Fans stage walkout as Sydney lose third straight
Sydney coach Frank Farina had a drink thrown over him and disgruntled fans staged a mass walkout, as the slumping Sky Blues created an unwanted piece of club history on Saturday with a 3-0 A-League home loss to Adelaide.
It was the first time Sydney have suffered three straight home losses and the result enabled Adelaide to leapfrog them into fifth on the ladder and record just their second win in 10 away games.
First-half goals to Bruce Djite and Fabio Ferreira and a late strike from substitute Jeronimo Neumann sealed the points for surging Adelaide, who have lost just one of their past nine games.
Sydney, who have won only one of their past eight, could fall to as low as eighth, depending on Sunday's results.
A big banner with the wording "We want Farina gone" was raised in The Cove, Sydney's main supporter area, before the game and the atmosphere soured even once on-field action commenced.
The two goals added to the tension and a fan was escorted out by security officials after drenching Farina with a drink.
Fans started leaving after 20 minutes and much of the Cove area emptied at halftime with disenchanted supporters taking their protests outside the stadium.
Adelaide dominated possession early, though Sydney squandered the first good chance with Hagi Gligor blazing over from close range.
Djite threaded a shot into the net in the 12th minute following good lead-up work from Isias and Ferreira.
Adelaide doubled their lead when Ferreira latched onto a downfield clearance by Michael Zullo from a Sydney corner and outmuscled Gligor and lashed the ball into the net.
Marcelo Carrusca also smashed a shot against the post as Adelaide dominated against a shellshocked and despondent home team.
Sydney created a couple of chances as Branko Despotovic had a strong shot pushed away by Eugene Galekovic and Alessandro Del Piero curled a free-kick wide.
Sydney were far more competitive after the break, creating several chances as Adelaide appeared content with what they had.
Del Piero put a free-kick just over and had a cheeky chip well taken by Galekovic, while Despotovic missed a couple of good chances and Corey Gameiro also blasted over.
Adelaide swelled their lead when Jeronimo tapped in from close range.
Farina was disappointed with his team's performance, though heartened by a better second half, but refused to condemn the fans who were critical of him.
"For me it's about concentrating on the game and what's at hand," Farina said.
"Things that you can try and control; those things are out of my control.
"I don't want to make any negative comments on those things, especially our fans."
Asked how hard it was to concentrate after having a drink thrown at him, Farina quipped "he would have had to go and buy another one."
Questioned about the banner calling for his dismissal, Farina said: "It's a tough gig at Sydney and people have frustrations and I'm frustrated and that's the bottom line."
He said he never felt his personal security was compromised, but thought chairs needed to be replaced by dugouts on the sideline.
"It's not just about tonight, it's about players can have things thrown at them from the stands because a lot of the grounds are very close," Farina said.
"Maybe the argument is that dugouts will stop people's view. Well maybe you just have to give up a few rows to accommodate proper dugouts."
Adelaide coach Josep Gombau was happy but stressed it was far from flawless.
"I'm happy because we're playing the way that we want to play but we made a lot of mistakes," he said.
"Sometimes in decision making, when we made the pass, it wasn't the correct pass and we took some risky passes. We can improve in this."
Adelaide United 3 (Bruce Djite 16m, Fabio Ferreira 27m, Jeronimo Neumann 80m) Sydney FC 0 at Allianz Stadium. Crowd: 13,335. Referee: Alan Milliner