Sydney FC's undefeated streak came to an end as a late James Brown goal clinched the points for the Victorians at Allianz Stadium in front of a crowd of 11,638.
Sydney FC 0 def. by Melbourne City 1 (Brown 80’)
Sydney FC hit the post twice and were denied a first half penalty as Melbourne City struck a late winner in Harvey Norman Friday Night football at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues dominated the majority of the game with Mark Janko hitting the post in the first half, before being felled in the box by Patrick Kisbnorbo. However the Austrian watched on as referee Chris Beath waved away his claims for a penalty.
A Bernie Ibini strike midway through the second half was deflected onto the post by keeper Velaphi before James Brown struck the only goal of the game with ten minutes to play.
What they said
Graham Arnold: “I thought we controlled 90 per cent of the game and we got hit with a sucker punch while we were going into attack.
"Overall the players put in a fantastic effort. I thought the first half was a good dominating performance and when we had the opportunities to score we didn’t and that is when you leave the opposition in the game.
“Balls were flying across the face of the goal all night and on other nights we’d put them in, tonight wasn’t to be. Maybe it’s good timing for this to happen, five games out before the end of the season and Finals series in front of us. We get back to work on Monday and move forward."
80’ BROWN GOAL – Melbourne City win the ball in midfield and Mooy plays a ball through the centre of the Sky Blues defence to Brown who rounds Janjetovic to slot home.
10’ JANKO HITS POST – Janko breaks clear of the Melbourne City defence and hits a shot with the toe of his boots which crashes off the inside of the post and away to safety.
34’ DUGANDZIC SHOT BLOCKED – Dugandzic runs at the Sydney FC defence, jinks his way into the box and hits a shot which Jurman blocks with his legs.
40’ JANKO PENALTY APPEAL – Janko beats Kisnorbo to the ball in the box and as he knocks the ball past the defender, Kisnorbo makes a challenge causing the striker to fall to the ground. Referee Chris Beath waves away his penalty appeals.
63’ IBINI HITS POST – Bernie Ibini latches onto a long ball from the back and takes a shot which Velaphi pushes onto the post and away to safety.
72’ SMELTZ PUTS WIDE – Dimitrijevic plays the ball inside the full back to Gersbach who is clear to cross. The youngster pulls the ball back to Smeltz who shoots just wide under pressure from a sliding Melbourne City challenge.
Sydney FC 0 def by Melbourne City 1 (Brown 80’)
Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold kept an unchanged starting line-up following on from the 5-4 win over Brisbane Roar five days earlier. The only change to the squad came on the bench where Terry Antonis made way with a knee injury for Jacques Faty who came in.
Ground: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Chris Beath
Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 2. Seb RYALL, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI, 13. Christopher NAUMOFF (9.Shane SMELTZ 60’), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Alex GERSBACH, 21. Marc JANKO, 27. Mickael TAVARES (34. Robert STAMBOLZIEV 83’).
Subs Not Used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Jacques FATY.
Yellow cards: Janko 82’
Red cards: None.
Melbourne City: 20. Tando VELAPHI, 5. Erik PAARTALU, 6. Aaron MOOY, 10. Robert KOREN, 13. Jonatan GERMANO (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 73’), 14. James BROWN, 18. Paolo RETRE (28. Nicholas SYMEOY 74’), 22. Jack CLISBY, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (7. Iain RAMSAY 70’), 24. Patrick KISNORBO ©, 27. Kew JALIENS.
Subs Not Used: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 34. Stefan ZINNI.
Yellow cards: Retre 29’, Jaliens 35’, Clisby 58’, Velaphi 87’
Red cards: None.
Sydney FC’s next home game is against Adelaide United on Saturday 4th April at Allianz Stadium (kick off 7.30pm). Purchase tickets today or become a Member and ensure you don’t miss a moment of Hyundai A-League action by heading to www.ticketek.com.au/sydneyfc