Adelaide United Head Coach Carl Veart was understandably happy after his side secured a sixth straight win for the first time since the gaffer was a player for the Reds himself.
United were made to dig in their heels to secure a 1-0 win thanks to a Craig Goodwin penalty after Kusini Yengi was adjudged to have been fouled in the second half.
Joe Gauci put the icing on the cake with a superb reaction save in the dying minutes to ensure all three points remained in Adelaide.
“I thought tonight was a very good game, a very high tempo game,” said Veart in his post-game press conference.
“Sydney are a very good side, a very hard side to break down and I’m very happy to come away with three points, a clean sheet as well, I’m very happy for the boys.
“It’s been a long time since we beat Sydney FC here (at Coopers Stadium), so I’m very happy.”
United are just one win away from equaling their all-time win streak record of seven games recorded in season 1 of the A-League between November 2005 and January 2006, a squad Carl Veart was a member.
“I can remember bits and pieces of it but it was a long time ago,” said Veart.
“I said to the boys three or four weeks ago I can see the same spirit in this playing group that we had back then because we had a very strong spirit in the team and you can see that tonight. Their desperation at times in their defending tonight was excellent.”
The Reds were boosted by the debut of experienced Spanish midfielder Juande, who only cleared his mandatory quarantine since signing until the end of the season, three days prior to the match.
The Spaniard came off the bench in just the 14th minute due to an injury sustained by compatriot Javi López. In the shuffle Joshua Cavallo moved to left back as Juande took up his role in the centre of the park.
“We looked at where we needed some more experience and the quality he has, and he showed that tonight.
“He sat in the middle of the park for us, controlled the majority of the match in the middle of the park tonight for us and he always kept the ball moving, kept us in possession a lot so I’m very pleased for him.
“We didn’t expect him to play as long as he did but he showed tonight that he was fine.”
Veart was also full of praise for young trio Kusini Yengi, Joshua Cavallo and Joe Gauci.
“Kusini is very hard to play against because he is so strong, so quick, and technically he is excellent as well,” he said.
“All we ask from him is to work hard and be direct and he showed that tonight. When he does that and keeps it simple he is a very difficult player to play against.
“I thought Josh (Cavallo) when he went back to left back, he was excellent.
“He played there a little bit for Western United but they play a different formation so he played more as a left wing back.
“But Josh is a clever kid, understands the game very well and he slotted in very well in there. He was good and went forward quite a bit even the last three or four minutes he was still trying to get forward.
“(Joe Gauci) had a great game all night then after that (save) he came and took some really difficult crosses and slowed the momentum for Sydney.
“But that save was great. I don’t think he had to make a save up until that point. For a young keeper to keep that focus and concentration and to pull a save out like that is just tremendous.
“Joey doesn’t lack confidence if you know Joe and again, he has worked extremely hard. I remember (coaching) him when he was 15 years old as a kid and then he went from here to Central Coast and then to Melbourne City so he has worked hard to get to where he is now.
“And that is so pleasing especially when I have had contact with these young boys to see how much work they have put in and now starting to see the rewards. I don’t think you can ask anymore as a coach.”
Next match details:
Thursday, 1 April vs Central Coast Mariners
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 15
Kick-off 7.10pm ACDT
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App