Sydney FC have suffered a 4-0 defeat to Premier league side Newcastle United in the opening game of New Zealand’s Football United Tour in Dunedin on Tuesday evening.
In what was the first real hit-out under new coach Graham Arnold, the Sky Blues found themselves a goal down after 17 minutes, when goal keeper Ivan Necevski got his clearance horribly wrong, leaving the simplest of tasks for Newcastle’s Emmanuel Riviere to set up team mate Siem de Jong for a tap-in.
Riviere then took advantage of some poor defending in the Sydney penalty area to increase the Magpies’ lead from close range seven minutes later, before a wicked deflection from Sasa Ognenovski off a Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa strike gave Necevski no chance and made the score 3-0 leading into half-time.
A late second-half goal to United substitute Adam Armstrong put the icing on the cake for Newcastle in what was truly a one-sided affair, with Sydney’s best chance of the night coming by way of sub Peter Triantis, whose volley from outside the box was a near-miss with just four minutes remaining.
Highly rated 17-year-old Alex Gersbach was giving his first start in Sydney colours at left-back, after agreeing to terms with the club just a day earlier, while fellow new signings Bernie Ibini and Alex Brosque started up front alongside Corey Cameiro, in what was a close to full-strength Sky Blues outfit.
Sydney now turning their attention to Saturday afternoon’s match with West Ham United in Wellington.
Have your say: Is losing 4-0 to a Premier League side in the pre-season any cause for concern?