Grant returns as Sydney FC crush Adelaide

Sydney FC NYL ran out comfortable winners over Adelaide United 4-0 on Saturday at the Adelaide Shores Sports Centre, Adelaide.

While the Sky Blues got off to a shaky start in the opening 10 minutes they totally dominated the proceeding 80 minutes as they settled into their stride.

With a high pressing game plan Sydney FC were rewarded early when Anthony Tomelic forced a turnover in the 18th minute and threaded the ball through to George Blackwood who fired home from just inside the penalty box and Sydney led 1-0.

The lead was doubled in the 25th minute as skipper, Jacob Tratt, outmuscled his opponent out wide and surged forward before releasing James Andrew on the right wing. Andrew burst into the goalmouth and drove his shot low and hard inside the near post to stretch the margin to 2-0.

The Sydney FC pressure was telling as the Young Reds barely threatened the Sydney defence where Tratt, George Timotheou, Themba Muata-Marlow,  Aaron Calver and keeper Anthony Bouzanis were in control.

At the other end Blackwood was proving a handful and he was unlucky not to grab another goal as he turned his defender inside out before curling a shot onto the post which bounced to safety for Adelaide.

Blackwood then turned provider after Hagi Gligor won the ball in the middle of the park and sent Blackwood  surging forward and he in turn supplied Bai Antoniou who rounded the keeper to slot in the third goal and give Sydney a 3-0 advantage at the break.

A half time substitution saw Rhyan Grant introduced into the match for his first game back since rupturing his ACL in October 2013.

Several chances went begging for the Sky Blues in the 2nd half as Anthony Tomelic, Antoniou and Gligor blazed efforts over the bar from close range. Despite the missed opportunities the Sydney outfit were in total control and stifled their Adelaide opponents at every turn.

In the 80th minute Blackwood was brought down by Adelaide custodian Paul Izzo with a clear run on goal and while most expected a red card for Izzo as the last man the referee inexplicably showed the big Sydney striker a yellow for apparent "simulation".

The fourth goal eventually came after Timotheou stung the finger tips of the Adelaide keeper with a rasping shot and from the ensuing corner kick Charles Lokolingoy received the ball at the far post and squared a neat pass across the face of goal for Daniel Araujo to side foot home and compete the 4-0 scoreline.

Head Coach, Steve Corica, was pleased with the result and the team discipline in following the game plan.

"We should have scored a few more goals but we are creating good chances" he said.

"Defensively we were also strong and kept another clean sheet which was also pleasing" he added.

Adelaide United 0

Sydney FC NYL 4 (George Blackwood, James Andrew, Bai Antoniou, Daniel Araujo)