Sydney FC 0 Melbourne Victory 1

A gallant Sydney FC played for almost an hour with ten men before Melbourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp scored late to snatch all three points.

A gallant Sydney FC played for almost an hour with ten men before Melbourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp scored late to snatch all three points.

Match referee Mark Shield reduced Sydney FC to ten in the 24th minute of the clash of the first two Hyundai A-League champions when he dismissed Steve Corica for a foul on Melbourne Victory defender Steve Pantelidis.

The blockbuster was heading for a goalless draw when, just nine minutes from time, Allsopp scored what proved to be the winning goal, applying the finishing touch at the far post to an Adrian Caceres cross.

Sydney FC attacked from the opening whistle and had Melbourne Victory on the back foot. Adam Casey came close with a shot in the second minute and Michael Theoklitos made saves in the 18th and 23rd minutes.

But Corica's sending off was the game's turning point. Following it Sydney FC midfielders Juninho and Ruben Zadkovich produced some slick dribbling but Melbourne Victory had the better opportunities.

The clearest chance of the first period fell to Melbourne Victory three minutes before the break. Visiting captain Kevin Muscat crossed from the left-hand side and found Allsopp at the near post but his shot was blocked by Sydney FC skipper Tony Popovic.

Sydney FC started the second half in the same vein that it began the first - on the attack through Casey. The Qantas Under 23s squad member made a terrific run down the right wing and his cross only just missed an on-rushing Juninho at the back post.

Five minutes later Juninho put Casey through but this time his cross was cleaned up by Theoklitos despite Alex Brosque's best efforts. Playing up front on his own, Brosque found the going tough as he was marked extremely closely by Melbourne Victory's defence.

On the hour mark Juninho weaved his magic, threading the ball between two Melbourne Victory defenders to find Zadkovich storming down the right flank. He passed to McFlynn but the Northern Irishman's shot sailed over the crossbar into the away end.

Branko Culina substituted Juninho soon after, with Patrick taking the place of his compatriot. With Juninho went Sydney FC's creative spark and the match of the round, which featured eight yellow cards and one red card, looked set to end with honours even before Allsopp netted his second goal of the season.

Sydney FC 0 Melbourne Victory 1 (Danny Allsopp 81') Date: Saturday, October 6, 2007 Venue: Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Referee: Mark Shield Crowd: 18,436

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 4. Mark RUDAN, 6. Tony POPOVIC (captain), 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 10. Steve CORICA, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry McFLYNN (11. Brendon SANTALAB 82'), 16. Mark MILLIGAN, 18. Adam CASEY (23. Ufuk TALAY 82'), 22. JUNINHO (12. PATRICK 71').

Substitutes not used: 30. Matthew NASH (gk).

Yellow cards: Ruben Zadkovich 8', Juninho 63', Alex Brosque 75', Mark Rudan 90'.

Red cards: Steve Corica 25'.

Melbourne Victory: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (captain), 6. Steve PANTELIDIS, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8. Grant BREBNER, 9. Danny ALLSOPP, 10. Archie THOMPSON (21. Sebastian RYALL 90+4'), 11. Joseph KEENAN (13. Kaz PATAFTA 76'), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 15. Leandro LOVE, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ (14. Adrian CACERES 62').

Substitutes not used: 20. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk).

Yellow cards: Kevin Muscat 12', Grant Brebner 36', Joseph Keenan 40', Archie Thompson 90+3'.