Sydney FC’s horror start to the season has continued with a Henry Hore double and a horror mistake from Socceroos keeper Andrew Redmayne consigning them to a second successive defeat to kick off the A-League season.
Brisbane were returning to Suncorp Stadium and looking for revenge after losing to the Sky Blues in the Australia Cup Final just three weeks ago and were great value for their 3-0 win.
They couldn’t have asked for a better start – Hore opened the scoring within 48 seconds – or from more assistance from their opposition, given the howler from Redmayne.
The keeper was sold slightly short by Gabriel Lacerda and, as he rushed to clear, spooned the ball straight up into the air to give Nikola Mileusnic a simple finish.
Hore added another shortly after the break and that was that for the game as a contest, with an inevitable inquest beginning into the Sydney performance.
Though they impressed in pre-season and won the cup, this is the second weekend in a row where they have been comfortably beaten and are yet to trouble the scorers this season.
Melbourne Victory were able to keep them at arm’s length and punish them on the break last weekend to take a 2-0 win and Brisbane followed the same template.
The Roar proved far too compact and well organised without the ball and, when their press kicked in, constantly dangerous in transition. Only a string of Redmayne saves kept the score respectable in the first half.
Steve Corica – who was booked in the first half out of pure frustration – will look at how open his side were to quick counters, and at how easily his new striker, Fabio Gomes, was marked out of the game. For the second time running, he was starved of service.
The first half began badly, got worse and ended in abject frustration for Sydney FC. Having conceded in the opening minute to Hore, they then compounded that with Redmayne’s error.
Between the boxes, they might have argued that they were the better team, with controlled possession against a packed Roar defence, but at either end, they failed badly.
Hore’s goal had come from a high turnover and Redmayne’s mistake from a poor backpass from Lacerda, giving Brisbane all the impetus they needed to press yet higher.
Their block was tight and, when they did wrangle possession, they immediately shifted to Mileusnic on the right wing who continually got in behind.
The winger created two chances for Tommy Waddingham, only for Redmayne twice to deny the teenager, one of the saves a truly world class effort that came mere seconds after his howler.
Late in the half, he also blocked Hore from making it 3-0 with another save that he had to right to make.
It was a strange first half, perhaps best evidenced by the fact that Redmayne had been close to the best Sydney players despite producing one of the worst errors of his career.
Corica threw on a second striker at half time, but before Pat Wood had even touched the ball, it was 3-0.
Again, it was the high press that worked, with a coterie of Roar midfielders surrounding Gomes to win the ball, then immediately switching to attack mode. Hore, again, was the beneficiary and finished low beyond Redmayne.
Sydney did have chances late on, with Macklin Freke brought into the game several times by Lolley before Gomes sent a free header wide.
The Roar never went away on the break. Hore might have had his hat trick and Redmayne had to save again to deny Mileusnic.
The last act went to Quinn MacNicol, who became the third youngest player in A-League history at 15.