A ten man Sydney FC have claimed a thrilling win in the ’Big Blue’ defeating rivals Melbourne Victory 3-2 to lift the beyondblue Cup at Allianz Stadium.
A ten man Sydney FC have claimed a thrilling win in the -Big Blue- defeating rivals Melbourne Victory 3-2 to lift the beyondblue Cup at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues took a two goal lead with fifteen minutes played thanks to strikes from Richard Garcia and Seb Ryall.
But Victory scored twice in quick succession to level the scoreline, while Sydney left back Marc Warren was sent off for a professional foul.
The crowd of 18,784 were sent on a rollercoaster of emotions as marquee man Alessandro Del Piero scored from the penalty spot to give the home side a deserved victory.
After last week-s promising showing, Del Piero was the only change to the starting line-up for Sydney FC, replacing Joel Chianese who had a spot on the bench alongside Pedj Bojic who came in at the expense of Matt Jurman.
The Sky Blues made a flying start to the match and scored after 150 seconds of play, with Richie Garcia hitting his first goal for the club.
The striker latched onto a loose header from Mitch Nicholls following a long kick from Janjetovic to go clear of the Victory defence and the nudge the ball around Victory keeper Nathan Coe to slot home.
Sydney FC were in the ascendancy and Emerton had a chance to double the lead. A set routine from a corner undid the Victory defence, with Del Piero finding the midfielder unmarked at the back post, only for the former Socceroo to head wide of the target.
The second goal did arrive soon after.
Again a set piece caused the Victory defence problems with Traore-s clearing header from a corner smashed straight into Seb Ryall-s face and then into the back of the net.
The impact the header caused to Ryall forced the full back to be treated off the pitch, which allowed Melbourne to pull a goal back immediately.
Driving down the vacant left flank, Connor Pain outpaced Calvano to a long ball and squared perfectly for Thompson who couldn-t miss.
Despite the goal Sydney were still in control. Seb Ryall looked to double his tally from distance and Del Piero tried a cheeky free kick that forced a good save from Coe.
The key moment of the match happened midway through the half with Sydney defender Marc Warren shown a red card for pulling down Connor Pain who was clear on goal.
From the ensuing free-kick Troisi netted his fourth goal of the season with a low drive that took a big deflection off Ryall.
Melbourne almost took the lead soon after when Milligan was picked out by Nichols only to shoot wide when through on goal.
With ten minutes remaining in the first half Sydney FC scored the crucial third goal.
A scramble from a free kick saw Emerton float a cross back into the box, where Del Piero was fouled by Contreras in the challenge for the header. The Sydney captain then stepped up from the spot and guided the ball home into the bottom left corner to send the Sky Blues into a half time lead.
With the extra man Melbourne began carving out opportunities in the second but found a resilient Sydney FC defence and goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic in their way.
The Sky Blues weren-t without their chances either with Del Piero going close to doubling the lead from a number of set pieces.
It was Archie Thompson who had the best chance to find a Victory equaliser when he found himself through on goal until Tiago Calvano got a telling touch and allowed Sydney FC to clear their lines.
Melbourne continued to press to find an equaliser but the ten men of Sydney FC stood firm to lift the beyondblue Cup and move the Sky Blues into joint fifth on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Sydney FC face Melbourne Heart on Friday night and will be back at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 23 November when Wellington Phoenix are the visitors.
Sydney FC 3 (Richard GARCIA 3-, Sebastian RYALL 15-, Alessandro DEL PIERO 35-) d. Melbourne Victory 2 (Archie THOMPSON 17-, James TROISI 25-)
Allianz Stadium Crowd: 18, 784 Referee: Peter GREEN
Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC(GK), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Mark WARREN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Brett EMERTON, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO©(16. Joel CHIANESE 89-), 11. Richard GARCIA (27. Chris NAUMOFF 82-), 13. Tiago CALVANO, 19. Nick CARLE, 22. Ali ABBAS. 29. Matthew THOMPSON (8. Predrag BOJIC 74-).
Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSK(GK), 21. Yairo YAU.
Yellow Cards: Nikola PETKOVIC 45- Red Card: Marc Warren 25-
Melbourne VICTORY: 1. Nathan COE(GK), 2. Pablo CONTRERAS, 3. Adama TRAORE, 5. Mark MILLIGAN©, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (7. Guilherme FINKLER 70-), 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Connor PAIN (13. Andrew NABBOUT 70-), 14. James TROISI, 15. Mitch NICHOLLS, 23. Adrian LEIJER, 25. Jason GERIA.
Subs not used: 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 20. Lawrence THOMAS, 24. Scott GALLOWAY.
Yellow Cards: Adama TRAORE 34-, Pablo CONTREAS 35-, Leigh BROXHAM 45-, Jason GERIA 70-