Del Piero’s Sydney FC off to disappointing start
Alessandro Del Piero sparkeld, but Sydney FC struggled against Wellington. (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)
There is little to write home about from across the Tasman if you’re a Sydney FC supporter. Sydney were well and truly beaten at Westpac Stadium yesterday, losing 2-0 to the impressive Wellington Phoenix.
Playing at the fortress which is Westpac Stadium, the Phoenix conjured up a magical evening to give their manager, Ricki Herbert, his 52nd A-League victory.
The breakthrough came for the Phoenix in the 42nd minute, just before half time, when new import Stein Huysegems showed great composure to slot one past Necevski in the Sydney goal.
A second goal arrived with a beautiful move down the right, which saw youngster Louis Fenton head in a pinpoint cross from Manny Muscat with just a little over 15 minutes left to play.
Wellington showed great cohesion throughout the team and demonstrated a fluency of play, which Sydney would be envious of to say the least. Their passing from the back was accurate and often attacking, with few back-passes or mistakes.
The link up play among the midfielders and attackers was seamless, with the only negative being the amount of chances they let slide. On another day, against tougher opposition, I daresay the Phoenix would have been punished for their inaccuracy in front of goal.
Sydney F.C. failed to show up. Their defence looked out of sorts, from the central pairing of Griffiths and McClenahan, to Emerton and Fabio on the wings.
The holding midfielders, McFlynn and Antonis, looked overwhelmed at times, with Lovrek contributing very little to the game in his attacking role.
The only slight sparkle came from the top, with Alessandro Del Piero showing much of the class that he possesses. Del Piero will certainly challenge the any A-League team’s defence, as long as he gets the right service and builds on his match fitness.
Another positive could be found in the form of pace on the wings. Mallia and Chianese provided some glimpses of the threat that they could pose to defences around the country.
Overall, it was a bitterly disappointing performance from Sydney, with little to draw from the loss for the future.
On the other hand, the Phoenix will be buoyed by the performance of several new players, and more importantly by the team’s effort as a collective unit.
Wellington will be eyeing a place in the playoffs once again this season, with Sydney looking to overturn yet another disappointing start.