Looking Back: Big Blue Australia Day clashes

This Friday will mark the eleventh ‘Australia Day’ Big Blue fixture between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, where some of the most entertaining matches have occurred in Sky Blue history in front of huge crowds.

These grudge matches have seen more than three goals scored on nine out of the ten occasions, and the Sky Blues have only lost three.

For the women, they have never lost an Australia Day derby match, and Sydney FC have scored at least two goals in every game.

Here we look back at some of the most memorable Australia Day Big Blue clashes, where goals, red cards, comebacks and substitutions have created huge drama between these two Australian powerhouses. 

Sydney FC 2 – Melbourne Victory 2 – 2012 – A-League Men

The first Big Blue Australia Day clash saw the Sky Blues and Melbourne Victory draw 2-2 in dramatic circumstances. 

20,000 people filled AAMI Park, and the local fans were left ecstatic after Melbourne Victory scored two goals in two minutes at the end of the first half despite the Sky Blues dominance in possession. 

But halftime proved crucial for Sydney FC as Vitezslav Lavicka inspired his team to get one goal back ten minutes after the break thanks to a Bruno Cazarine strike. 

Sebastian Ryall celebrating

The Sky Blues seemed destined to lose all three points when, in the 87th minute, Lavicka substituted Sebastian Ryall for Rhyan Grant. 

Only two minutes later did Ryall equalise after he touched the ball into the net following a picture-perfect Scott Jamieson free kick.

Sydney FC 5 – Melbourne Victory 0 – 2014 – A-League Men

Close to 20,000 Victory supporters were left stunned after the Sky Blues recorded Sydney FC’s biggest-ever win (at the time) against Melbourne Victory.

“Our boys in blue, the terrace sings, as one for you” sounded over Docklands Stadium, and the Victory were looking to bounce back from a previous 5-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix the week before. 

The Sky Blues were out for blood as they had the opportunity to win two consecutive Big Blue derbies for the first time since 2010 after they won 3-2 earlier in the season. 

It only took 11 minutes for Sydney FC to show their flair, with Ranko Despotovic scoring.

Then, nine minutes later, Alessandro Del-Piero doubled their lead after slotting a penalty. 

But the most remarkable goal came from Sebastian Ryall five minutes after the second, when he danced around four defenders before releasing the ball into the back of the Victory net, seeing the Sky Blues leave the Melbourne team speechless at halftime. 

A goal from Alessandro Del Piero after an interception from a goal kick saw the Sky Blues kill the game, but it wasn’t enough as substitute Nick Carle slickly added a fifth on what became a five-star performance and a match that the club will never forget. 

Sydney FC 3 – Melbourne Victory 1 – 2013 – A-League Women
The 2013 Grand Final between Sydney FC and the Victory was a historical clash in Sydney FC women’s history as they were crowned W-League champions for the second time. 
Sam Kerr, Kyah Simon, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Chloe Logarzo were a few names that lined up for the Sky Blues that day, but it was now-veteran player Nicola Bolger who scored the opening goal when she pounced on a defensive error. 

Sam Kerr celebrating

Petra Johanssen equalised 16 minutes after a free kick.

Still, immediately after the break, Matildas superstar Sam Kerr put Sydney FC back in front when she dove to head the ball and marked her goal with her signature backflip. 

Kyah Simon then put the game to rest when she scored a penalty after a Maika Ruyter-Hooley foul in the box, which led her to receive a red card. 

Sydney FC 2 – Melbourne Victory 1 – 2017 – A-League Men

In the fifth instalment of Big Blue Australia Day Clash, Sydney FC visited Melbourne Victory in front of 30,000 fans at Docklands Stadium. 

18 minutes in, it became tempestuous as James Troisi’s goal sent the Victory fans jumping up and down.

But only 20 minutes later, the Melbourne crowd fell silent as Filip Holokso scored an equaliser and guided the ball with his head over Lawrence Thomas. 

Filip Holosko after scoring

As full-time beckoned, a sense of urgency and tension rose in the air of the Melbournian crowd, but it was Bernie Ibini who would haunt Victory when he went toe-to-toe with three defenders before smacking the ball in the back of the net, securing the Sky Blues’ victory. 

Sydney FC 3 – Melbourne Victory 1 – 2018 – A-League Men

The 2018 rendition of the Big Blue Australia Day clash saw over 20,000 fans pack AAMI Park. 

Like the previous year, the Victory were the first to draw blood when Besart Berisha slotted a penalty in the 58th minute. 

But only two minutes later, a Luke Wilkshire cross proved fatal as Bobô scored in the top left corner from his head.

With 10 minutes to go before the end of the match, it seemed that Sydney FC were in a similar position, needing a goal to seal the three points. 

And a foul by Jason Geria in the box that saw him earn a red card provided the opportunity for a penalty, which Bobô slotted effortlessly. 

David Carney then put the game to bed at 3-1 in the 84th minute, after only being on for 15 minutes.

It saw the Sky Blues secure back-to-back Australia Day Big Blue wins for the first time.  

Sydney FC 6 – Melbourne Victory 3 – 2023 – A-League Women
Ten years after the Sky Blues Grand Final victory over the Dark Blues, the women faced their rivals for the fourth time on Australia Day. 
But this match broke the record for the most goals in any Big Blue derby, where nine goals were scored. 
A Princess Ibini hattrick and goals to Mackenzie Hawkesby, Madison Haley and Cortnee Vine contributed to Sydney FC’s win. 
Most significantly, this game saw three penalties, and Victory keeper Gabriela Garton saved two.

However, Princess Ibini did score after Garton saved her first one. 
There was a period where the score was 3-2 to the Sky Blues after Lia Privitelli scored in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. 
But at the end of stoppage time, Madison Haley secured Sydney FC a comfortable two-goal buffer when she scored from her head after a Mackenzie Hawkesby corner.  

Sydney FC 2- Melbourne Victory 1 – 2023 – A-League Men

Sydney FC will head into this year’s instalment of the Australia Day Big Blue clash wanting to get back-to-back victories since 2018 after last year’s version saw a spirited Sydney FC comeback against a Victory that had not won their five previous A-League matches.

The Sky Blues were stunned in the 26th minute when Jake Brimmer scored from a free kick, but it took some individual brilliance from Max Burgess to level the score up six minutes later. 

Sydney FC celebrating with fans after victory

The ball found Burgess’s feet outside the box, and he quickly moved it on his right foot before smashing it past Matthew Acton’s left hand to score his first goal of the season. 

After the break, Joe Lolley provided a slick ball through Adam Le Fondre, who doubled the lead, sending the Sydney FC bay of supporters wild. 

The final half an hour proved crucial, with Steve Corica’s men putting in just enough to hold back the Melbourne attack and take the bragging rights for another year. 

Match Details:
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC
Izuzu UTE A-League Round 14
Friday 26 th Janurary, 2024
AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
Kick Off: 7:45PM
Gates Open: 4:00PM
Broadcast Live: Paramount+
Tickets: Click Here