Sydney FC manager Steve Corica said his side received a confidence boost ahead of next week’s A-League grand final with a solid 2-1 win over Adelaide United despite missing four players. keys.
Already ready to do without the trio of Socceroos Andrew Redmayne, Rhyan Grant and Ryan McGowan on Saturday, the Sky Blues were rocked again on game day with playmaker Milos Ninkovic ruled out with calf strain to miss his first game of the season.
Sydney FC, however, only missed one beat as they beat United with first-half goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo, only for Juande’s strike to set up a tense 25-minute final. .
The Sky Blues have flaunted their branding quality in possession and have shown resilience on defense in the later stages as Adelaide fought to save their season.
“I am very happy with the overall performance (given) that we had a lot of players, and the boys showed their quality,” said Corica.
“We miss them because they are quality players, but the boys reacted very well.
“The players who came in and played well and we’ve won two games now without them.
“We talked about the depth of the team and it is really starting to show.
“I have great confidence in the boys who came in and also in the younger ones on the bench.”
Despite missing half of their defensive quartet to Grant and McGowan, as well as regular goaltender Redmayne, the Sky Blues looked solid in defense.
“Defensively we were excellent and we really could have added an extra goal or two towards the end,” said Corica.
“It (the defensive absentees) certainly disturbed us a bit, but the players who came in did a great job.”
The result extended Sydney FC’s winning streak to six matches and leaves the Sky Blues just 90 minutes away from an unprecedented third consecutive A-League crown.
Corica does admit, however, that attacking midfielder Ninkovic, whom he described as “one of our best players, if not the best”, is uncertain whether he will play in the decider of the season.
“I hope we’ll wait and see,” Corica said, when asked if the Serbian would be available next weekend.
“We have the whole week, and it will be very close (to be in good shape) I think.”
Sydney FC will meet semi-final winners Melbourne City and Macarthur FC, the grand final will take place in Melbourne if the old win and COVID crowd restrictions are lifted.
Associated Australian Press