A stunning strike on debut from new signing Tomi Juric was not enough for Adelaide United FC to prevent Sydney FC from recording a fifth straight home win as the Sky Blues edged the Reds out 2-1.
A stunning strike on debut from new signing Tomi Juric was not enough for Adelaide United to prevent Sydney FC from recording a fifth straight home win as the Sky Blues edged the Reds out 2-1.
Juric made a spectacular introduction to the Hyundai A-League as he found the back of the net with just his second touch after being introduced in the contest in the 76th minute.
The goal gave the Reds hope of salvaging a point after Sydney FC went two goals ahead courtesy of Terry Antonis and Blake Powell, but despite a late flurry, United could not find an equaliser.
The Reds- first defeat at Allianz Stadium since 2009 leaves them in fourth spot, eight points ahead of the Sky Blues who have now climbed to fifth.
The first 45 minutes was an arm wrestle, the Reds forced to spend portions of the half on the defensive as Sydney FC, mainly through Alessandro Del Piero, tried to unlock United at the back.
But the Reds defence, together with hard working midfielder Jon McKain, were doing well to keep the home side at bay.
Going forward, United-s best opportunities were coming on the counter attack but they were not able to seriously test Vedran Janjetovic in the Sydney FC goal.
After absorbing everything Sydney FC threw at them, the Reds finished the half well, Jeronimo with a shot from distance that flew harmlessly over the bar before Marcelo Carrusca magic down the left produced a cross to the far post but no one in a red shirt could get on the end of it.
A minute into the second half, Del Piero went inches away from giving Sydney the lead as his curling free kick beat Galekovic but not the post.
The Sky Blues then went ahead thanks to a slice of luck as Antonis cut onto his left foot from just outside the penalty area, his shot taking a nasty deflection off the knee of Iain Fyfe leaving Galekovic stranded.
Galekovic was then required to produce a sharp save as he managed to get a glove on a low sliding Del Piero shot in a 63rd minute to keep it at 1-0.
But it was soon 2-0 when the Reds failed to clear a Del Piero corner, Powell getting the scrappy final touch to leave the Reds up against it.
Needing a spark, Juric provided just that as he replaced Ramsay with 14 minutes to go as quick thinking from Galekovic caught Sydney-s defence out. The Reds captain sent a long ball down the channel for Juric to run onto it, take a touch and unleash a devastating left footed finish past Janjetovic.
The striker was on target again minutes later but this time it was straight at the Sydney gloveman, the Reds turning up the pressure as they tried to restore parity. But time beat them as Sydney FC held on.
Match Details Sydney FC 2 (Antonis 49-, Powell 66-) Adelaide United FC 1 (Juric 78-) Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: 15,602 @ Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC starting line-up: 20.Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 3.Fabio, 8.Adam Griffiths, 10.Alessandro Del Piero, 12.Blake Powell (16.Joel Chianese 76-), 13.Tiago Calvano, 15.Terry McFlynn (c), 17.Terry Antonis, 23.Rhyan Grant, 26.Peter Triantis (9.Paul Reid 46-) Substitutes not used: 1.Ivan Necevski (gk), 18.Trent McClenahan Yellow Cards: McFlynn 68- Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain (14.Cameron Watson 62-), 5.Iain Fyfe, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 16.Daniel Bowles (18.Fabian Barbiero 67-), 17.Iain Ramsay (25.Tomi Juric 76-), 21.Jeronimo Neumann Substitutes not used: 20.Paul Izzo (gk) Yellow Cards: Golec 60-, Fyfe 83-, Carrusca 84- Red Cards: Nil