Extra Time Goal Costs Sydney FC

An Archie Thompson goal in the dying minutes of extra time has seen Sydney FC reduced to a 2-2 draw and a 4-3 aggregate loss against the Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night.

An Archie Thompson goal in the dying minutes of extra time has seen Sydney FC reduced to a 2-2 draw and a 4-3 aggregate loss against the Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night.

The result denies Sydney a home grand final, meaning the Sky Blues must now defeat Wellington in Sydney on Saturday night (8pm kick-off) for the right to take on Melbourne in the Grand Final the following week.

“It was disappointing that we lost (the tie). It was a fantastic game and I complement both teams. My players did a good job today,”, coach Vitezslav Lavicka said.

“We will be 100 per cent ready, mentally and physically for the next game. We have a clear intention and big desire to win the grand final.”

It was a match that had everything, spectacular goals, desperation in defence and some brilliant saves in goal, and was very much befitting of the bitter rivalry enjoyed between the two clubs.

Sydney certainly had more than their fair share of chances to take out the tie, but was ultimately denied by a fast finishing Melbourne, albeit courtesy of a somewhat contentious hand ball decision late in the match.

“It was a tough game. We had a very good first half and started the game well, and we went on to dominate the second half, but it is impossible to be 100 per cent for 120 minutes,” John Aloisi said.

“We are going to pick ourselves up, everyone is hungry for next week ahead of the Wellington game.”

Trailing 2-1 on aggregate going into the tie, it was Sydney looking to make the early running and in just the second minute it was nearly the perfect start for the Sky-Blues.

An aggressive header from Alex Brosque on the back of a Karol Kisel corner had Victory keeper Mitchell Langerak beaten. The despairing Tom Pondeljak clearance found the crossbar though unfortunately for Sydney the deflection failed to find the back of the net.

Sydney FC enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half and also had the better of the chances, with the majority of the Victory opportunities being on the counter.

On the 15 minutemark though it was a Robbie Kruse strike which gave Melbourne the early advantage. From just outside the area and off one step, his strike curled into the top right hand corner to put the Victory up 1-0.

Despite the early setback, Sydney continued to work hard and dominate play in an attempt to bring the tie back on level terms.

With Kisel finding dangerous areas in the Melbourne defence, Sydney again began to look dangerous in attack. On 35 minutes Brosque was brought down in the area by an Adrian Leijer elbow with referee Stebre Delvoski having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. From there Kisel did the rest with a confident penalty strike that found the top left corner to draw Sydney level at 1-1.

The second half saw Sydney continue to go on the attack as they looked to level the tie. On 47 minutes a Sung-Hwan Byun strike forced an athletic save from Langerak in the top left hand corner.

Five minutes later though there was not much Langerak could do with a Mark Bridge strike from outside the area. The striker skipped passed defender Grant Brebner and coolly slotted it home for the Sky Blues.

With Sydney up 2-1 and the tie back on level terms the momentum began to swing back Melbourne’s way and if not for a man of the match performance from Clint Bolton in goal the tie could have been decided in regular time.

On 87 minutes Archie Thompson was left one out against Bolton, with Bolton producing a full length dive -and one of the saves of the match – to deny the Victory.

While the Victory had the better of the opportunities in extra time the match looked headed for penalties before a contentious handball decision against Terry McFlynn assisting Melbourne with the all important goal to Thompson.

With the ball appearing to come off McFlynn’s head, Delvoski’s decision caught the Sydney defenders off guard. With the quick free kick taken Kevin Muscat found Thompson in space close in on goal and from close range he slotted it through, much to the disappointment of the 23,818 strong crowd.

Match Details:

Sydney FC: 2 (KISEL 35′, BRIDGE 53′)
Melbourne Victory: 2 (KRUSE 15′, THOMPSON 114′)

Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL (5. Hayden FOXE 91′), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI (c), 14. Alex BROSQUE (16 Christopher PAYNE 112′), 15. Terry MCFLYNN (7. Brendan GAN 118′), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes Not Used: 13. Antony GOLEC, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: 6. Karol KISEL 20′, 5. Hayden FOXE 120+1.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 6. Karol KISEL 35′, 19. Mark BRIDGE 53′.

Melbourne Victory Line-up: 1. Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 5. Surat SUKHA (11. Marvin ANGULO 79′), 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8. Grant BREBNER, 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 15. Tomislav PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 21. Robbie KRUSE (10. Archie THOMPSON 65′), 22. Nick WARD (19 Evan BERGER 68′), 23. Adrian LEIJER.

Substitutes Not Used: 17. Matthew FOSCHINI, 20. Glen MOSS (gk).

Yellow Cards: 21. Robbie KRUSE 60′, 5 Surat SUKHA 64′.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 21. Robbie KRUSE 15′, 10. Archie THOMPSON 114′.

Referee: Strebre DELOVSKI.
Attendance: 23 818 at the Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.