BRANKO Culina saw his team fight back from a goal down as his Newcastle Jets side earned a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at the SFS.
A late strike from Song cancelled out Alex Brosque's first half finish but the result keeps Sydney's undefeated record intact, with the Sky Blues claiming eleven wins, two draws and conceding just two goals during a thirteen match pre-season program.
"We are happy," said Coach Vitezslav Lavicka. "We try some options of lineup, try some systems and now we are hungry to start (the season)."
After a dominant start the Sky Blues had the first chance of the match in the 14th minute with Brendan Gan's cushioned header falling to Mark Bridge, whose shot on the turn was pushed away for a corner by Jets' custodian, Ben Kennedy.
Sydney continued to impress and Bridge turned provider for the match's opening goal, 28 minutes into the contest. Following a long ball out of defence the striker threaded a lovely through pass into the path of Brosque who ran through on goal before unleashing a left foot drive across the face and into the bottom corner.
Kennedy was being kept busy and again frustrated Bridge, pulling off a point blank save from the forward's volley in the 37th minute to ensure the deficit remained at just one heading into half time.
Sydney keeper Ivan Necevski had his first real involvement eight minutes after the restart, with former Sky Blue Sasho Petrovski forcing a fine save.
Midway through the second period it was Sydney that looked set to extend the scoreline. Captain Steve Corica seemed certain to put the hosts two-nil up but his goal-bound effort cannoned unluckily into the back of Bridge before rebounding away to safety with Kennedy well beaten.
Despite Sydney's dominance, a defensive lapse opened the door for Newcastle to draw level in the closing stages of the game. A clever ball towards the box from substitute Fabio Vignaroli caught the Sydney defence square and an unmarked Song ghosted past his marker before lobbing the ball over Necevski to tie the scores in the 73rd minute.
Newcastle came close to taking an unlikely lead six minutes later with Sean Rooney's shot whistling wide. The hosts then poured forward in search of a winner in the closing stages and Sydney's Slovakian midfielder Karol Kisel came close with a header just over the bar two minutes from full time but neither team would find the net again - the game ending at 1-all.
"We have positive things, especially from the first half. First half was much better than second," assessed Coach Lavicka after the match.
Swiss triallist Stephan Keller did his push for a contract no harm with an impressive 90 minutes display alongside Simon Colosimo in central defence and looks set to become Sydney's final signing in the coming days.
Next Sunday, August 2, Sydney return to the SFS for its annual fan day, before travelling to Townsville the following week for its opening round clash against the North Queensland Fury.
Sydney FC 1 (BROSQUE 28')
Newcastle Jets 1 (SONG 73')
Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 19. Mark BRIDGE (38. Kerim BULUT 78'), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 32. Brendan GAN, 39. Stephan KELLER.
Substitutes Not Used: 30. John FILAN (gk), 5. Mitchell PRENTICE, 36. Zach CAIRNCROSS.
Yellow Cards: nil.
Red Card: nil.
Goals: Alex BROSQUE 28'
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D'APPUZZO, 4. Andrea MERENDA (6. Fabio VIGNAROLI 60'), 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin Hyun SONG, 9. Sasho PETROVSKI (c) (11. Felipe GARCIA 71'), 10. Jorge FLORENTIN (8. Matthew THOMPSON 46'), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Shaun ONTONG, 14. Angelo COSTANZO, 19. Peter HAYNES (17. Sean ROONEY 60').
Substitutes Not Used: 40. Ben MCNAMARA (gk), 16. Mitchell JOHNSON, 21. Brodie MOOY, Jesse PINTO, Jarrad ROSS.
Yellow Cards: Adam D'APUZZO 13', Ljubo MILICEVIC 57'.
Red Card: nil.
Goals: Hyung Song JIN 73'.
Referee: Gerard Parsons.