TWO goals in the space of three minutes has seen Sydney FC defeat the Wollongong Wolves, featuring Milton-Ulladulla product Chris Price and Shoalhaven Heads' Brendan Low, at WIN Stadium on Wednesday night.
Goals to Adam Le Fondre and Luke Ivanovic were the difference in the 2-nil win, the two strikes coming midway through the second half.
While the Wolves largely held their own, the class possessed by Sydney FC eventually shone through and was reflected in the end result.
Wollongong coach Luke Wilkshire was disappointed with outcome, but he was pleased with his team's performance against the A-League champions.
"I'm happy with the effort," Wilkshire said.
"It's a different game, you're playing against the best team in Australia. I thought the boys had a good account of themselves, especially up until the goal.
"It was cracking goal from Le Fendre, then we had a little bit of a wobble after that. But a credit to them for the effort and it's a great experience for the boys."
The two teams went to the break locked at nil-all, with both sides sharing periods of dominance.
It was Takeru Okada who had the first opportunity, the Japanese player coming close to connecting with a header in front of goal.
Okada was one of the Wolves best throughout the match, and received high praise from Wilkshire after a performance that included a number of classy touches.
As the first half progressed, Sydney FC were slowly able to work their way into the match and gain the ascendancy.
The Sky Blues had a number of chances, however the Wolves held firm and the momentum eventually swung back in Wollongong's favour.
The final 15 minutes of the first half saw Wollongong generate a number of chances of their own, with Thomas James showing his class on a number of occasions.
With a Sydney FC goal denied for offside, the teams went to the sheds locked at nil-all, the Wolves upbeat after a solid half of football.
Related content:31-year drought broken as Wollongong Wolves lift premiers trophy
In contrast, Sydney FC were frustrated at the break, and post-game, the Sky Blues were full of praise for Wollongong's first-half performance.
Wilkshire said the opening 45 minutes were a good indicator of the talent within his squad.
"We didn't take a backwards step, we didn't want to.
"We had a few moments in the first half, but when you're playing against the A-League champions, you can see that little bit of extra pace, a quicker chain of thought and that quality shows in the end."
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with both teams generating a number of chances.
Slowly, Sydney FC started to gain the upper hand and it was Le Fondre who broke the game open in the 65th minute.
The Englishman produced a brilliant strike from outside the penalty box, firing the ball past Wolves goalkeeper Justin Pasfield's outstretched hands.
Ivanovic made it 2-nil just two minutes later, the Sky Blues making the most of a Wollongong defensive turnover.
From here, the match started to open up, with Wollongong pushing forward to cut the deficit and Sydney FC looking to make the most of counter attack opportunities.
The Wolves had a number of chances, however the visitors held firm and Wollongong were unable find the back of the net, the game finishing a 2-nil Sydney FC victory.