Sydney FC 1-1 Manly United FC – Match Review
Manly United stepped up a gear last night to draw 1-1 with current A-League Champions Sydney FC in a friendly match at Leichhardt Oval.
The match was an important part of the preparations for next Wednesday night’s FFA Cup clash with Brisbane Strikers in Brisbane but Manly left Leichhardt Oval buoyed by a strong performance and the 1-1 scoreline.
The Sydney FC team was near full strength with Socceroos Rhyan Grant, Alex Wilkinson, Ryan McGowan and Michael Zullo as well as Milos Ninkovic, Kosta Barbarouses, Luke Brattan, Adam Le Fondre amongst the starting XI.
The Sky Blues started strongly but Manly grew in confidence after a shaky opening 10 minutes and more than matched their opponents with Adam Parkhouse and Harry McCarthy both having chances in a tight first half.
The second half continued along the same lines with Dylan Mitchell making two brilliant saves before Patrick Flottman, a former Manly junior, headed home the opening goal of the match from a corner to give Sydney FC a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute.
Manly was not to be denied though with Brendan Cholakian scoring a well-deserved equaliser with 9 minutes on the clock after he combined with Parkhouse.
Manly United head coach Paul Dee was pleased with his side’s performance and beaming about the result ahead of Wednesday night’s FFA Cup match.
“The boys did really well against one of the best sides in the country,” Dee said. “We started slowly, whether it was nerves or doubt, but as soon as we settled into the game and started playing the ball around we did really well and got what we deserved from the game.
“I thought we played our game well and moved them around a bit but defensively we were structurally fantastic and limited an attacking line that has Ninkovic, Le Fondre, Barbarouses and Brattan to one goal from a corner. I was also impressed with how some of our younger players weren’t overawed whether they started or came off the bench. With a good solid nucleus of experienced players and some exciting youngsters, the future is bright.
“It was a good confidence boost for the team ahead of the FFA Cup and we’re really looking to doing the Club proud in Brisbane next Wednesday night.”