Amazing scenes in Sydney FC’s late win

mds1970 Roar Guru

By mds1970, mds1970 is a Roar Guru

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    The seventh season of the A-League has now been in action over a month, but a run of away games early meant that yesterday was just the second home game of the season for Sydney FC.

    And it was a game to remember, as the Sky Blues came from two goals down to grab a last-gasp win over Gold Coast United.

    The round-ball game has undergone a revival of support in the early stages of the new season, and an encouraging crowd of 11,051 attended in overcast conditions at the Sydney Football Stadium, well up on last season’s average.

    There were plenty of fans in the Cove, the vocal supporters’ area behind the northern goal. And they were in voice early as the home side threatened to score.

    With a megaphone, a resonating drum, and with big flags waving in the front of Bay 23, the Cove are both a visual and audible stronghold of support.

    As they sang their repertoire of chants, Sydney FC had the ball in Gold Coast’s half and peppered the goals, but were unable to penetrate.

    But against the run of play, it was Gold Coast who opened the scoring. From a corner, Kristian Rees was unmarked and had no trouble in stretching his tall frame to head the ball into the Sydney net.

    The Sky Blues wasted little time looking for an equaliser, but time and again would be denied. United ‘keeper Glenn Moss frustrated Sydney FC with a series of acrobatic saves.

    When Mark Bridge did manage to lob the ball over Moss’ head towards the goals, Michael Thwaite threw himself at the ball, crashing into the woodwork as his scissor-kick kept the ball out of the net.

    As the half-time break neared, and Sydney FC continued to attack, Gold Coast worked to milk the clock to maintain their lead.

    Adama Traore incurred the wrath of the crowd after cynically rolling around on the ground, holding up play as a stretcher was called for only to jump up and return to action.

    Such displays of sportsmanship, while accepted in some parts of our confederation, irritate Australian crowds.

    When Traore went down a second time early in the second half, a chorus of booing echoed around the ground; and after he was subbed off when behind the goals, had to run a gauntlet of angry calls from over the fence as he walked back to the bench.

    But Sydney FC had more important things to worry about, as within seconds of the second half getting under way, the United lead doubled.

    The crowd were still making their way back to their seats as Dylan Macallister caught the Sydney FC defence napping as he faced minimal resistance to steer the ball into the Sydney net.

    The Sydney FC players were stunned, and even the Cove became subdued. The Sky Blues had been the better side around the ground, and had created far more scoring opportunities, but found themselves two goals behind.

    But The Cove regrouped and found their voice. Slowly, with silent pauses, their call echoed around the ground. “Sydney FC, score us a goal” they pleaded.

    Hearing the call was Bruno Cazarine, and on the hour he threw the home side a lifeline. A cross from Pascal Bosschaart found Cazarine’s head, and the ball’s next stop was the corner of the net.

    The crowd roared, a sea of sky blue flags waving around the ground.

    Just two minutes later, Sydney FC were in again. This time it took some individual brilliance from Nicky Carle, curling the ball into the net from a tight angle.

    An even louder roar around the ground rang out, as beer cups flew into the air in the Cove. It had taken only two minutes to wipe out the deficit and put the game back in the balance.

    Momentum was running Sydney FC’s way, and the home side continued to attack. With every corner, the crowd would drum their seats.

    The Cove, more vocal than ever, had plenty to sing about as their deficit had been erased. “Where you go I’ll always follow. Sydney, save our hearts from sorrow” was the call.

    But, although they continued to press, the winning goal would prove elusive. And, as time ticked by, frustration began to take its toll. Referee Peter Green showed his displeasure as he began to flash his yellow card with regularity.

    Sydney FC captain Terry McFlynn, key attacker Nicky Carle and marquee Brett Emerton all found themselves booked, while Gold Coast also found two of their number in the referee’s report book.

    As the clock ticked into injury time, a few patrons decided to leave early to beat the traffic. But they would be regretting their decision, as this was a game when time added on would be more than just the game winding down.

    Sydney FC thought they’d get a penalty when Bruno Cazarine appeared to have been held, but the referee called play on.

    But in the final minute of added time, the referee’s patience ran out, and when Michael Beauchamp was held in the area, Peter Green had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

    The fate of the game lay on Karol Kisel’s shoulders as he stepped up to take the spot kick. The Slovak international, returning to the club he won championship glory with two years ago, made no mistake with the kick.

    The Cove ran to the front of the bay as the Sydney FC players in front of them jumped over each other with pure joy.

