It was an important point on the road for John van’t Schip and his men on Saturday night as we look at five talking points that came out of the match.
1. Thomas Sorensen looks set in the Hyundai A-League.
Ex-Danish international, Thomas Sorensen, showed why City were so eager to sign him this off-season, with a spectacular performance in goal for his new club.
After a relatively tentative start to the match, Sorenson quickly found his feet on debut, keeping out eight shots in total and playing his part in City’s point away from home with a world-class save from a George Blackwood shot in the dying minutes.
Coach John van’t Schip was happy with the new signings performance, and says he will only improve from here.
“He did very well because in the last six weeks that he’s with us he came from a situation where he hasn’t had a lot of goalkeeper training,” van’t Schip said.
“But he picked it up really quick and I think he had a great game, had a few important saves and was helping the team a lot.”
2. City’s depth will be a strong force this season.
van’t Schip’s confidence in his 2015/16 squad was confirmed on the weekend, as the inexperienced City team took to the field against a full strength Sydney lineup.
City went into the match with four A-League debutants in the starting lineup (Sorenson, Wade Dekker, Herman Espindola, Bruno Fornarelli) as well as Jason Trifiro, who was making his first appearance for the club after signing from WSW in the off season.
van’t Schip said the injury ridden start to the season will only make the squad stronger as a group, before the likes of Harry Novillo, Ivan Franjic, David Williams and Corey Gameiro return to the side.
3. Dekker’s pre-season paid dividends.
In a front three that consisted of three A-League debutants, the 21 year old looked at home leading the fron three that included, Hernan Espindola and Bruno Fornaroli Fornaroli.
Dekker gave City the lead in the 16th minute, showing experience beyond his years and slotting past Vedran Janjetovic at the ‘keeper’s near post. Although the goal was the icing on the cake for his performance, his tireless pressing of a shaky Jacques Faty helped his side dominate in the first half.
He will get another chance to lead the attack again this weekend, with none of the regular first team striking options looking likely to line up against Victory.
4. City is still a strong counter attacking team.
After a strong first half, the young City side dropped back in the second period, and ramped up the defence. van’t Schip has talked a lot about maintaining possession this off season, however, City showed they can be just as dangerous without the ball.
With the youthful and speedy front three making dangerous runs from their own half, City produced a gutsy effort with some good chances considering the ball was in Sydney’s attacking half for the majority of the game.
The inclusions of Kuzmanovski and Zinni aided to this, with the youngsters adding flair and speed to the contest, however the subs were not able to change the course of the match.
5. City looks in good shape for this weekend’s derby.
It’s safe to say that a team with as little experience playing together is only going to get better.
With a range of injured players not expected to make their return this week, City’s youngsters will get another chance to prove themselves as they take on cross town rivals Melbourne Victory this Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.
City will however have star midfielder Aaron Mooy back in the starting lineup. Mooy was a sub in the 1-1 draw with Sydney on the weekend after returning from international duty in Jordan just 11 hours prior to kick off.