Perez celebrates his penalty scored - Photo for BOTN by Stephen Webb)

A controversial second half penalty decision denied Sydney three points after an error by Mariners’ young replacement keeper Matt Ryan gifted the goal which would otherwise have secured Sydney its first win of the season.

Sydney languishes at the bottom of the ladder with Central Coast, who deserved a point for having some notion of what to do in front of goal. However, their new star may have tainted his debut and ever after be stuck with the epithet 'diver'.

Sydney started with captain Terry McFlynn and star striker Alex Brosque out injured. Mariners had to deal with regular goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan lost to a knee injury 24 hours from kick-off.

Both sides were adjusting to experiments with systems and first team selections.

In the stands the turnout was a poor 10,000. The Cove throbbed as usual. Mariners supporters occupied a small corner opposite and were otherwise sprinkled around the stadium. [Ed. Away active supporters are now allocated into Bay 7, lol].

Game on and Sydney’s Rhyan Grant took out Oliver Bozanic and Nick Carle shrugged off Rostyn Griffiths’ attentions.

Central Coast kept putting their replacement keeper under pressure with passes back; Sydney forwards running at him with rushed clearances finding touch on the full.

Sydney looked better from the start, Stephan Keller distributing accurately from the back and the home side holding possession, but Bozanic, allowed space on the left, forced Sydney to concede a corner.

Kofi Danning pounced on a loose ball outside the Mariners’ box and stabbed it through to be deflected for a Sydney corner.

In the 12th minute Mark Bridge had a long dig, deflected off a defender onto the left post, and Sydney had another corner.

Central Coast momentarily seemed to have an advantage in Sydney’s penalty area but Keller cleaned up.

Liam Reddy punching clear inflicted some damage on bravely challenging John Hutchinson.

When Scott Jamieson was fouled outside the right corner of the Mariners’ penalty area Sung-Hwan Byun’s free kick was cleared leaving Stuart Musialik to blast high into the stands.

Sydney were still doing most of the probing but looked tender in defence when the ball was turned over.

Grant took the ball in space but lost it running a buffeting gauntlet. Nick Carle, not invisible but very quiet — sometimes he was closely marked but other times he was just hanging — played an almost good ball for Grant into the right corner.

Hutchinson got the ball in space outside the Sydney penalty area but lofted his shot.

Danning, free on Sydney’s right, had his cross cleared with Jamieson closing in. In the 34th minute Carle and Grant put some passes together before Sebastian Ryall had a shot deflected onto the upright. From the corner Ryall headed powerfully over the goal.

Joshua Rose had a cross from the left cleared by Byun, who was soon fouled by Pedj Bojic outside the top left corner of the Central Coast penalty area. The free kick was cleared as far as Bridge, who shot high.

Bozanic was again free on the left and delivered a cross that almost provided Griffiths with a chance but Ryall threw himself in the way. Sydney were still not safe and needed to clear off their line.

Just when I was thinking Danning had a bit of pace but was not much use otherwise — ending Sydney’s progress by giving away possession — some lovely skills by Grant sent Danning away down the right. But his cross was no good.

Half time. Is it a symptom of what’s wrong with Australian sport today that the coffee queue was longer than the beer queue?

The beginning of the second half looked good for Mariners but turned nasty. Rose made another strong run down the left and won a corner, which was held by Reddy. Sydney countered quickly and won two throw ins in the left corner. Byun crossed, Ryan fumbled and Grant scored.

Seven minutes later Griffiths made way for Patricio “pike” Perez.

Mariners had a free kick and the ball was bundled over the line to the right of the Sydney goal and nothing came from another Central Coast free kick on the right edge of the Sydney box but when the ball came back in Shannon Cole had to fully commit to make things safe for Sydney.

There was scrappy play from both sides until Danning was played into space on the left side of the Mariners’ penalty area. Danning won a corner, which was whipped in just over two Sydney heads.

Sydney won a free kick to the right of the Mariners’ box. Ryan couldn’t hold the high ball and Sydney won a corner from the left. Keller came close but made no contact with his attempted header.

Carle got through on goal but went down in the box under pressure from Bojic. No penalty.

But not long after ... Reddy was sent off for supposedly bringing down Perez running across the face of goal. Referee Matthew Breeze awarded a penalty, which Perez scored easily against substitute keeper Ivan Necevski.