    There was barely time for Gold Coast to kick off again before the full time whistle was blown. Sydney FC 3, Gold Coast United 2.

    A lap of honour for the players, as they bowed to The Cove after the game. Sydney FC had been the dominant side all day, but it had taken until the final seconds for the home side to take the lead.

    But those final seconds were the ones that mattered, and it was a crucial three points for the Sky Blues.

    Other than the dominance of Brisbane Roar, it’s been an even season so far. Only the Roar have a positive goal difference, only two games separating second from last.

    The three points for Sydney FC see them move to fourth place on the ladder.

    On the back of an injury time equaliser against Melbourne Heart last week, and a late winner against Adelaide the week before; the Sky Blues’ superior stamina that sees them run out beyond the 90th minute could well be a significant factor in how the premiership standings take shape this year.

    The Cove continued to sing long after the players returned to the rooms. “Ole ole ole, every day I love you more”. With such a thrilling performance, it’s not hard to see why.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • November 7th 2011 @ 7:53am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | November 7th 2011 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Yes games like that are what the HAL needs—a magnificent performance from the Sky Blues, but spare a thought for United they also played their part in what was game to savor. Congratulations to Kristian Rees on his 100th game and celebrating it with a well taken powerful header.

    • November 7th 2011 @ 8:23am
      Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      I watched the first 85 minutes(had to duck out for Sunday night Church, so I missed the lead up to SFC’s dramatic win, but after GCU went 2 up and the Sky Blues missed a swathe of chances, it just looked like one of those games where the home team would come away wih nothing to show for their efforts no matter what hey did. To their credit though, Sydney kept at it(music to the ears of their fans) and pulled one back through the nice header of Cazarine and a very well worked goal started and ended by Nick Carle. the scenes of delerium in the Home emd are what being a football fan is all about. Its what we live for. Well done to those Sky Blues fans who believed and got their butts to the game. Its important to remember that when placed next to the very good crowds of MVFC, the SFC crowds can/do look poor. But Sydney & Melbourne are so diferent sometimes I woder if they really are in the same country. In the context of SFCs ultra competitive sporting market and the terrible footbal served up recently a crowd of 11 thousand is a marked improvement on last year(season ave: 7,656) and hopefully the better start to this season and the dramatics of yesterday’s game will bring a few back to the SFS regularly(One can only hope). I can only say as a football fan that this season has been very exciting to watch and the closeness of the table reflects the ability of almost any team to get one over any other team on a given day(So far Brisbane remain a class above). This closeness I hope will help my team(Adelaide) should it finally ‘click’
      and get its butt into gear relatively soon. A couple of wins and straight up the table we’ll go:)

    • November 7th 2011 @ 8:35am
      Midfielder said | November 7th 2011 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      The return to form of Nicky Carle and Sydney’s new winning ways … they are linked…

      A new debate coming…. Nicky & Musty …. Herd & Nichoals … Antonis…. HHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMM throw in Troisi who I have been crying for inclusion for years… interesting problem for the national coach…

    • November 7th 2011 @ 8:46am
      Australian Rules said | November 7th 2011 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      Great game… and these sorts of finishes will only help strengthen the HAL.

      Good on the vocal supporters in the Cove which created an atmosphere that is critical to the success of the local comp. This is a key point of difference between the HAL an dthe other competing footy codes – the atmosphere, the singing, the chanting, the euphoric energy that comes from the crowd in teh World Game.

      But if just over 11,000 is an “encouraging crowd” for the so-called ‘gamlour club’ in Australia’s biggest city, then we have a long long way to go. Was disappointing to see only 25,000 at Melb Victory v BNR as well…should have been over 40k.

      Come one soccer fans…esp in Sydney…where are you?!

      • November 7th 2011 @ 9:05am
        Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        What is not encouraging about a crowd increase? Is it not big enough for you? Baby steps mate.SFC burnt a lot of bridges in the intervening years from the innaugural season…Sydney is a strange sporting city, certainly not much like Melbourne. As long as the trend line is heading up, call me overly optomistic but I’m encouraged. I actually predicted a sub-10k crowd for the game, so 11k is a good result in my eyes. You are obviously out of the loop..the Glamour club tag hasn’t been bandied about with any seriousness since Dwight Yorke left.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 10:03am
          west syd said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Baby steps Kasey lol, i think 11k is the max sydney fc is going to get, once west sydney comes into play the crowd at fc is only going to shrink gradually,
          enjoy the 11k while you got it.

          not happy to see diving is back in the a-league, Beachamp is a diver, blatant attempt to win a penalty.

          add Broich to the list, the 4 rolls he made after getting tripped by Foshini only encouraged the ref to send him off, digusting play.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 10:33am
            Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:33am | ! Report

            I disagree west syd, I believe that the addition of a WS team will turn out nothing like the addition of MHT for one simple reason. Western Sydney is a seperate geographic entity to Sydney FC’s traditional catchment where as realistically the only thing that differentiates MVC and MHT is the colour of their shirts. Finally, If done correctly, the addition of a WS team could enhance the shine of the league in the eyes of Greater Sydney and its media leading to increased coverage and thus increased crowds for SFC in the long term.

