Sydney FC is closing in on a historic back-to-back sweep of the W-League with the reigning Champions just two wins away from defending their title.
After sowing up consecutive Premierships with a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets last Sunday, the Sky Blues host the Melbourne Victory at Campbelltown Stadium this Sunday in a semi-final, with a win seeing them host the 2010/11 Grand Final.
Alen Stajcic’s side claimed the Premiership after finishing with eight wins and two losses from their 10 games which also featured a clear league best 29 goals – 12 more than any other opponent.
Armed with their entertaining brand of football, the Sky Blues head into Sunday’s match as strong favourites over the Victory, a side they crushed 4-1 in Round two this season.
“We set out to be the best attacking team in the league and have worked very hard on our styles of attacking play so to get that many goals is really rewarding but the best part is there is still much room for improvement from this excellent group of players leading into the future,” Stajcic said.
“We set out from the very beginning with an attacking philosophy and selected players based on their ability to attack from anywhere on the field. We have had eight different goalscorers in only 10 games and fullbacks and holding midfielders who have contributed to over 50% of the assists so that really is the most pleasing aspect of this team’s performance and style of play.
“It really has been a fantastic all round team effort so far this year from the whole squad. They have all played their part. Whilst we have some more experienced players we also have a lot of great depth with our youngsters which hopefully means we will be a strong team for years to come beyond 2011.”
“Our composure and execution in the front third will be the key for us on Sunday. I am sure we will create some opportunities but in a knockout finals match you really need to punish the opposition when you can.
“We have been a bit guilty of letting teams off the hook in recent weeks and finishing the games off when we could of. So hopefully we will continue to create and be attacking minded but also show some quality when needed in and around the penalty box.”
“We had a really tight game against them earlier this year so they will hold no surprises for us. We were leading 2-1 into the last minute of normal time and scored two goals in injury time which flattered us a bit.
“So we all know it will be tough and also know they will have nothing to lose and in a one-off knockout encounter anything is possible so our concentration and motivation will need to be at their optimum for the entire 90 or 120 mins.”
Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Sunday afternoon, February 6
Kick Off: 3:00pm (AEDT)
Gates open at 2:00pm (AEDT) with tickets just $5 for adults and $2 for children available at the Stadium.