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Gold Coast get the job done against Sydney FC

Gold Coast United have got the job done against league leaders Sydney FC in front of home fans. The 'glamour' club managed to put their noses in front ten minutes before half-time through Shane Smeltz and held on to a vital three points after two losses on the trot.

Gold Coast United: 1 (Shane Smeltz '36) Sydney FC: 0 Venue: Skilled Park Crowd: 5,364

The league leaders begun well, showing their attacking game to the Gold Coast line-up and went close on a few occasions in the opening 15 minutes whilst United flipped it around in midfield but did not create many chances early.

Sydney experienced an early loss when veteran midfielder Steve Corica made way for youngster Brendan Gan in the 19th minute because of a hamstring injury, cutting coach Vitezslav Lavicka's options for the later in the match down by one.

The visitors had a majority of the forward play in the first half-hour but could not capitalise on their attack-minded play whilst United attempted desperately on the counter but had many forays cut out by the well-organised Sydney defence.

Star Gold Coast striker Shane Smeltz was inches away from both a goal and a penalty when he flung himself at a lofted ball from Steve Fitzsimmons as Sydney defender Shannon Cole Moments later, Jason Culina made a positive run down the right flank before producing a pinpoint cross for Smeltz who duly nodded home to open the account for the home side.

Sydney were pushing hard for an equaliser as United defended astutely but the visitors' desire for a goal almost was punished when Culina hit a low, bouncing free-kick which was well held on to by Sky Blues keeper Clint Bolton.

Moments later, Brazilian import Anderson let fly from long range but Bolton was again on hand to keep Gold Coast's advances at bay and the way the home side was playing, it seemed like he would need to be on his game in the final 15 minutes.

Sydney were unable to decrease the deficit in the dying stages as Gold Coast held on to all three points to go within two points of the league leaders.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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