            You say that diving is ‘back’. Sadly simulation has been a part of football for decades, what on Earth led you to believe it had gone aay from the Australian arm of the world game? Regarding the Broich incident. It is incumbent on Refs to protect the quality players on the pitch. I for one am sick of seeing the likes of Hernandez, Flores, and Broich get the crap hacked out of them by defenders too slow to compete fairly. Foschini was late, slow, tackled with his foot off the ground and had his studs showing. Its a credit to Broich that he saw what was coming and was able to get out of he way. Just because Broich didn’t have his leg broken, does NOT mean that the tackle wasn’t reckless and thus deserving of sanction for Serious foul play (a violent foul). Best you take a referees course before you start sprouting nonsense I think. The ref only has an instant to make a decision or non-decision and does not get the benefit of endless slow-mo replays that armchair critics do. I’ve seen players sent off for worse and even for ‘better’ tackles than that one. Simply put, one of the requirenments of this league to continue to improve its quality will be the acquisition of smarter and faster defenders. I hope that in 5 years time we will look back on the Muscat era and wonder how a thug like him ever got a game. I also welcomthe addition of a fulltime referees coordinator this year, hopefully Mark Shield’s appointment will lead to a better quality of refereeing in the next few years.
            As for the Beachamp ‘incident’. I can’t comment as I did not see it. I did see the replay of the Cazarine foul in the box.GCU player..handful of shirt, right in front of the ref…Unsporting bahavior in that the GCU player made a reckless challenge or tackle indside the 18yd box that restricted an attacking player from playing the ball.

            From FIFA’s law book
            in particular, the offence of “unsporting behaviour” may be used to deal with most events that violate the spirit of the game, even if they are not listed as specific offences.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 2:04pm
            Simmo said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

            “i think 11k is the max sydney fc is going to get”

            apart from the 17k the club got at the previous game…

      • November 7th 2011 @ 9:28am
        Titus said | November 7th 2011 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        11 000 is encouraging when the average last season was under 8 000 with some games as low as 4 000.

        Gold Coast aren’t a big drawing team and it comes on the back of a 15 000 crowd first up.

        a crowd of 11 000 is enough to create a good atmosphere at the SFS and I will be happy if we maintain a base of about 12 000, and if we are travelling well, that should climb to 20-25 000 for the big games come the business end.

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2011 @ 4:00pm
          mds1970 said | November 7th 2011 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          It’s something to build on. Compared to last season, it’s a step in the right direction.

      • November 7th 2011 @ 9:36am
        Sean said | November 7th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Just out of curiousity, on what do you base statements like “But if just over 11,000 is an “encouraging crowd” for the so-called ‘glamour club’ in Australia’s biggest city, then we have a long long way to go. Was disappointing to see only 25,000 at Melb Victory v BNR as well…should have been over 40k.”?

        11,000 *is* an encouraging crowd, in the context of the previous 2 seasons, and the average attendance that Sydney FC draw when playing Gold Coast. Then compare it to the opening fixtures of last season as well (which drew 13k), and it’s actually quite a reasonable attendance.

        Why should Melbourne v Brisbane have brought 40K? What’s the reason? You might suggest Brisbane’s effervescent playing style but the truth is, even their own home town support is yet to embrace them fully, judging from their average crowd figures from last season and the first few games of this season. Brisbane fans traditionally don’t do a lot of travel and you wouldn’t have a significant Brisbane centric population already in Melbourne so I would suggest that 25K is actually a very solid attendance figure for this match and suggests a very solid support base for the Victory. Previous 40K attendances this season had the history of the Victory’s rivalry against Sydney (plus opening fixture, plus Emerton/Kewell build up) to rely on for the larger attendances, and the other high attendance was the Melbourne derby.

        It’s important to recognise context before throwing around statements? Credit where credit’s due..

