04/03/2024

Joe Lolley was one of two Sydney goal-scorers in their 2-1 victory over Melbourne City. (Photo: Sydney FC)

Touted as the Socceroos return home back to the A-League Men competition, Socceroo Andrew Redmayne has led Sydney FC to emerge victorious in a tough physical contest.

In their first A-League Men game since their heroics during the 2022 World Cup, Socceroos squad member Andrew Redmayne lined up against his World Cup teammates Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, and Marco Tilio with all players eager for a win.

Tempers flared between the two interstate clubs from the opening kick-off, with both clubs needing a win for different reasons. Having gone winless in front of their homes fans in the past five matches, the Sky Blues didn’t want to disappoint the ‘Cove’ once again.

Whilst Melbourne City was looking for their first victory under the guidance of Rado Vidosic. Having lost their previous coach Patrick Kisnorbo during the World Cup break, a win would boost team morale heading into the Melbourne Derby next week.

Continuing his goal-scoring streak, it was Socceroo Jamie Maclaren who broke the deadlock. His goal equalised Marc Janko in second place for the most consecutive goals in A-League Men history. This puts him one away from the eight-goal record set by Andy Keogh in 2016.

Maclaren converted Melbourne City’s best opening chance with precision from the penalty spot, nailing it just out of the reach of Redmayne. However, it was Redmayne who had the last laugh.

In front of Australian goalkeeper Matthew Ryan who was in attendance, the Sky Blues struck back within seconds. Making sure the game didn’t go out of their reach, Joe Lolley pounced on a loose ball in the box to even up the scores.

Entering the game for the injured Jack Rodwell, Adam Le Fondre provided the necessary spark to give City their first loss of the season.

Hitting a clean volley, Lolley’s shot found the gloves of Thomas Glover. However, despite the good save, Glover couldn’t contend with a roaming Le Fondre who headed the ball into the back of the net.

In their first victory at home after five winless games, coach Steve Corica was pleased with the match result. Coming back from the World Cup break after two consecutive losses, the Sky Blues will be hoping to continue their good form.

“I think we showed it again tonight, you know City are top of the table for a reason, and I think we showed tonight that we can have lots of good moments in these games,” Corica said post-match.

“We probably had a lot more shots than them and defended well, and it’s good that Adam (Le Fondre) came on and scored one.”

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Returning from Qatar, Jamie Maclaren extended his goal-scoring streak. (Photo: Melbourne City)

Coaching his first A-League Men’s game, Rado Vidosic was disappointed in his team’s performance. Despite their returning Socceroos forwards putting in a good effort, their midfield struggled to contain the Sky Blues.

Melbourne City was unable to apply pressure in defence and couldn’t contain the ball in attack. Easy turnovers were the main talking point post-match with the newly appointed City coach, who was astounded they couldn’t keep the ball at their feet.

“I don’t know what the reason was, but we would lose the ball and couldn’t win it back,” Vidosic said.

“We would lose the ball and then we could not win the ball back. We were not able to press, we were not able to stop them switch the play.

“They were switching the play (the) whole night and that’s basically the only play that they had.

“The most important thing is that we improve our game and if we improve our own game then we can compete against anyone.”

Sydney FC will travel down to the Central Coast next round to face the Mariners, while Melbourne City will compete in the Melbourne derby against rivals Melbourne Victory.

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