10-man Reds upset Sydney

Sydney FC has let slip a chance to go five points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table, going down 2-1 on Friday night to a 10-man Adelaide United outfit at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Sydney FC has let slip a chance to go five points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table, going down 2-1 on Friday night to a 10-man Adelaide United outfit at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Reds were dealt a blow early in the game when Fabian Barbiero received his marching orders but they overcame the obstacle with Cristiano heading home twice from set pieces to seal the three points for his side.

“We are disappointed but congratulations to Adelaide,” said Sydney Coach, Vitezslav Lavicka after the game. “Even though they lost a player they still stayed very compact in defence and waited for set piece opportunities. We knew they-d be dangerous in those situations but still they scored two goals.”

Adelaide showed its intentions early, turning up the heat on Sydney-s possession game from the opening whistle, but the home side-s plans were delivered a major blow in the 8th minute when referee, Strebre Delovski rightly sent Barbiero for a very early shower after he crudely pulled Mark Bridge to the ground with the Sydney striker on-track for goal.

Despite having the one man advantage from that point forward, finding a passage through United-s defence was proving difficult for the Sky Blues and it wasn-t until the 22nd minute that they had their first half-chance of the game - Simon Colosimo pushing forward for a corner and squeezing his diving header just wide of the left upright.

Seven minutes later, against the run of play, the Reds turned the game on its head. Scott Jamieson sent an out-swinging corner into the area where it was met by a charging Cristiano. He out-manoeuvred Terry McFlynn and powered the ball into the net from the edge of the six yard box to give Adelaide an unlikely lead.

They may have conceded but the Moore Park men continued to dictate terms in the middle of the park. In the 42nd minute Sydney looked certain to equalise but Alex Brosque was denied by what might be the tackle of the season - the 26-year old was about to pull the trigger from close range but former team-mate, Mark Rudan had other ideas, timing his intervention to perfection and defending his side-s advantage heading into half time.

One minute after the restart, Rudan again came to Adelaide-s rescue, blocking a point-blank Brosque shot that was otherwise certain to level the scores.

In the 50th minute Sydney-s frustration grew when a well-timed run from Karol Kisel put him on the end of a Steve Corica cross but his powerful header only hammered into the upright - four minutes later the hosts made them pay for the miss.

A Jamieson free kick at the other end of the field again found Cristiano on the spot - his downward header deflected off McFlynn and into the bottom corner of Clint Bolton-s goal to extend United-s advantage to two.

Still the Sky Blues- dominated possession, and in the 69th minute Mark Bridge almost clawed one back but couldn-t get enough power behind his 18-yard effort. Having entered the fray just after the hour, John Aloisi did narrow the gap for Sydney in the 78th minute of play.

Sung Hwan Byun swung a corner into the Adelaide box - Brosque touched the ball back for McFlynn who-s shot drew a great save from Red-s custodian, Eugene Galekovic, but not quite good enough. He could only palm the ball onto the post where Aloisi was waiting and calmly headed into the empty net.

“It was a pity it didn-t help us get at least a point out of the game - it was good to score but I-d rather the team win,” Sydney-s marquee man told commentators after the match.

Fellow substitute, Brendan Gan had a half chance to equalise in the 84th minute and two minutes later Brosque received a yellow card after heading the ball out of the Galekovic-s hands, only to see the cheeky finish disallowed by the referee.

That was as close as the Sky Blues would come in the closing stages and the Reds added to their good record over Sydney in Adelaide, holding on for a 2-1 win.

Sydney remains top of the table with four matches still to play in round-11. The side-s next match is at home at the Sydney Football Stadium next Sunday against the Brisbane Roar.

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Match Detail

Adelaide United 2 (Cristiano 29-/54-) Sydney FC 1 (Aloisi 78-)

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2. Robert CORNTHWAITE, 4. Iain FYFE, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 9. CRISTIANO (3. ALEMAO 71-), 10. Adam HUGHES,12. Paul REID (6. CASSIO 85-),14. Scott JAMIESON,18. Fabian BARBIERO, 19. Mathew LECKIE (11. Lloyd OWUSU 89-), 21. Mark RUDAN.

Substitutes not used: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk).

Yellow Cards: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC 75-, 10. Adam HUGHES 87-, 14. Scott JAMIESON 91-. Red Cards: 18. Fabian BARBIERO 8-. Goals: 9. CRISTIANO 29-/54-.

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL (7. Brendan GAN 75-), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE (9. John ALOISI 61-), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 17. Matthew JURMAN.

Yellow Cards: 14. Alex BROSQUE 86-. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 9. John ALOISI 78-.

Referee: Strebre Delovski. Crowd: 10,291 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.