        I totally agree however, with your comments about the atmosphere – it definitely is a distinguishing feature of the game in this country and definitely a selling point. Having been a rusted on Newcastle United (EPL) supporter for many years getting up at all hours of the night to watch their games, it actually has nothing on being at a live game with a pulsing crowd and feeling the rise and fall in fortunes of a team over a season (or seasons)..

        • November 7th 2011 @ 10:21am
          Matt F said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          Sean it’s pretty good being a Newcastle United fan right now! Though I agree it’s much better being able to watch my local team play live (great day at the SFS yesterday) then getting up at 2am and watching Newcastle in my lounge room.

          Compared to last seasons numbers 11k is quite good. A decent performance in Perth and we should be getting at least 15k to our next home game against the Mariners, who always bring decent numbers to the SFS.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 12:37pm
            Sean said | November 7th 2011 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            Haha true.. it *is* a good time to be a NUFC fan that’s for sure! Although in true toon fashion, I’m just waiting for the sky to fall in or something. Too many crushed black and white dreams to get my hopes up too much, but it sure is satisfying at this point in time!

            If SFC play with the commitment and forward momentum they created in the second half at the SFS yesterday, the crowds numbers should eventually start to take care of themselves.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 2:13pm
          Australian Rules said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          I realise it’s 3,000 up on last year’s season average but…so it should be!!! Last year, Sydney FC average a paltry 8,000 to each game. Even the Round 1 opener against nemesis Melbourne attracted only 12,000.

          Sydney claims to be the home of Football in this country but fans just don’t turn up to games.

          And Melbourne, it prides itself on big sport crowds. They got 40k for Sydney, 33k for the derby, and only 25k in a game against the greatest team ever in the A-League. For a game such as that, it’s small for Melbourne.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 2:54pm
            Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

            AR Just because It should be does not neccessarily follow that it WILL be. We in football are often neglectful of celebrating the good things. This is a small but important step. Arresting the perception that the HAL is leaking crowd figures like a Tresurer leaks the ‘bad ‘ new just prior to Federal Budget time is an important first step to presenting the image of a stable/viable and exciting League that is worthy of the attention of football fans around this country and its surrounds. If you want to be a negative-Nelly about football, perhaps you’d ‘enjoy’ the intellectual stimulation of
            www. a bit more. The rest of us are happy to acknowledge the deficiencies in the League, but are cogniscent of the fact that much work is being done to improve things and credit should be given where it is due.

            • November 7th 2011 @ 3:53pm
              Australian Rules said | November 7th 2011 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

              Kasey, I’m not being a negative nelly.

              The first half of my post was overwhelmingly positive about the game and the competition itself. I’m a fan.

              But I simply made the point, that 11,000 to a game for a big one-club city like Sydney (population 5 million) is terrible. Who could possibly argue with that?

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2011 @ 10:18am
        mds1970 said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        The glass is half empty, the glass is half full……

        This season is one in which the round-ball football code is re-building, putting the past behind it and re-focussing its efforts on the A-League. Despite overcast skies, against an opponent that has no profile in Sydney and had less than ten fans at the ground; to put up a
        crowd 3,500 above last year’s average wasn’t a bad achievement IMHO.

      • November 7th 2011 @ 10:53am
        Galaxy Hop said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        I would say the Cove may actually be one of the things keeping people away. I know how much the drumming and choreographed chants turn me off–far too contrived, especially when there’s nothing happening on the field.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 10:58am
          Dan said | November 7th 2011 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          There is plenty of room at the other end of the stadium so you dont have to sit next to the cove, but personally I think it adds to the atmosphere.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 11:52am
          Titus said | November 7th 2011 @ 11:52am | ! Report

          Each and to their own I guess.

          I actually feel more uncomfortable at a game where no one makes a sound and if you do, everyone looks at you funny.

          With the constant noise from the Cove, I forget about it and just get into the game, making as much or as little noise as I like, they take the pressure off if you like.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 1:43pm
            Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            I’d certainly rather listen to the Cove if we’re talking about constant noise tha a stadium filled with bloody vuvuzelas:) Only twice in RSA did I hear the spectators, actually sing with the famous voices of the rainbow nation. Sikoleil I’Africa [National Anthem] just prior to the first game RSA v MEX and for some reason, the locals sang in the 2nd half of GER v ENG at Bloemfontein…don’t know why, but it was beautiful to listen to!

        • November 7th 2011 @ 1:42pm
          Dobetter said | November 7th 2011 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

          In the words of Walter Sopchek “The world does not stop and start at your convience.”

