A five minute blitz in the first half has sealed a rare win in Melbourne for Sydney FC and confirmed its status as the leading contender for the Hyundai A-League title.
A five minute blitz in the first half has sealed a rare win in Melbourne for Sydney FC and confirmed its status as the leading contender for the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League title.
Alex Brosque started the scoring spree before Mark Bridge delivered a double to seal the three points for the Sky Blues and extend their lead at the top of the table.
“I think we-re starting to be more consistent and keep good patches of football for longer periods of the game, so positive signs for us,” said Bridge immediately following the full-time whistle.
“It was a short turn around for us – we played on Monday. We had to travel here yesterday (and) the boys were feeling a bit tired but we did well. They had us under the pump a bit in the second half but we did well to keep a clean sheet.”
Melbourne had publically stated its intention to try and crack Sydney early and the home side sent a scare through the Sky Blues after only two minutes when Ney Fabiano found space in the box but blasted his shot wide.
Vitezslav Lavicka-s men were also keen to make their mark and in the 14th minute they did just that. Defenders, Sung Hwan Byun and Simon Colosimo injected themselves into the attack up the left. A brilliant, swinging Colosimo cross picked out Brosque in the box and despite being under intense pressure the 25-year old came up with a quality header – opening his account for the season and giving Sydney the lead.
Just over a minute later the Sky Blues doubled that advantage. Mark Bridge combined with Terry McFlynn before receiving a long ball back from the midfielder. Positioned on the edge of the box, Bridge beat his man brilliantly and slotted a low shot into the net to take the lead to two.
Four minutes later it was three. Karol Kisel picked out Shannon Cole up the right – the recalled defender spotted Bridge on the run and the cross was equal to the finish – Bridge belting home the volley to stun the Victory for a third time with only 19 minutes gone in the match.
It could have been four when Brosque dazzled the defence before crossing inside for McFlynn – but the Northern Irishman-s effort was wide of the mark. Shannon Cole also came close with a long-range effort that kept Melbourne keeper, Glen Moss on his toes. There was no further edition to the scoring before half time, however, and Sydney went to the sheds with a commanding three goal advantage.
The Moore Park men picked up where they left off at the start of the second stanza, with Cole firing for the corner of Moss-s net and missing only narrowly just two minutes after the restart.
The Sky Blues continued to control the tempo and the home side was struggling to find a way back into the game. It wasn-t until the 66th minute they had their first opportunity of the period when Archie Thompson worked his way in behind but couldn-t hit the target under heavy pressure from the Sydney defence. Three minutes later Thompson had another chance from close range but again failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
The Victory resurgence continued, and in the 73rd minute Clint Bolton was forced to make his first real save of the game when substitute, Evan Berger tried his luck from outside the area. When Berger blasted an unmarked opportunity wide six minutes later it seemed clear it would be Sydney-s night.
Melbourne was throwing men forward in a bid to battle back into the game and attacking opportunities were few for the Sky Blues in the final quarter of the contest. Their defence showed real steel though, holding the much-vaunted Victory strike-force at bay and Sydney FC cruised to a comfortable win which cemented its place at the top of the table.
“I am very impressed with our play tonight, our spirit, our creativity,” said Coach Vitezslav Lavicka after the match. “We moved the ball well, created some good opportunities and punished them.”
With back-to-back wins under their belts, the competition leaders will again be on the road next weekend when they travel to the city of churches for a round-11 meeting with Adelaide United on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Melbourne Victory 0
Sydney FC 3 (Brosque 14-, Bridge 16-/19-)
Melbourne Victory: 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 5.Surat SUKHA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Matthew KEMP (19.Evan BERGER 65-), 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.NEY FABIANO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZI, 21.Robbie KRUSE (15.Tom PONDELJAK 34-), 23.Adrian LEIJER.
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 8.Grant BREBNER.
Yellow Cards: 21. Robbie KRUSE 31-, 2. Kevin MUSCAT 84-.
Red Cards: nil.
Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL (7. Brendan GAN 65-), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE (17. Matthew JURMAN 90-+1), 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (9. John ALOISI 77-), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).
Yellow Cards: Simon COLOSIMO 40-.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: 14. Alex BROSQUE 14-, 19. Mark BRIDGE 16-/19-.
Referee: Peter Green.
Crowd: 30,688 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.