Calver catches Brisbane cold

A first-minute goal from Aaron Calver sent Sydney FC on their way to a 3-1 victory over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Strikes from Adam le Fondre and the returning Siem de Jong sealed the three points for the Sky Blues after Eric Bautheac had equalised for the Roar.

It kept Steve Corica's second-placed side in the hunt for a third consecutive Premiers' Plate.

The visitors won for just the third time in 18 visits to the venue, while struggling Brisbane were left to rue a nightmare start.

The home side fell asleep when the Sky Blues had a free-kick in the opening seconds, leaving Calver unmarked to head against the underside of the crossbar and in.

Alex Brosque was just wide with a cheeky backheel on the half-hour mark, then saw Roar keeper Jamie Young tip his shot around the post in the second half.

Brisbane levelled soon after, as Nick D'Agostino played a superb ball into the centre where Bautheac tapped home from close range.

De Jong, having been introduced from the bench by Corica, was denied by the post 13 minutes from time but the rebound fell for le Fondre to convert for his 15th goal of the campaign.

The three points were secured a minute from time when Dutchman De Jong, having been forced wide of goal, fooled Young with a shot inside his near post.

Joshua Brillante, who made his playing return after missing two games while discussing a potential move to South Korean side Pohang, said he was glad to be back on the pitch.

"My head is great at the moment," he added. "Obviously for a couple of weeks there was a bit of interest and I stepped out of the team because I didn't wanna stuff up the team.

"In football these things happens, there's a back and forth and it didn't work out so my head is here and I'm here to finish off the season and do everything I can."

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Brillante left out for City clash

Midfielder Josh Brillante will be missing again when Sydney FC host Melbourne City on Sunday.

The Australia international has been left out for the second match in a row by coach Steve Corica as he discusses a transfer to Korean club Pohang Steelers.

Reports indicate his representatives have been talking to Pohang, though Sydney FC club sources have said they have not received a formal offer for the 25-year-old.

Brillante has won two consecutive minor premierships with the Sky Blues since joining from Fiorentina in 2016.

Club captain Alex Brosque said he had spoken to his teammate while in Japan for the midweek Asian Champions League game against Kawasaki Frontale.

"It's difficult on everyone and more than anyone on Joshy," he added. "He would love nothing more than to be playing and to be on the pitch with the boys he's spent the last few years playing with, so in a way he feels like he's letting the boys down a little bit but I've assured him that's not the case.

"This is is football, these things happen and when a player like him is doing well you're going to attract that sort of attention. I think it's a positive for him but as a club players have to get used to these sorts of things and the boys haven't let it worry them in any way."

The Korean transfer window is open until the end of this month.

If he can't negotiate a deal with Pohang, Brillante is unlikely to sign a new deal with the Sky Blues having expressed his preference to pursue a move overseas as a free agent in June.

He spent two years in Italy after leaving Newcastle Jets in 2014, playing 21 times for Como while on loan from Fiorentina.

The Sky Blues are 19/20 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 3/1 with the draw 5/2.

Sydney FC are 6/1 to win the game 1-0.

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ACL setback for Sky Blues in Japan

Sydney FC are bottom of their Asian Champions League group after going down to a 1-0 defeat away to Kawasaki Frontale.

The J.League hosts didn't score until seven minutes from time but dominated the Sky Blues, having 20 shots to their opponents' two.

Sydney FC's hopes of qualifying from Group H took a big hit against the team that had lost their opening match.

They went into the game at the Todoroki Athletics Stadium without midfielder Josh Brillante, who looks set to leave the club and move to South Korean outfit Pohang Steelers.

Coach Steve Corica left the 25-year-old out of the side as he said he "wasn't in the right frame of mind" to play due to the transfer interest in him.

The Sky Blues had an early chance when skipper Alex Brosque saw his header saved by keeper Jung Sung-ryong.

Leandro Damiao fired wide soon after for Kawasaki, before bringing a fingertip save from Andrew Redmayne midway through the half.

