Sydney FC put 4 past Mariners in A-League
Photo Source: AAP
A superb display from Milos Ninkovic has lifted Sydney FC to an emphatic 4-0 win over A-League battlers Central Coast.
The Serbian playmaker was influential all over Allianz Stadium on Saturday, setting up first-half goals for Filip Holosko and Bobo to kickstart the Sky Blues' third consecutive four-goal league haul.
Holosko then converted a penalty - his third goal in two games - and captain Alex Brosque netted one after coming off the bench thanks to a farcical error by former Sydney FC goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.
With only five shots to Sydney's 17, the scoreline flattered Paul Okon's reinvented Mariners, who were spirited but lacked composure whereas the hosts had it in droves.
They dominated possession - 65 per cent throughout the match - but Sydney were patient awaiting an opening.
The first came in the 18th minute when Ninkovic picked out Holosko with an inch-perfect pass.
The Slovakian winger skipped onto it and, seeing Necevski off his line, chipped straight over the custodian and into the net.
The Mariners created their own chances and Trent Buhagiar came close to an equaliser, closing in on Sydney's goal and thwarted only by Michael Zullo's brilliant clearance.
Roy O'Donovan had a crack, too, but could only find the side of the netting under pressure from a rushing Danny Vukovic.
But the Mariners were left to rue their copious errors, Jacob Poscoliero inadvertently laying Sydney's second goal on a platter.
Ninkovic worked the magic again, lifting a lovely ball to Bobo for the Brazilian to tap down off his chest and slam home.
"Milos is a fantastic player, I don't hide that even in front of him," Sydney coach Graham Arnold said.
"The difference for him is he's got players now making the right runs.
"The ball he gave Filip for the first goal was world class, but he can't play that ball unless Filip makes that run."
Poscoliero's match finished soon after, succumbing to injury and allowing Jacques Faty to step up against the club who offloaded him, midfielder Mickael Tavares and Necevski in the off-season.
It was also a premature end for former Mariners stalwart Alex Wilkinson, the Socceroos' centre-back suffering an ankle injury following a rash tackle from Connor Pain.
With Seb Ryall on to replace him, Bobo won a second-half penalty thanks to Jake McGing's flailing arms and Holosko duly converted from the spot.
Necevski was at fault for conceding the fourth when he preposterously lost possession trying to scoop up a corner, allowing Brosque to roll the ball into an open net as Sydney's active supporter base The Cove jeered behind him.
Okon was loath to focus on individual mistakes but admitted they were an issue.
"We're aware of it. It happened last week and again tonight ... but we came here tonight, we were very brave and dominated possession," Okon said.
"If you're going to make schoolboy errors against any opposition, let alone a team that's in form playing at home, you're going to concede goals."