Video replays, which the crowd saw and which Sydney players pointlessly pointed out to the referee, showed there was minimal if any contact between Reddy and Perez. In fact Perez was already turf bound before any possible contact occurred. The Sydney players (a) didn’t understand the futility of their protests and (b) had no discipline, copping three rapid yellow cards for dissent and getting some own back. From then on they alleged every Mariners fall was a fake.

A guy sitting behind me was reporting events on a phone call. “Imagine,” he said, “10,000 people shouting ‘Bullshit’.” He was exaggerating, but you get the idea.

All this played into the hands of Central Coast. But with Sydney a player down, despite the spite, the footballing was more even and the game opened out, Sydney going for the winner they thought they deserved and Mariners pushing on to exploit their advantage.

Sydney tried more pretty passing in the Mariners’ penalty area and got nowhere and then had to scramble the ball clear from their own box.

Carle had a rare moment of greatness in the middle of the park but Bridge anticipated wrong.

Necevski needed to make a good save to deny Adam Kwasnik and a dubious offside call denied Perez a second goal.

Necevski held a Kwasnik header on target and Cole wasted a free kick after a foul on Carle.

Game over.

Mariners were playing good, direct football. They could run at goal, often from within their own half, and they could run onto a ball delivered in the target area. Sydney, on the other hand, were quite good at playing keep the ball, like you do in warm-ups, flicking the ball around, one pass forward, two passes back. But they didn’t just do it early in the game as they were getting a feel for the opposition. They did it in the opponent’s penalty area at the end of a game when they really, really, really needed a goal.

Here’s the thing: When Mariners get close to goal they grow 30 centimetres taller, a metre faster and put the fear of Yahweh into you.

When Sydney get anywhere near the opponent’s penalty area they dissipate. Will their new Brazilian signing make any difference?

Isle of Wight Guy, my source in the Cove, says it was another frustrating result to add to Sydney’s disappointing start to the season. Overall, he thought, a draw was probably a fair result, given that Central Coast had a legitimate goal ruled out for offside.

He was not so generous about the penalty and the sending off decisions. “Although Perez undoubtedly dived to win the spot kick, the ref could be forgiven for being duped as it was at least a 9/10 effort. However, why he saw it as a red card offence is a mystery as the rest of the Sydney defence were queuing up behind the keeper to put in a tackle.”

Graham Arnold was correct telling the media conference that Mariners had the better chances (though with just an ounce of luck Sydney would have had two more goals).

He said Perez was only 60 per cent fit but still changed the game. He said Perez gave the other players confidence and wanted the ball all the time. Supporters of all clubs should enjoy watching him.

Arnold thought Perez’s headed goal wasn’t offside and that a Bridge chance denied by the referee in the first half similarly wasn’t offside. But he thought the penalty was a fair call.

Vitezslav Lavicka said the whole Sydney team was disappointed and upset by the decision. Captain Stuart Musialik said to have something like that go against the team was very frustrating and hard to deal with. Until then, he said, Sydney had been in control of the game.

Lavicka thought his players had improved on previous performances.

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 4
7:30pm, Saturday 28 August, 2010
At Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

Sydney FC 1
(Scott Jamieson 47')
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(Patricio Perez 71’ pen)

    Crowd: 10,147


    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    Liam REDDY (gk)(RC), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING (20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk) +72’), 12. Shannon COLE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Scott JAMIESON (6. Hirofumi MORIYASU 90+1’), 22. BYUN Sung-Hwan, 23. Rhyan GRANT.

    Substitutes not used: 5. Hayden FOXE, 16. Terry ANTONIS

    Coach: Vitezslav Lavicka

    Yellow Cards: Stephan Keller 71’, Stuart Musialik 75’, Scott Jamieson 77’, Mark Bridge 78’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN (23. Adam KWASNIK +69’), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (10. Patricio PEREZ +53’), 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON

    Substitutes not used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 17. Chris DOIG

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Joshua Rose 64’, John Hutchinson 90'+2
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Matthew Breeze 6/10
    Assistant 1: Alex Glasgow, Assistant 2: Daniel Dewhurst; 4th Official: Ryan Shepheard; Match Commissioner: Phil Torpy

    BOTN Player Points: 3. Byun Sung-Hwan (Sydney)
    2. Pedj Bojic (Central Coast)
    1. Sebastian Ryall (Sydney)

    Pitch rating: 6/10

    Game rating: 6/10

    Match Report, ratings and photos: Stephen Webb

Picture Gallery (for BOTN by Stephen Webb )

(Young CCM keeper Matt Ryan under pressure from Sydney)

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. FFA has not this season accredited any Photographers for BOTN, so any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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