Sydney FC buries NZ Knights 4-0 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sydney FC buries NZ Knights 4-0

By Philip Henderson 10/11/2006 10:27:44 PM Comments (0)

Sydney FC has rediscovered its killer instinct to bury a woeful New Zealand Knights 4-0 and end a worrying five-match winless streak for the A-League champion.

Sasho Petrovski ended a five-match scoring drought with a brace before David Zdrilic claimed his third goal in as many games and Socceroo David Carney celebrated his long-awaited return with the final score.

Having blown a 1-0 lead six times this season - and in each of its last four games - Sydney ensured there would be no repeat at a greasy Aussie Stadium, killing off the contest with three second-half goals after Petrovski's 37th minute opener.

It ended the club's longest run without a win, and elevated Sydney to third on the ladder - ahead of Queensland Roar which hosts second-placed Adelaide United on Saturday.

New Zealand, meanwhile, remained four points adrift at the bottom of the league, and looked a far cry from the team which upset Queensland last week for just its second win of the season.

The result was Sydney's biggest win of the season - and biggest ever at home - although it did come in front of a season-worst 9871-crowd at a drizzling Aussie Stadium.

Both teams bumbled their way through a lifeless opening 25 minutes before the game finally started to open up.

Sydney may have considered itself unlucky not to have a penalty awarded in the 28th minute when the ball struck Knights defender Scot Gemmill on the upper arm in the penalty area.

New Zealand, meanwhile, was left to rue the timely intervention of Iain Fyfe five minutes later when the Sydney defender blocked a Malik Buari pass headed for an unmarked Neil Emblen in the box.

It proved to be New Zealand's best chance of the game, with Sydney taking charge with Petrovski's 37th minute opener.

Alvin Ceccoli lobbed the ball towards the top of the area for David Zdrilic to tap down in the path of Petrovski, who evaded Emblem with a tidy first touch and then finished off the chance with a clinical strike.

It was Petrovski's first goal in six weeks, but the striker had only to wait for the 53rd minute to claim No.4 for the season.

Zdrilic again played a key role as he centred the ball for Alex Brosque, whose touch allowed Petrovski to fire a sweetly-timed 20-metre thunderbolt which skidded along the turf past a diving Paston.

Zdrilic added the sealer in the 65th minute when he capitalised on a quick Ceccoli throw-in, to weave past two Knights defenders and score his fourth goal of the season.

Carney, who received one of the biggest cheers of the night when he came on as a substitute in the 75th minute, then added the finishing touches with a well-taken 89th minute goal.

It was Carney's first game since round two after the exciting Socceroo midfielder underwent a shoulder reconstruction.

After an injury plagued first half of the season, Sydney coach Terry Butcher admitted great relief at returning to the winners' circle.

"A huge relief, I don't think people appreciate how big a relief it is," said Butcher, who came under pressure to keep his job earlier this month after a failed bid to sack him from club shareholder Anthony La Paglia.

"Finally, we've held onto a lead. Finally, we've got the three points. It's been a long time coming.

"Hopefully it can be a (springboard for the season). It's just a huge boost to score goals of that quality."

New Zealand coach Paul Nevin was scathing in his team's assessment, labelling the Knights performance as "schoolboy" like while offering an apology to the club's supporters.

"I'd like to apologise to everybody in the room and to our fans at home. That was totally unacceptable and I'm embarrassed by it to be honest," Nevin said.

"People are really squeezing to look at a positive out of that. For me that is nowhere near good enough.

"It just looked like schoolboys out there and for the first time I find it very hard to defend one of our performances."

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