A dull first half saw the sides go in 0-0, with Milos Ninkovic missing an open goal from about 6 yards out. This would be a good summary of Sydney's night.
Danny De Silva put Sydney ahead not too long after half time, with a tap-in off a deflected Adam le Fondre shot from range.
Josh Brillante turned over the ball poorly which lead to a Brisbane Roar equaliser, before another defensive mix up saw Dylan Wenzal-Halls score a worldie from outside the box.
A truly dour performance.
1) So slow
Sydney are quite frustrating to watch. They have so many quality players but are just pedestrian passing it and getting the ball around. Despite having the talents of le Fondre and Ghoochannejhad they nearly never received the ball. They gave Roar far too much respect and time on the ball, and ended up stooping to their level of "not very good". We aren't as threatening as we should be, and a lot of it is due to us taking too many passes and always recycling it back to the centre-backs. Under Graham Arnold, it was never meaningless possession for sake of possession but consistent probing.
I don't want to blame Wilkinson too much, but as our captain on the day he has to take some of the blame. Doesn't quite get players motivated or firing like Brosque does, nor is he as talkative to the ref.
2) Zullo has not been great
Michael Zullo has been one of the more disappointing players throughout this season for Sydney FC. He's been more prone to brainfarts, poor decision making, and his crossing has just been appalling. It's like he hasn't realised Bobo left and that you can't just continue to hopefully bang balls into the box forever. I think part of it is how some players haven't adapted to the 4-2-2-2 formation Corica has set them up in. It seems like there is less cover for him when he bombs forward because there's just less
3) Brillante is a liability
If there's been one player who consistently this season has not done enough to earn a starting spot, it is Josh Brillante. So many sloppy, cheap, and unnecessary turn overs. Too much "this'll look good on my highlight reel" attempts which have ended up costing us massively. He has proven he isn't good enough to be our starting central midfielder by now surely. Heading into an Asian campaign we cannot afford more cock-ups from him, and I think we should start Caceres over him.
Missed an open goal in the first half, and then went invisible for large spells of the second half. He cannot play out wide and this should be very clear to everyone. He is an attacking midfielder, and he's 34. Especially without Siem de Jong we gain nothing from forcing Ninkovic out wide for matches. It's hard for him to play that killer ball into a striker when he is miles away from a central area, and Zullo's crossing on the left flank also doesn't suit Adam le Fondre.
Danny De Silva is also not capable of taking on Ninko's role due to not quite having much end product and he's just too young to so drastically change his playstyle. He's exciting to watch when he goes forward but I'm not sure he knows what the next step is.
5) Can't continue like this
There is winning with grit and determination, and that is important - but at the moment we're trying to win without grit or determination. We showed up expecting to win and were complacent. Same can be said of previous weeks, when we were ultimately given a get out of jail free card from Andrew Redmayne. I admire it when we grind out results a lot - that's the sign of a winning team - but screwing up so dramatically before you can hit that stage is awful.
We need to make changes and fix the mentality. Too many players have their heads suck in the Arnie era of legitimately knowing you will will prior to the match.
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As soon as Ninkovic fluffed that open goal, and I saw the Roar keeper growing in confidence I just felt this wouldn't go our way. Whilst Reza was encouraging on debut it's hard to see positives with how many of our experienced players put in stinkers. You expect so much better from this team.
On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who has been giving me support over this difficult last week or so. My surgery was successful and I am currently recovering, which has been tough so far. I'd like to thank my good friend Hamish Walsh for helping out with running the ASOTH twitter during the week - he did a fantastic job. Also thank you to everyone for the happy birthday messages for Thursday. It's been a far from normal birthday, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you as well to everyone who has donated to me on my ko-fi page. It is greatly appreciated.
Final score: Brisbane Roar (2) def. Sydney FC (1)
MOTM: Danny De Silva