Gold Coast defeat Sydney FC

Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 07: Zenon Caravella of United in action during the round 14 A-League match between Gold Coast United and Sydney FC at Skilled Park on November 7, 2009 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The home side, led by an enterprising and inspired performance from Socceroo Jason Culina, made the most of their chances to emerge with the win against their more fancied rivals.
Sydney FC dominated the opening 15 minutes but the momentum shifted sharply when captain Steve Corica limped off with a hamstring injury after a challenge with Steve Pantelidis.
A determined Gold Coast was desperate to perform in front of a much improved home crowd of more than five thousand fans and Culina didn?t disappoint. His precise cross was rewarded by a header to NZ international Shane Smeltz for the opening goal in the 37th minute.  
Culina was involved in a push and shove exchange with Sydney?s Stuart Musialik which underlined the passion he had for this match. Gold Coast was unlucky not to score minutes later, beaten only by a brilliant reflex save from Clint Bolton who deflected Zenon Caravella?s attempt.
Sydney FC looked classy and dominated shots on goal in the first 20 minutes with Karol Kisel combining with Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque to give the visitors their best first half scoring chance.
Coach Vitezslav Lavicka was philosophical about the effort after the match.
?We started well and were playing well in the first 20 minutes but we lost Corica and McFlynn had a problem (head cut) and lost our way a little. Second half we had a lot of possession and created a couple of chances but couldn?t score – congratulations to the Gold Coast.?
Sydney FC remains on top of the ladder after Melbourne suffered a 4-nil defeat at the hands of the Central Coast Mariners.
Match Detail

Gold Coast United 1 (SMELTZ 37′)
Sydney FC 0
Sydney FC squad:  1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN
Substitutes: 7 Brendan GAN 19′ (CORICA), 9. John ALOISI 60′ (MCFLYNN), 3.Stephan KELLER 85′ (GAN)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan Necevski (gk).
Yellow Cards: MCFLYNN 24′, COLE 25′, MUSIALIK 39′
Red Cards: Nil.
Gold Coast United Squad: 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.JEFFERSON, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 11.MILSON, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, , 16.Kristian REES, , 18.James BROWN, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON.
Substitutes: 17.Matt OSMAN 71′ (FITZSIMMONS), 15.Tahj MINNIECON 80′ (PORTER) , 28.Mitch BEVAN 89 ‘ (ANDERSON)
Substitutes Not Used: 30.Jerrad TYSON (gk).
Yellow Cards: CULINA 39′, PANTELIDIS 89′

Red Cards:
Goals: 9. Shane SMELTZ  37′.
Referee: Ben WILLIAMS.
Crowd: 5364 at Skilled Park.