SYDNEY FC CLAIMS PLACE ON WORLD STAGE
12th June 2005 sydneyfc.com
Sydney FC will take on the best club teams in world football after defeating AS Magenta 2-0 to win the Oceania Football Confederation FIFA World Club Championship Tournament in Tahiti tonight.
Goals in each half to Matthew Bingley and David Zdrilic sealed the victory for Sydney FC, which can now look forward to the FIFA World Club Championships in Japan this December and a lucrative pay day of at least $US1million.
Sydney FC will now take on some of the best clubs in world football including European Champions League winners Liverpool FC at the FIFA World Club Championships, to be held in Japan in December 2005.
Sydney FC had to work hard for the victory with the New Caledonian team living up to the pre-match promise that this would be by far the toughest test of the five matches Sydney FC played in Tahiti to win the crown.
In the end the class of Sydney FC stood out, as did the performance of Northern Ireland midfielder Terry McFlynn, who was a stand out Man of the Match, completely negating AS Magenta playmaker Pierre Wajoka, who would not be out of place in the Hyundai A-League club.
Littbarski stuck with the same starting side from the semi final victory over Tafea FC with McFlynn and Ufuk Talay beginning the game in the centre of midfield and Steve Corica used off the bench.
The move worked handsomely in the opening minutes with McFlynn making several incisions going forward and the dangerous AS Magenta midfield was kept quiet thanks to the hard work of McFlynn and Talay.
Sydney FC dominated the early exchanges and took a well deserved lead in the 16th minute when defender Matthew Bingley scored his first goal for the club.
An Andrew Packer long throw, which was the source of danger all night for the New Caledonian defence, was flicked on at the near post by David Zdrilic and only half cleared by AS Magenta's Jacky Wiako before Bingley struck a spectacular volley into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
The rest of the first half saw Sydney FC create more chances although AS Magenta did look threatening whenever playmaker Pierre Wajoka found space.
The balance should have been shifted further in Sydney FC's direction in the 30th minute when Saso Petrovski missed a golden chance to make it 2-0. Alvin Ceccoli found space on the left and threaded the ball to Petrovski who played a neat one-two pass with Robbie Middleby and with the goal at his mercy he struck the ball straight into the arms of AS Magenta goalkeeper Michel Hne.
David Carney and Zdrilic had further opportunities before the break but Sydney FC had to be content with a 1-0 lead at half time.
Magenta made a tactical switch at half time with substitute striker Noel Kaudre coming into the game, as he has done for most of the tournament, for Paul Poatinda as part of a three-man attack and for the first five minutes the New Caledonian made inroads.
That changed in the 59th minute when Zdrilic scored his 9th goal of the tournament to make it 2-0 to Sydney FC. A deep Carney cross found Zdrilic, who managed to ghost in between two defender and loop his header back over Hne in the AS Magenta goal.
Sydney FC Coach Pierre Littbarski made an immediate change, with Steve Corica coming into the match in the 62nd minute for Ufuk Talay, who was in doubt for the match after suffering a hamstring twinge in the semi final victory over Tafea FC.
Todd Brodie was the nest Sydney FC substitute to see game time when he came on for an exhausted Robbie Middleby in the 76th minute and with Corica and Brodie holding court, Sydney FC then proceeded to tie up the game.
It was a sign the composure and maturity the Sydney FC team has managed to attain after just five months under World Cup Winner, Littbarski.
Stand-in Captain David Zdrilic, who leaves tomorrow to help bolster Australia's Confederation Cup team in Germany, summed up the team's joy at victory and the admiration for Littbarski.
"This team has come together very quickly to play some very good football and tonight is a great reward for five months of damn hard work," Zdrilic said. "We have wanted this and worked towards this since the first day we started training and to be honest, we deserve it.
"As a group of people we have come together on and off the field very well and very quickly and we have been rewarded with some great results. We all have aspirations to take this club onto the world stage and now we are there. What we have to do now is prove that we belong on that stage and do well in Japan."
One of the first people on the phone was Sydney bound striker Dwight Yorke, who will join Sydney FC in two weeks and be with the squad when they head to Japan in December.
Littbarski was ecstatic with the victory but just as enthusiastic about the way Sydney FC won the game and played to the instructions he issued before what was a very tense final.
"This was the first goal for the club and we have managed to achieve it," Littbarski said. "I thought the players were excellent tonight. We played a very good team with some dangerous players but they (Sydney FC players) played to our plan and we controlled the match right through."
In another positive off-field development today, Sydney FC received confirmation that Sydney City Hyundai has joined forces with the club through a three-year sponsorship deal. Sydney City Hyundai will support Sydney FC as the club strives to lift the bar as football moves into an exciting new era.
Sydney FC arrives into Sydney International Airport at 2.50pm on Sunday afternoon (June 12) on Air Tahiti Nui TN 401 from Papeete through Auckland.
The Oceania Championship trophy will come through customs with Coach Pierre Littbarski and the team.
Sydney FC players and coaching staff will be available for interview at the Arrivals Hall at Sydney Airport.
FIFA World Club Championships
Ocean Qualifying Tournament
Sydney FC 2 (Matthew Bingley 16, David Zdrilic 59) d AS Magenta ()
Stade Pater, Tahiti
Saturday June 10, 2005
Referee: Neil Fox (New Zealand)
Crowd: About 4000
1. Clint Bolton
2. Iain Fyfe
3. Alvin Ceccoli
6. Ufuk Talay
7. Robbie Middleby
8. Matthew Bingley
9. David Zdrilic
11. Saso Petrovski
12. David Carney
14. Andrew Packer
15. Terry McFlynn
10. Steve Corica on for Ufuk Talay (62 minutes)
16. Todd Brodie on for 7. Robbie Middleby (76 minutes)
13. Alejandro Salazar on for 9. David Zdrilic (89 minutes)
Subs not used:
5. Steve Laurie
18. Wade Oostendorp
19. Brendan Renaud
20. Mitchell Blowes
21. John Buonavoglia
Yellow cards: Ufuk Talay 53, Terry McFlynn 84, David Zdrilic 88.
Red cards: -
1. Michel Hne
2. Nicolas Ouka
4. Andre Sinedo
5. Jacky Wiako
6. Gil Elmour
7. Stevens Longue
8. Jules Wea
9. Paul Poatinda
10. Pierre Wajoka
11. Michael Hmae
17. Robert Wadriako
16. Noel Kaudre on for 9. Paul Poatinda (45 minutes)
12. Francis Watrone on for 11. Michael Hmae (77 minutes)
Subs not used:
3. Eric Ouka
13. Georges Wadreges
14. Elia Kaudre
15. Wilfred Wadriako
20. Joel Zohune
Yellow cards: Noel Kaudre 55, Michel Hne 83
Red cards: -
Last Modified on 12/06/2005 09:21