Sydney FC On The Cusp Of Historic Fourth Premiership

Sydney FC 3 (Le Fondre 76’ (pen.), Buhagiar 88’, 90’) def. Wellington Phoenix 1 (Piscopo 66’ (pen.))

Sydney FC has moved within a point of securing a historic record fourth Premiers Plate after the Sky Blues put Wellington to sword with a late goal flurry.

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Le Fondre celebrates his equalising goal.

Moments That Mattered: 

  1. BRATTAN SHOT – 16’ – Pinball ensues in the box as Wellington scramble to clear.  The ball bobbles out to Brattan whose belting effort is just palmed away.
  2. LE FONDRE CHANCE – 22’ – Le Fondre drives at the Nix defence and steers the ball across goal which is nearly popped into the net by Wellington’s DeVere.
  3. BRATTAN FREE-KICK – 43’ – Brattan whips a curling effort that is goal bound but for the fingertips of Marinovic.
  4. LE FONDRE CHANCE – 57’ – Intricate interplay leads to Le Fondre lashing an effort towards goal inside the box but it’s dealt with and cleared by the Nix.
  5. PISCOPO GOAL – 66’ – McGowan’s toe collects Cacace and the official points to the spot. Piscopo finds the net low and hard to his left just under Redmayne.
  6. LE FONDRE GOAL - 76’ - A penalty for the Sky Blues as the ball strikes the arm of Davila. Le Fondre makes no mistake, electing to place to the keeper’s bottom left and level the score. 
  7. BUHAGIAR CHANCE – 79’ – Brattan’s low driven cross finds the young speedster whose snap shot glances past the near post.
  8. HOOPER GOAL DISALLOWED - 84’ - A long range effort from Davila is flicked in by Hooper but he’s adjudged to be in an offside position.
  9. BUHAGIAR GOAL - 88’ - Ninkovic intercepts and plays a peach of a ball with the outside of the foot for Buhagiar who rounds the keeper and slots home from the edge of the box
  10. BUHAGIAR GOAL - 90’ - A quick fire double for the nippy striker who is played in behind by Le Fondre and nets on the second time of asking with a delicate chip into an empty net.
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Celebrations after Trent Buhagiar found the back of the net.

Sydney FC have one hand on a record breaking fourth Premiers Plate following their 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix as the Hyundai A-League re-started after 116 days in wet and windy conditions.

Clear cut chances were at a premium in the first 45 minutes and Wellington were the first to strike in the second half through Piscopo via the penalty spot, after Ryan McGowan brought down Cacace.

The lead lasted barely ten minutes as the ball struck Davila’s arm inside the box and Le Fondre notched his 18th of the campaign.

Substitute speedstar Trent Buhagiar burst onto the park and became the match winner, netting a quick fire brace after twice being put clear on goal with some exceptional passing from Ninkovic and Le Fondre.

With the goals coming in the dying embers of the game, it left Wellington with no hope of mounting a comeback and all but handing Sydney FC the Premiers Plate.

Only a point will be needed against Newcastle Jets on Tuesday night at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium for the Sky Blues to clinch the title.

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Milos Ninkovic and Adam Le Fondre celebrate.

What they said: 

Steve Corica: “I’m very pleased with the three points and three goals.

“Trent was exceptional when he came on. He’s got great pace but I thought his two finishes were very good.

“The first one he showed quick feet going around the keeper and he tucked it away very nicely.

“The second one after the rebound he really slotted that nicely.

“Both balls to him were exceptional, one from Ninko and one from Le Fondre, so I’m very pleased with him coming on and scoring the two goals.”

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Socceroo Rhyan Grant in action.

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON,6. Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE (18. Luke IVANOVIC 91’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 69’), 16. Joel KING (7. Michael ZULLO 69’), 17. Anthony CACERES (5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN 69’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN (19. Chris ZUVELA 91’). 

Subs: 30. Adam Pavlesic (GK), 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN. 

Yellow Cards: 5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN 85’.

Red Cards: None.

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Stefan MARINOVIC, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Matti STEINMANN (12. Brandon WILSON 87’), 7.Reno PISCOPO (88. Gary HOOPER 66’), 9. David BALL, 10. Ulises DAVILA, 11. Jaushua SOTIRIO (10. Ulises DAVILA 66’) 13. Liberato CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER (17. Callan ELLIOT 90’), 27. Steven TAYLOR, 31. Ben WAINE (21. Callum McCOWATT 45’)

Subs: 30. Zac JONES (GK), 2. Liam McGING. 

Yellow Cards: 14. Alex RUFER 38’, 11. Jaushua SOTIRIO 62’

Red Cards: None. 

Ground: Netstrata Jubilee Oval

Referee: Chris Beath