Kawasaki kept the keeper busy after the break and he had to make two superb stops to keep the scores blank.

First a looped volley from Hidemasa Morita from outside the area brought a full-stretch save from Redmayne, then 15 minutes from time he kept out a point-blank effort from Ao Tanaka.

Finally Kawasaki broke the deadlock when Manabu Saito swept home a deflected cross.

It leaves Corica's side bottom with just one point from their opening two fixtures in the tournament.

The coach said: "I thought we defended quite well. Kawasaki had quite a few chances but shots from distance, which our goalkeeper made quite good saves at times.

"We had a very good chance early on in the game, which maybe if we scored this goal the game would have been different … then we are in front and we can defend a lead.

"I'm pleased, our boys worked very hard. Disappointed not to get at least one point, but I thought Kawasaki were good. They're a good team, we knew this, they played good football."

Sydney FC are 5/2 to win the Grand Final.

The Sky Blues are 19/20 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 3/1 with the draw 5/2.

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Wanderers hold Sky Blues in derby

Western Sydney became the first team to take points off Sydney FC as the sides drew 2-2 at Allianz Stadium.

The Sky Blues, who went into the season owning both the Premier's Plate and championship, had won both their first two matches this time around.

But they needed to come back from a two-goal deficit in the derby to even secure a share of the spoils.

Wanderers twice caught their rivals napping, with first-half headers from Oriol Riera and Brendan Hamill.

Bobo pulled a goal back from the penalty spot late in the first half and Josh Brillante equalised just after the hour.

Spaniard Riera scored his third goal in as many games, heading in Josh Risdon's right-wing cross to give the visitors a perfect start.

Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque had a shot blocked and Brandon O'Neill drove a free kick into the Wanderers wall.

But Western Sydney doubled their lead when Hamill nodded in a cross from Alvaro Cejudo.

Sydney FC were given the chance to get back into the game eight minutes before the break when  David Carney was fouled in the penalty area by Chris Herd and Bobo beat former Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic from the spot.

Roly Bonevacia missed a glorious chance to restore the Wanderers' two-goal advantage, driving the ball wide from 10m out in the 57th minute.

Wanderers were made to rue that miss four minutes later when Brillante's strong shot found the net, taking a slight deflection off a Wanderers defender.

Brillante's audacious volley landed on the roof of the net as the home team pressed for a winner.

Wanderers are 7/4 to win their next game against Newcastle, who are 29/20 with the draw 12/5.

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Sky Blues ponder Brillante switch

Sydney FC are considering moving midfielder Josh Brillante into defence for Sunday's trip to Perth Glory.

The Sky Blues will secure the Premier's Plate and also set a new A-League points record if they win at nib Stadium, but they will be without defender Rhyan Grant and keeper Danny Vukovic through international duty.

Grant's absence is a particular problem, as Seb Ryall isn't available to replace him as he's still suffering from a hamstring problem.

Brillante could drop back into the right-back spot, or coach Graham Arnold could switch central defender Aaron Calver out wide.

"Aaron Calver is 100 per cent fit; he's trained enormously the last two weeks and more. He hasn't been injured, he's just been on the bench or left out," said Arnold.

"He comes back into calculations. He's played right-back for us before and he's done a good job, so he's a potential to play."

The alternative is to move Brillante from his preferred defensive midfield role, allowing Milos Dimitrijevic to make his return to the starting side to partner Brandon O'Neill in midfield.

Though Brillante hasn't played at right-back for the Sky Blues this season, he started four games as a fullback for Como in the Italian Serie B last year.

Arnold said not having to play last weekend, due to the split round, had given the club a good chance to recharge their batteries.

"We've been able to work a lot on things, the one percenters we needed to work on, and for the boys last week was a very good training week physically," added the coach.

Sydney FC are 21/20 to beat Perth, who are 11/5, with the draw 3/1.

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