Sydney FC had no answer for English Premier League giants Newcastle United who smashed the Sky Blues 4-0 in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.
Three first-half defensive errors – including a goalkeeping howler and an own goal – from Graham Arnold’s men gifted the win to the Magpies at Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin.
Goals to Siem De Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa did the damage before a late strike from Adam Armstrong completed the rout.
It was only the second pre-season hit-out for the A-League outfit and new coach Arnold was philosophical, describing the hammering as a “great work out”.
“To come up against a Premier League team who are just three weeks away from the start of their season and we are still 12 weeks away meant tonight was always going to be tough, and it was mainly our mistakes that gifted them the goals,” Arnold said.
“There were a lot of positives that we took out of the game. I’d prefer to play teams of this quality, at this stage of the season, which will punish us and our mistakes.
“Playing against lesser opposition can often camouflage your mistakes but against a Premier League side of the calibre of Newcastle we didn’t get away with it and we’ll learn from that.”
Arnold made one change to the starting 11 that defeated State league side Macarthur Rams 5-1 just seven days earlier, with Serbian defender Nikola Petkovic coming in at the expense of Matthew Jurman.
The opening period was quiet with Sydney FC enjoying good spells of possession without creating any real goal opportunities.
But a howler from goalkeeper Ivan Necevski on 19 minutes broke the deadlock.
Necevski received a back pass from Nikola Petkovic on the edge of his box but miskicked his clearance to new Magpies signing Riviere. The striker squared the ball back to the unmarked De Jong who slotted the ball easily into an empty net.
Riviere doubled the lead on 28 minutes with a side footed effort from close range.
On 35 minutes Newcastle full back Yanga-Mbiwa’s shot deflected off Sydney skipper Sasa Ognenovski and into the left hand corner of the net to bring up the Magpies third.
After the break Corey Gameiro almost broke Sydney’s duck just after the hour mark. The striker weaved an opening in the left hand channel and curled a shot with his right foot towards goal which goalkeeper Rob Elliott pushed around the post.
That was the closest either side came to scoring in the second half until the 81st minute when Newcastle substitute, Armstrong, received the ball on the edge of the box, turned inside and fired a left foot strike home.
Sydney midfielder Peter Triantis almost pulled a goal back late on with a spectacular volley which just wide of the upright.
The Sky Blues face West Ham United in Wellington on Saturday.
Sydney FC 0
Newcastle United 4 (De Jong 15', Riviere 28', Yanga-Mbiwa 35’, Armstrong 81’)
SYDNEY FC 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO (26. Max BURGESS 79’), 11. Bernie IBINI, 14. Alex BROSQUE (18. Peter TRIANTIS 61’), 17. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Nick CARLE (8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC 55’), 22. Ali ABBAS, 26. Alex GERSBACH (5. Matt JURMAN 68’).
Subs not used: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC(GK), 13. Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 25. George TIMOTHEOU.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 21. Rob ELLIOTT, 2. Fabrizio COLOCCINI (44. Adam CAMPBELL 81’), 8. Vernon ANITA, 11. Yaon GOUFFRAN (43. Adam ARMSTRONG 72’), 13. Mapou YANGA-MBIWA, 14. Jack COLBACK (28. Sammy AMEOBI 68’), 15. Siem DE JONG (23. Haris VUCKIC ’45), 29. Emmanuel RIVIERE (17. Ayoze PEREZ GUTIERREZ 54’), 35. Rolando AARONS (39. Mehdi ABEID 68’), 19. Massadio HAIDARA (36. Paul DUMMETT 72’), 27. Steven TAYLOR (37. Lubomir SATKA 72’).
Subs not used: 42. Jak ALNWICK, 47. Frederick WOODMAN,comments