Sydney started fairly bright, with some good use of the ball and lots of smart passing to try and get some killer balls in. Eventually one of those attempts led Ninkovic to be tackled outside the box and a free-kick was awarded to Sydney.
Siem de Jong stepped up and scored an absolutely beautiful free-kick, which goalkeeper Izzo had no chance of saving. His second goal off a free-kick this season.
Going into the break, the Sky Blues looked a bit more sloppy on the ball and lots of questionable passing around the back four. Calver was lucky several times to have Tratt and O'Neill covering for him.
After the break, a corner was played in by Brandon O'Neill which was met by a powerful header from Jacob Tratt. The 23 year-old has been phoenix-like in his return to Sydney.
However, almost immediately after the goal Calver conceded a sloppy penalty. Goodwin stepped up for the Reds, and buried his penalty past Redmayne who was nearly equal to it.
The Sky Blues hung on in for a long time, and showed serious resilience and character to secure the win - with Andrew Redmayne popping up with a vital save at the death to secure all 3 points.
But what did we learn?
1) Siemply better
Excuse the horrid pun. Siem de Jong proved he is very capable and useful to this team. After 3 months of being played out of position on the wing the Dutchman returned to his preferred second striker role. He was quite brilliant on the ball and already seems to have got some chemistry with le Fondre up front. It was great to see him up front, with him winning so many headers and really working hard all around.
2) Tratt SZN
Jacob Tratt has been simply superb since his return to the harbour city. His workrate was great and reminded me of Grant - albeit much taller. His presence in that right flank really made Adelaide scared, as he was smart with the ball and capable of a great tackle. At set pieces he is just a menace. He's not afraid to get stuck in and expertly headed past Izzo for the match winner.
3) Redder's Wall
Andrew Redmayne cops an incredibly unfair amount of flack from Sydney supporters. But each time he answers the call when we've really needed him I feel. Against Brisbane he came up with a great penalty save when we needed all three points, and again came up big at the death to secure another win. Is he Vuka level? No. No goalkeeper in the A-League will ever reach of the heights of Danny Vukovic in 2016/17. He was as good as they come. Redmayne isn't Vuka and that's fine - because he's our Redders and he's a different beast. He's won us points, and he's done cock-ups - that's the life of a goalkeeper. Let's make sure our players get the appreciation they deserve from fans - relentless negativity does absolutely nothing. Big ups to the birthday boy for his performance.
4) Brosque factor
Alex Brosque came on in the second half and really did well I feel. His workrate and speed was great and he caused a lot of problems for Adelaide's tiring defence. Going forward I think I'd prefer we have Brosque as an impact sub because he's clearly great for that role. Danny de Silva, whilst a bit lazy defensively did a fine job overall. He's a bit more unpredictable and wins fouls in good areas.
5) Blood, guts, determination, grit
I really think that was one of our best performances this season for one big reason - the determination. In the final 15 they looked absolutely determined to get the three points and even with a few defensive mistakes - still got the job done. Winning pretty is nice, but sometimes seeing your players truly battle it out till the death is more impressive.
|Full player ratings|
A hardworking and workmanlike performance from Sydney. Up next is Newcastle Jets at home next Saturday which will be an interesting encounter. O'Donovan is back for Jets, and Sheppard looks good for them but they're making a lot of defensive mistakes.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my ko-fi page. It's really appreciated and I'm very happy to know people are willing to read my nonsense.
Final score: Sydney FC (2) def. Adelaide United (1)
MOTM: Siem de Jong
Follow me on twitter at @VuvuZuvela