Revenge for Sydney over Melbourne City in FFA Cup
SYDNEY FC inflicted sweet FFA Cup revenge on Melbourne City, with a commanding 2-0 win in Wednesday night's quarter-final.
The Sky Blues dominated an uncharacteristically, ultra-defensive City, who adopted a counter-attacking plan minus marquee striker Bruno Fornaroli that was ineffective.
New Polish signing Adrian Mierzejewksi starred, causing havoc off the right as Sydney FC had few problems exploiting City despite their mass of bodies behind the ball.
Dutchman Jordy Bujis scored from a free-kick while Alex Brosque iced it with a superb finish at Leichardt Oval, securing a semi-final berth as City struggled for any momentum.
Since last November's Cup final, Sydney lost just one game on their way to winning the A-League title while City limped into the finals and left without a trace.
The indications were those trends will continue and with just three (enforced) changes from the grand final win over Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC's continuity makes them ominous for 2017-18.
City's annual turnover has continued and with a host of new faces, produced a display poses more questions than answers ahead of it's A-League opener against Brisbane Roar on October 6 at AAMI Park.
Sydney opened the scoring after just seven minutes via a superb free-kick from Bujis who curled it over the wall and left keeper Eugene Galekovic no chance.
Minus marquee striker Bruno Fornaroli, City coach Warren Joyce opted to retreat, starting with a back three that was virtually a back five as Sydney FC pinned them back.
Even midfielder Stefan Mauk, who was playing as a 'false nine', dropped deep as City soaked up the pressure and ineffectively attempted to hit the Sky Blues on the counter.
Tim Cahill came on at half-time and he immediately injected urgency into a flat City, which led to a golden chance to Scott Jamieson who volleyed over the bar on 50 minutes.
But seconds later a concentration lapse from defender Osama Malik saw Mierzejewski release Alex Brosque who cleverly bought himself space with his head before lobbing Galekovic.
Former Adelaide United star Marcelo Carrusca made an impact off the bench late on, delivering a superb set piece but Sky Blues keeper just had one save to make off Bruce Kamau.