When Sydney FC fans turned up to the Sydney Football Stadium on a Spring Sunday afternoon for the 2nd home match of the season. All that was asked for was a good quality showing by the boys in Sky Blue, hopes were high but with those hopes was a sense of nervousness, thanks to how the previous season turned out and with a coach not known for his positive, attacking tactics. Sydney fans have learned not to get ahead of themselves.
A slight reshuffle to the Sydney FC line up due to the absence of Terry Antonis, who is away on national team duty for his age group, with Hiro Moriyasu coming into the line-up to replace him. The selection of Moriyasu ahead of players such as Dimitri Petratos and Rhyan Grant left some fans puzzled.
It started out as normal match for Sydney, starting slow with a lack of possession and field position, passes not finding the intended receiver and absolutely no luck in-front of goal, as the trend continued leaving fans scratching their heads as to why Sydney can’t get the ball into the net, the height of frustration came when Mark Bridge was put through to be one on one with Gold Coast keeper Glen Moss, Bridge managed to chip Moss and it looked a certainty to be a goal for Sydney FC but thanks to some never say die attitude, Michael Thwaite chased it down and Cleared it on the line. Then came the sucker punch in the 22nd minute with Gold Coast winning a corner, Michael Thwaite and Kristian Rees are hovering around the far post, just as the corner is whipped in, they switch positions yet no one tracks Rees’ run, Jamie Coyne reacts but isn’t quick enough and it’s 1-0 to the away team. Halftime; Sydney FC 0-1 Gold Coast United.
Halftime substitution for Sydney FC with Hiro Moriyasu off for Bruno Cazarine, a rare positive move from coach Viteslav Lavicka by putting a 2nd striker on and hooking an under performing player. Cazarine’s appearance saw Nicky Carle pushed back into his familiar spot in midfield. But before everyone had taken to their seats for the second half, a wayward Sydney pass is punished and Dylan Macallister is one on one with Liam Reddy and it’s 2-0 to the away team, stunned silence, it took a few moments for people to realise that Sydney were now trailing 2-0.
It is around the 55 minute mark, that the crowd lifts and the atmosphere gets loud, Sydney’s active supporters group ‘The Cove’ spur on the rest of the ground. Possession stats swing heavily in Sydney’s favour and Gold Coast are on the backfoot. Defender Pascal Bosschaart makes a run down the right sideline after staying up due to an earlier corner and he whips in a sublime cross which lands perfectly onto Bruno Cazarines forehead and suddenly it’s 2-1 at the hour mark, the sky blue fans start to buzz and the comeback looks to be on.
Shortly after kick off, Sydney immediately win the ball and go on the attack again, Mark Bridge and Nicky Carle play some lovely 1-2′s around the box, Bridge takes the chance to shoot, his shot is blocked and it falls to Carle who slots it home, 2-2 and the crowd goes mental. After 15 minutes of sustained pressure, possession evens out and Gold Coast get a fair share of the ball. Getting into the final stages of the match, it seem as if it had lost all the energy that it built up while Sydney piled the pressure on but this was to be no ordinary finish.
With 5 minutes plus injury time remaining, Sydney pushed on for a winner and that final touch Sydney had managed to find, seemed to have disappeared completely. As time was running out, a golden chance falls to Bruno Cazarine who is fouled in the box, 11 thousand strong crowd bemoan the non-awarding of a penalty by referee Robert Green, but that only fired up the home team and one final moment of madness deep into injury time saw Michael Beauchamp dragged down in the box and a penalty awarded to Sydney FC. Step up Karol Kisel, as Kisel positions the ball, the crowd on all sides pour down onto the fences and fall into a stone cold silence and in a blink of an eye it’s 3-2 to Sydney FC in the 90+3 minute and its fulltime. Amazing Scenes are back with a bang for Sydney FC.