ADELAIDE United has claimed a 4-2 victory over a youthful Sydney FC side in a A-League pre-season friendly match at Marconi Stadium on Saturday evening.
Sky Blues striker Yairo Yau opened the scoring in the first half while young gun Mitch Mallia also found the back of the net with an 88th minute strike against an Adelaide United team preparing for an AFC Champions League match in three weeks.
Sydney FC went into the game without 11 members of its A-League squad, who were unavailable through injury and international duty, but the Sky Blues started brightly against Adelaide United.
The Sky Blues struck first in the 12th minute when Yau scored his second goal for the Sky Blues the day before he departs Sydney to play two World Cup Qualifying matches for Panama.
Yau scored with a neat header after Kruno Lovrek and Fabio combined well on the left hand side to play Mallia in behind the defence. Mallia’s delicate cross was met at the far post by Yau, who gave Adelaide ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic no chance.
Despite the match being played on a bumpy Marconi Stadium surface, the Sky Blues tried to play out from the back, in keeping with coach Ian Crook’s 2012/13 game plan.
The visitors levelled the scores in the 30th minute when a speculative strike from Bruce Djite took a deflection off Sebastian Ryall, wrong-footing Sydney FC custodian Ivan Necevski and looping into the empty net.
Both sides played some good football through the middle stages of the first half as they exploited the wide areas. The Sky Blues continued to look good down both flanks with the pace of Yau causing trouble on the right and Fabio overlapping well down the left.
Just before the half time break it was Adelaide who turned an opportunity into a goal when Cassio cut inside down the left hand side and slotted the ball under the body of Necevski to make it 2-1 in the 45th minute.
Crook then made six changes at half time, injecting five teenagers from the Australian Institute of Sport into the action as well as Vedran Janjetovic, who replaced Necevski between the sticks.
When Sky Blues captain Terry McFlynn was replaced in the 60th minute, Sydney FC had just three contracted players on the pitch (Rhyan Grant, Malia and Jenjetovic).
Adelaide also made several changes at half time as coach John Kosmina had one eye on the upcoming champions league tie against Bunyodkor.
The changes affected the flow of the match although the Sydney FC youngsters did cause a few problems. Adelaide also had its chances in the second half and scored a third goal through Cameron Watson in the 83rd minute.
Mallia breathed some late life into the match with a well-deserved goal in the 88th minute when he surged past the Adelaide defence and blasted the ball into the roof of the net to make it 3-2.
But, any hope of sharing the spoils went out the window in the final minute when Adelaide scored a fourth goal through Evan Kostopoulos.
Adelaide United 4 (Djite 30', Cassio 45', Watson 83', Kostopoulos 89') d Sydney FC 2 (Yau 12', Mallia 88')
Referee: Tim McGilchrist
Crowd: About 2,000
Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski (20. Vedran Janjetovic ‘46), 2. Sebastian Ryall (5. Ben Warland ‘46), 3. Fabio (17. Jeremy Tshongo ‘46), 14. Mitch Mallia, 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (4. Brendan Gonamo ‘60), 16. Tom Slater, 18. Trent McClenahan (6. Dylan Pickett ‘46), 19. Kruno Lovrek (12. Bright Appiah ‘46), 21. Yairo Yau (24. Tony Lo ‘46), 22. Jarrod Fitzharris, 23. Rhyan Grant.
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene Galekovic (20. John Hall ‘80), 3. Nigel Boogaard, 5. Iain Fyfe, 6. Cassio (4. Jordan Elsey ‘46), 10. Dario Vidosic (21. Jeronimo Morales Neumann ‘76), 11. Bruce Djite (9. Sergio van Dijk ‘46), 14. Cameron Watson, 16. Daniel Bowles (12. Antony Golec ‘46), 17. Iain Ramsay, 18. Fabian Barbiero, 23 Evan Kostopoulos.