Sydney FC make it two from two in Asia as star striker continues fast start to life in Sky Blue

A-Leagues reporter Nalin Mastou takes you through all the fixtures from round four of the Liberty A-League 2023-24.

A Fiona Worts double has helped Sydney FC continue their perfect start in the AFC Women’s Club Championship, defeating FC Nasaf 2-1 on Friday morning (AEDT).

The 2021-22 Julie Dolan Medalist found the net either side of half-time, continuing her fast start to life at the Sky Blues with now five goals in three games in all competitions.

Nilufar Kudratova brought one back for the home side to set up a tense finish at the Pakhtakor Markaziy Stadium, but the reigning Liberty A-League champions held firm to come away with all three points.

Ante Juric’s side now sit top of Group B on goal difference heading into their final group stage contest against Korean outfit Hyundai Steel Red Angels on Sunday night (AEDT), who also have two wins from two games.

Featured image credit: 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

The winner of the contest will advance to the final to face Urawa Red Diamonds, who secured top spot in Group A with a 6-1 win over Bangkok FC overnight. A draw will also be enough for the Sky Blues to progress due to their superior goal difference.

“That was a difficult game, very tactical but we are very happy to make some good goals,” Juric said.

“We probably should have scored more as we missed a lot of chances but they made us push and they are a very good team.

“It is do or die [the third match against Hyundai Steel Red Angels FC] and we need to win to go through, but we are happy to put ourselves in the position to still be alive in this last game.”

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Sydney started the stronger of the two teams on Friday morning and it was teenager Caley Tallon-Henniker, who on her first start for the club was denied a debut goal twice – with her best chance being cleared off the line.

At the other end, Jada Whyman was called into action early, making a smart save to keep the scores level.

However, these moments came either side of a ten minute stoppage in the 18th minute after a floodlight went out at the ground.

Eventually, play would resume and the Sky Blues would take the lead as Taylor Ray fed through a lovely pass from deep to Worts, who fired home the opener in the 34th minute.

Worts continued to pose a threat for the Nasaf defence before half-time and was denied a second by the crossbar.

However, the former Adelaide United striker wouldn’t be denied again. Substitute Princess Ibini created some space with a run into the box, with the ball falling to Worts who turned and fired home an inch perfect strike to double their lead.

Nasaf pulled one back with time running out as Kudratova fired home an incredible long range goal, but Sydney did just enough to come away with the win.