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Sport Corica hails Sky Blues' resilience

21:40  19 june  2021
21:40  19 june  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Sydney FC coach Steve Corica says his side have received a shot of confidence ahead of next week's A-League grand final with a strong 2-1 victory over Adelaide United achieved despite the absence of four key players.

Miloš Ninković wearing a blue shirt: Sydney FC's key midfielder Milos Ninkovic is an injury worry going into the A-League grand final. © Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS Sydney FC's key midfielder Milos Ninkovic is an injury worry going into the A-League grand final.

Already set to be without Socceroos' trio Andrew Redmayne, Rhyan Grant and Ryan McGowan on Saturday, the Sky Blues were further rocked on match day with playmaker Milos Ninkovic ruled out with a calf strain to miss his first match of the season.

Sydney FC, however, barely missed a beat in defeating United with first-half goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo, only for Juande's strike to set up a tense final 25 minutes.

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The Sky Blues displayed their trademark quality in possession and were resilient in defence during the latter stages as Adelaide fought to save their season.

"I'm very pleased with the overall performance (given) we had a lot of players out, and the boys showed their quality," said Corica.

"We do miss them because they are quality players, but the boys have responded really well.

"The players that have come in and have done well and we have won two games now without them.

"We spoke about the depth in the squad and that is really starting to show.

"I have great confidence in the boys that have come in and also the younger ones on the bench."

Though missing half of their defensive quartet in Grant and McGowan, plus regular goalkeeper Redmayne, the Sky Blues looked strong in defence.

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"Defensively, we were excellent and really we could have added another one or two goals towards the end," Corica said.

"It (the defensive absentees) has definitely disrupted us a bit, but the players that have come in have done a great job."

The result stretched Sydney FC's winning streak to six matches and leaves the Sky Blues just 90 minutes away from an unprecedented third straight A-League crown.

Corica though admits attacking midfielder Ninkovic, who he described as "one of our best players, if not the best", as uncertain to play in the season decider.

"I hope so, we will wait and see," Corica said, when asked if the Serbian would be available next weekend.

"We have the whole week, and he will be very close (to being fit) I would think."

Sydney FC will meet the winners of the Melbourne City and Macarthur FC semi-final, with the grand final to be in Melbourne should the former win and COVID restrictions on crowds are lifted.

2021 State of Origin: Game 2 and Women's Origin preview .
With their tails between their legs following their humiliating 50-6 Game 1 defeat in Townsville two weeks ago, Queensland will be out to make a huge statement and hit back with a vengeance in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday night. After the Queensland government spent $8 million to purchase the game from Victoria, which went into its fourth lockdown since the start of the pandemic last month, the Maroons not just failed to deliver, but they also embarrassed themselves in front of their fans in the tropics.

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