          I’m sure if the drums stopped you’d have some other excuse not to come.

          • November 7th 2011 @ 1:46pm
            Kasey said | November 7th 2011 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

            The latest excuse thats really p*ssing me off, is “the games should be on at a consistent time” No other sport in Australia does this[One team always on at a certain time], why on Earth would people think that FFA would have the resources to accomodate them like that? I think sometimes folks are just looking for an excuse to bash the FFA or ecuse themselves from the attending of the games…time for FFA to implement a blackout in the home city of Live Broadcast from the next TV rights deal I think. If you want to watch, then you’ll have to go to the stadium!

            • November 8th 2011 @ 11:16am
              phutbol said | November 8th 2011 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              I’ve been saying that for years. Home town should be on 2 hour delay or something so if you want to see a live game, you go to the ground to watch it.

            • November 8th 2011 @ 4:03pm
              Dobetter said | November 8th 2011 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

              Some people are just miserable sods and take it upone themselves to infect the rest of us with their misery, lest they feast alone.

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2011 @ 4:11pm
          mds1970 said | November 7th 2011 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

          I can’t see how The Cove would keep too many fans away. The atmosphere and the crowd singing is one of this code’s big positives. Maybe a bit of the colourful language could keep a few away, but the Cove have cut down on their expletives.

          There’s a very different vibe around the ground when Sydney FC are playing Melbourne Victory, and I could understand why some people would feel uncomfortable at those games. There were a few incidents at those games in the first few seasons, mainly minor but they rang alarm bells. But these days the FFA and Hatamoto have a better grip and the last few games have passed with no more problems than you’d get at an NRL game.

          But I can’t see why anyone would stay away because of “active” fans at a Sydney FC v Gold Coast game.

      • November 7th 2011 @ 11:33am
        Axelv said | November 7th 2011 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        25,000 Victory fans make more noise than 100,000 AFL fans. It’s the quality of fans, not quantity that matters.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 2:07pm
          Simmo said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

          if only they paid 2.5 times as much per ticket.

          But I understand your point nonetheless

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2011 @ 2:27pm
        ItsCalledFootball said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        GCU v SFC has always drawn badly and the corresponding game last season got about 6K.

        Avge so far for Syd is 14K which is nearl double last season’s average of 7.4K.

        A 95% jump in attendance in 6 months not good enough?

    • November 7th 2011 @ 9:35am
      Al said | November 7th 2011 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      Can someone explain to me what the penalty was given for?

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2011 @ 2:30pm
        ItsCalledFootball said | November 7th 2011 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        Trip, push and shirt pull on Beachamp as he tried to get in to head the cross home.
        Clearly spotted by the referee and linesman.

        Cazarine got the same treatment 5 minutes earlier and was not seen by the referee on that occasion.

        • November 7th 2011 @ 5:38pm
          Roger said | November 7th 2011 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

          I thought Cazarine had a much better case. The Beachamp penalty was very soft.

          • November 8th 2011 @ 4:07pm
            Dobetter said | November 8th 2011 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

            Eh he kicks Beach in the gut and grabs his shirt. The kick was accidental but it happened. Just cause he’s a giant CB and not prone to going down doesn’t stop it being a foul.

            I hope Dylan Macallister realises it wasn’t on him for the handball. Bloke looked devestated.

            I thought the score was a fair reflection of the game. GCU played really well and on another day would have deserved something out of it. They have recruited some top quality players. They had the game for 30 minutes but I thought SFC played so well, Nick Carle especially, that there only deserved to be one winner.

    • November 7th 2011 @ 9:47am
      Matt F said | November 7th 2011 @ 9:47am | ! Report

      Love the article.

      It’s a win that we wouldn’t have got in previous seasons and the late goals in our last 3 games show oth our fitness levels and team unity, both of which will carry us well through the season.

      It was great to see Emerton really hit his stride. Whether it was Holger’s challenge during the week, or whether he was just going through a natural settling in period at his new club, he really hit his straps yesterday and will be a big loss next week due to national duty, though Antonis will return.

      Given the draw that we appeared to have at the start of the season, 8 points is a fantastic effort so far and if we can get something at Perth next week the season will be looking very promising.

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2011 @ 5:41pm
        mds1970 said | November 7th 2011 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

        That ability to play the full 90 minutes plus has earned Sydney FC some valuable points this season. Superior fitness, and maybe a touch of luck, but it could count for a lot in the final analysis of this season’s ladder.

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