Marquee Men Put Sydney Fourth


Sydney FC produced a second half fightback to record their second successive victory and win the first ever A-League encounter at ANZ Stadium.

Sydney FC produced a second half fightback to record their second successive victory and win the first ever A-League encounter at ANZ Stadium.

The Sky Blues went behind to a first half Travis Dodd strike but goals from marquee men Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton won the points and lifted Sydney to fourth place in the A-League standings.

Ian Crook made just one change to the side which beat Western Sydney 1-0 a week earlier, with defender Daniel Petkovski making his full debut in place of the injured Fabio.

Perth had the first chance when former Sky Blue Scott Jamieson crossed to Travis Dodd, but the former Adelaide man could only side foot his shot at Necevski on six minutes.

Sydney-s first effort came four minutes later when Del Piero received the ball on the edge of the box but shot straight at Vukovic.

Perth took the lead after 18 minutes. Travis Dodd won the ball on the half way line and drove at the Sydney defence. The striker ran unchallenged to side foot past Necevski from just inside the box.

Sydney were almost level three minutes later with a well worked move played out of defence. Emerton passed to Reid who beat two men to touch the ball to Del Piero. With the Glory defence in treat, the Italian ran deep into their half and slid the ball back to Reid who had continued his run, but the midfielder-s shot from 12 yards was saved by the feet of Vukovic.

From the resulting corner the Sky Blues should have been level again. Del Piero-s inswinger was flicked on by Lovrek to Mallia at the back post but he headed wide from three yards, giving Perth a 1-0 lead at the break.

The visitors looked to increase their lead early in the second half with Travis Dodd forcing Necevski into a good save, tipping over from 18 yards.

Sydney were level just before the hour mark. A brilliant defence-splitting pass from Iraqi International Ali Abbas put Emerton in the clear and as the Socceroo midfielder turned to shoot he was tugged from behind by Pantelidis. The referee had no hesitation but to point to the spot and send the Perth centre half for an early bath. The decision was the turning point and it was left to World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero to roll the ball home with the aid of the right hand post.

With Perth down to ten men Sydney went looking for the win and came close to taking the lead with 20 minutes remaining. Panama international Yairo Yau raced clear of the right back and into the box. With Emerton and Del Piero close by, the substitute chose to shoot and his goal-bound effort was well saved by Vukovic.

But Sydney weren-t to be denied. In search of a quick counter attack, the goalkeeper bowled the ball out to Miller who was tackled by Grant. The ball fell to Emerton and with the Glory defence stranded, the former Feyenoord midfielder produced a delightful chip to put the Sky Blues ahead.

As the game reached its conclusion Perth pushed on but had little to show for their endeavour. In fact it was Sydney who nearly pushed home their advantage when Lovrek-s shot was deflected over by Van Den Brink.

With less than five minutes remaining the visitors had penalty appeals of their own when the ball appeared to strike Rhyan Grant-s arm from Nick Ward-s header, however referee Peter Green turned down their requests.

In the closing minutes Necevski produced a fine save to tip over the bar from Harold to keep the Sky Blues in front and secure the three points.

Sydney FC 2 (Del Piero 58-, Emerton 70‘) d. Perth Glory 1 (Dodd 18-)
ANZ Stadium
Referee: Peter Green
Crowd: 22,128.

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. Seb Ryall, 7. Brett Emerton ©, 9. Paul Reid, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 14. Mitch Mallia (21. Yairo Yau), 18. Trent McClenahan, 19. Kruno Lovrek, 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant, 25. Daniel Petkovski.

Subs not used: 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 17. Terry Antonis, 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk).
Yellow cards: 7. Brett Emerton ©, 22. Ali Abbas

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel Vukovic, 4. Billy Mehmet, 5. Steve Pantelidis, 7. Jacob Burns ©, 8. Dean Heffernan (17. Chris Harold), 10. Liam Miller, 13. Travis Dodd (6. Nick Ward), 14. Steve McGarry ( 3. Seb Van Den Brink), 19. Joshua Risdon, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Michael Thwaite.

Sub not used: 39. Devon Spence,
Yellow cards: 4. Billy Mehmet, 7. Jacob Burns ©,