Sydney FC has opened the season in emphatic style stunning Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2-1 at Popondetta Park on Sunday
The young Sky Blues blasted into the lead after a two goal salvo from Jordan Swibel and Cameron Peupion inside the first nine minutes.
Sydney FC were able to hold on despite a late Rangers penalty to kick their campaign off with three points.
It was a frustrated first half from Mount Druitt, the home side rallied in the second half and created chances through Mirjam Pavlovic and Toufic Alameddine.
The latter got on the scoresheet late with a well-taken penalty for some consolation.
Fresh from their National Youth League success, Sydney FC were quick off the mark in the heated conditions.
Swibel rattled the crossbar in the third minute from a free-kick. The Sky Blues were rewarded for their bright opener.
Swibel was in among the action again. From a free-kick, the young striker took advantage of a lazy defence and struck low into the bottom corner to give Sydney a 1-0 lead.
The Sky Blues doubled their lead moments later. Peupion combined well with Benjamin Koop who made a cutting run down the right channel before cutting back for Peupion to tap home.
Sydney FC continued to pile up the chances. Swibel blasted wide then after minutes later strong work from Callum Nieuwenhof found Swibel who struck the post.
Mount Druitt worked their way into the contest through Alameddine and Pavlovic. Alameddine had a pair of shots which flew over the bar.
The closest Mount Druitt got was a late Travis Oughtred header which Sky Blues custodian Thomas Heward-Belle saved down low. Sydney FC held their two-goal advantage into the break.
Sydney FC tried to start the second half much like the first. Swibel tried his luck from a free-kick again, struck it low but Rangers shot stopper Carlos Saliadarre was equal to the chance.
Next Peupion kept up his strong game with a pair of efforts as he combined with Jaiden Kucharski before bending wide then another shot high into the stands.
Sensing they need to find a route back into the contest, the Rangers turned to their experienced men. Alameddine, Pavlovic and new signing Daniel Fogarty all had chances to claw a goal back but were denied.
Finishing the stronger, Oughtred flicked a John Roberts free-kick onto the bar quickly followed by Alex Boyadjian who dug out two chances but Sky Blues custodian Heward-Belle was equal to the task.
There was some late drama as Sydney FC were judged to handle the ball in the area. Alameddine stepped up for Mount Druitt, blasted home a penalty to make it 2-1. Despite the goal, Sydney FC held on for a valuable three points.
Speaking after the victory, Sydney FC coach Jim van Weeren was delighted with the showing from his young side as they aim to set themselves a high bar for the upcoming season.
“The boys showed today that we can create plenty of chances. We could’ve put the game away earlier.
“Some of our focus this year has been on closing out games after throwing away games last season, happy for the boys to do that.
“It’s a good start. We have high hopes for this group, I think it’s one with huge potential and could go far this season.
“Jordi Swibel was a beast today, involved every time we went forward and got a goal as reward.”
Mount Druitt Town Rangers 1 (Alameddine ‘92)
Sydney FC 2 (Swibel ‘7, Peupion ‘9)
Sunday March 1 2020
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Referee: C. Fisher
Assistant Referees: P. Teleki & J. Bell
Fourth Official: J. Rose
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 1. SALIADARRE Carlos, 3. OUGHTRED Travis, 6. THOMPSON Blake, 7. CLIFFORD Luke, 8. POLJAK Matteo (4. GOULD ‘76), 10. ROBERTS John, 11. ALAMEDDINE Toufic, 12. GITTANY Thomas (17. COSKERIE ‘64), 13. DARKOH Lord, 21. PAVLOVIC Mirjan (9. BOYADJIAN ‘76), 77. FOGARTY Daniel
Unused substitutes: 2. MAMONE Jake, 20. FANELLA Robert
Yellow cards: Darkoh, Boyadijan
Red cards: nil
Sydney FC: 1. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas, 4. MLINARIC Anton, 5. FAY Thomas, 6. NIEUWENHOF Callum, 9. KOOP Benjamin, 11. KUCHARSKI Jaiden, 13. SWIBEL Jordan, 14. FLOTTMAN Patrick (3. GURD ‘62), 15. BROWNING Scott (19. TRENTKOSKI ‘72(24. WOOD ‘85)), 17. TALBOT Callum, 18. PEUPION Cameron
Unused substitutes: 16. SUNMOLA Olayinka, 20. KAYE Levi
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
3: Jordan Swibel (SFC)
2: Cameron Peupion (SFC)
1: Toufic Alameddine (MDTR)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)