MACARTHUR Rams were unable to hold off a decisive Sydney FC as the visitors secured a 5-1 win at Campbelltown Sports Stadium last Wednesday night.
A double from Sydney FC's Corey Gameiro, goals from Nick Carle and Bai Antoniou and an own goal from Louis Duchesne made the difference as the Rams could only grab a consolation goal through Reuban Agyei-Danso.
The Rams started brightly against their A-League opposition, pressuring them early and leaving Sydney FC to build their attacks from their back line.
Sydney FC boasted a near full-strength starting 11 in the match, with young star Alex Gersbach, Bernie Ibini and Alex Brosque who was looking to start his second spell at the club with a good result.
The breakthrough came from the unlikeliest of sources in the 19th minute as Seb Ryall surged down the right flank and drilled a low cross into the Rams area, only to be deflected in by Rams centre half Duchesne to make it 1-0.
Sydney FC started to shake off the chilly conditions in Campbelltown, with Carle releasing Brosque at halfway who ran to the edge of the Ram's area and lobbed it over to an onrushing Gameiro to double the score.
Gameiro couldn't believe his luck minutes later as a defensive error left him with all the time in the world to chip past the helpless Rams keeper to make it 3-0 within 38 minutes.
Sydney FC put the result beyond doubt against a spirited Rams side in the 58th minute as Ibini broke down the right flank and crossed the ball over to Carle, who slotted the ball past the keeper.
Rams took advantage of Sydney FC's wholesale changes for the final period of the match as Rams' Agyei-Danso capitalised on an indecisive Sky Blues defence to reduce the score to 4-1.
Sydney FC's Antoniou added to the emphatic score line three minutes from time as he dribbled through the heart of the Rams' defence to cement a 5-1 win for the visitors.
In the other match on the day, the Macarthur Rams under 20s defeated the men's City side 3-0.
Macarthur Rams coach Claudio Canosa said: "I was pleased with the players as they matched them in many areas of the pitch.
"We competed very well and we will look to compete with the Wanderers."
The Rams play Western Sydney at Campbelltown Sports Stadium tonight at 7.30pm.