Sydney FC Take Glory At Allianz Stadium

A wonder strike from Terry Antonis has secured a vital 2-1 victory over Perth Glory and moved Sydney FC back into the Finals places.

A wonder strike from Terry Antonis has secured a vital 2-1 victory over Perth Glory and moved Sydney FC back into the Finals places.

A battling performance in front of rain soaked fans at Allianz Stadium moved the Sky Blues into sixth place just two points off third.

Ranko Despotovic-s sixth goal of the campaign got proceedings underway, before Antonis- second half effort looked to have secured the points.

Perth mustered a goal in return via Rostyn Griffths, but Sydney FC were rarely threatened thereafter, and despite Aaron Calver-s sending off, gained a valuable three points.

Sydney FC Head Coach Frank Farina made three changes to the starting squad from last week, handing a debut to Socceroos defender Sasa Ognenovski.

Foxtel National Youth League defender Calver was also handed a start, playing at right back for the suspended Sebastian Ryall, whilst Antonis made a return for the first time this season following a long injury spell.

The fixture opened with a tense ten minutes as both sides struggled to gain any meaningful possession.

After the initial stalemate, Sydney FC, using the width of the pitch, started to find traction going forward.

Playing on the left side of midfield, Ali Abbas cut inside Josh Risdon with ease before playing a wicked ball into the six yard area that required a defensive lunge to prevent Despotovic with a clear chance.

The Serbian striker would only have to wait a matter of minutes before he would get another chance, which he gleefully took to net his sixth goal of the season.

After pressing caused a turnover, Del Piero stormed through the heart of the Perth midfield and dinked a ball towards Despotovic, who with his first touch pushed it past Vukovic and into the back of the net.

The combination of Jurman and Abbas down the left flank was proving a valuable commodity in attack and the pair created a glorious chance for Del Piero, but an untimely bobble led to the Italian-s shot skewing high and wide.

On the half-hour, Perth were presented with a glorious chance to equalise, being awarded an indirect free-kick following a scramble from a corner where Ognenovksi was adjudged to have raised a boot.

From the free kick, Smeltz drove in the shot which was blocked by Ognenovski and the rebound fell to Sciola whose attempt was thwarted by Del Piero.

With 10 minutes remaining in the half Frank Farina was forced into an early change with Dimitrijevic being replaced by Gligor due to a quad complaint.

The stoppage in play allowed Perth to regroup and gain a foothold into the contest.

First, Darvydas Sernas was found by Sciola in the penalty box, but shot over the bar, before Gallas flicked a header, which Janjetovic did well to muscle away.

From the resultant corner Del Piero had to make a second goal-line clearance in a matter of minutes, getting his head on the ball.

Sydney FC entered the break with the lead, which was nearly doubled after Gameiro was denied by Vukovic following a mazy build-up from Del Piero and Despotovic.

The Sky Blues should have doubled the lead through Gameiro early in the second half. The pacey striker was found by the tireless Abbas and curled a shot on target, only to see his effort inadvertently blocked by Despotovic.

Just after the hour had passed, Vedran Janjetovic was forced into action, producing a wonderful diving save to prevent Harold from scoring with his first touch of the match.

Three minutes later, Antonis marked his return to the first team with a wonderful solo goal. Picking the ball up near the right hand touchline, Antonis boldly surged past four Glory defenders via a slalom run before bending his shot past a helpless Vukovic.

The two goal lead barely lasted 3 minutes.

Presented with a set-piece from the wide left, Marinkovic delivered an inviting cross that Rostyn Griffiths attacked and slammed a header home.

Sydney FC should have sealed the match with 10 minutes remaining.

Gligor released Abbas on halfway who played in Urosevski with the winger sweeping the ball to Despotovic. The Serbian couldn-t add a second goal though after Vukovic made a scrambling save.

The Sky Blues had to endure a nervy final few minutes a player down, after Aaron Calver was given an early bath following a second yellow for a foul on Sciola, but it would matter not.

A vital three points secured ahead of the trip to Newcastle and the Mariners, before we are back at Allianz Stadium on the 8th of March for the Sydney Derby.

Sydney FC 2 (Ranko Despotovic 17-, Terry Antonis 65-) d Perth Glory 1 (Rostyn Griffiths 67-) Allianz Stadium Crowd: 11, 160 Referee: Chris Beath

SYDNEY FC:20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 4. Ranko DESPOTOVIC (14. Mitch MALLIA 87-), 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 9. Corey GAMEIRO (29. Alec UROSEVSKI 74-), 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (c), 13. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (24. Hagi GLIGOR 37-), 22. Ali ABBAS, 34 Aaron CALVER.

Substitutes not used: 1 Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 36. Themba MUATA-MARLOW. Yellow Card: Aaron CALVER 51- Red Card: Aaron CALVER 89-

PERTH GLORY: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS(7. Jacob BURNS 68-), 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 19. Joshua RISDON (10. Jamie MCLAREN 92-), 23. Michael THWAITE, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 28. Darvydas SERNAS (17. Chris HAROLD 60-), 36. William GALLAS.

Substitutes not used: 18. Jack DUNCAN(GK), 2. Jack CLISBY. Yellow Cards: Rostyn GRIFFITHS 8-, Michael THWAITE 35