Sky Blues Seal Fourth Home Victory


Sydney FC made it four wins from four home matches against the bottom placed Melbourne Heart to take third place on the ladder in front of a crowd of 16,008 at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC made it four wins from four home matches against the bottom placed Melbourne Heart to take third place on the ladder in front of a crowd of 16,008 at Allianz Stadium.

First half goals from Alessandro Del Piero and Ranko Despotovic were enough to cancel out Michael Mifsud-s 72nd minute goal to see Sydney FC claim the three points. The Heart could have drawn level had Harry Kewell not skewed his penalty wide.

The Sky Blues made two changes to the side that travelled to Bluetongue last week as Sydney FC welcomed back captain Alessandro Del Piero to the starting line-up while Matt Jurman and Brett Emerton moved to the bench. Ranko Despotovic making his second start in as many games.

The Heart made one change to the squad that drew with the Western Sydney Wanderers last week, as Nick Kalmar came into the line-up with Golgol Mebrahtu shifting to the bench alongside Heart-s marquee man Harry Kewell.

The Sky Blues dominated possession in the opening period of the match as they passed the ball around with ease however it was Melbourne Heart who had the first shot on goal in the 7th minute when Murdocca fired straight at Janjetovic from outside the box after the Heart had dispossessed Matt Thompson and broke away.

Ali Abbas fired over 3 minutes later when an Alessandro Del Piero free kick found him in metres of space on the far side just inside the box and Ranko Despotovic fired over from a similar position in the 21st minute after a barraging run on the left flank.

Neither side could find a foothold on the game as Melbourne Heart picked up two quick fire bookings before there were strong claims for a penalty in the 33rd minute after Matt Thompson-s cross from the by line struck Murdocca-s outstretched hand however referee Chris Beath waved away the appeals.

The Sky Blues took the lead two minutes before the interval after Alessandro Del Piero slalomed through the Heart defence before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Del Piero received the ball just beyond half way before shrugging off a challenge from Murdocca and
driving forward at the Heart-s defence. He took two step overs, beating two more Heart defenders before entering the box and calmly slotting the ball beyond Redmayne in the bottom corner of his near post.

Sydney FC added to the score line on the stroke of half time as Serbian International Ranko Despotovic doubled the Sky Blues advantage.

After having an initial shot saved by Redmayne the ball landed at Bojic-s feet on the right flank. His driven pass was cleverly dummied by Chianese as it found Despotovic in the box, who turned his marker and drove a low shot into the net, rasping Redmayne-s finger tips on the way through to send Sydney FC in two nil up at half time.

Both sides made changes at the start of the second half as Alessandro Del Piero and Matt Thompson made way for Brett Emerton and Yairo Yau while the Heart-s Ian Ramsay was replaced by Mate Dugandzic.

Janjetovic was the first goalkeeper called into action for the second period as he dived low to his right to hold onto a swerving drive from Migliorini before Harry Kewell was introduced in his place in the 56th minute.

Melbourne Heart were given a lifeline in the 66th minute when Joel Chianese conceded a penalty after raising his arms in the wall while attempting to block a Kalmar free kick from the edge of the box.

Harry Kewell stepped up for the spot kick but skewed his effort wide to keep the score at two nil.

Heart then clawed a goal back in the 72nd minute after Mifsud rounded Janjetovic to slot into an empty net.

Mate Dugandzic fired a defence splitting pass from his own half that Mifsud ran on to. He took one touch with his head to take the ball around Vedran Janjetovic before side footing the ball into an empty net.

Mifsud had two chances to equal the scores for the Heart. He was first played through in the box but fired his shot high over the bar before being found un-marked from a Dugandzic cross however he couldn-t get a clear shot away as Janjetovic smothered the ball.

The Heart threw numbers forward in the final ten minutes and Sydney FC had Vedran Janjetovic to thank for keeping the Sky Blues in front as the shot stopper saved a point blank David Williams shot with his feet.

The Sky Blues weathered a late Melbourne Heart rally, throwing on Terry McFlynn to shore up the defence, before Vedran Janjetovic saved at his near post to deny Golgol Mebrahtu from close range and seal Sydney FC-s fourth home win in as many home matches.

Sydney FC 2 (Del Piero 43-, Despotovic 45+1-) – Melbourne Heart 1 (Mifsud 72-).

Ground: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 16,008
Referee: Chris Beath

Sydney FC: 20. V.Janjetovic, 2. S.Ryall, 4. R.Despotovic (82- T.McFlynn), 6. N.Petkovic, 8. P.Bojic, 10. A. Del Piero (46- B.Emerton), 11. R.Garcia, 16. J.Chianese, 19. N.Carle, 22. A.Abbas, 28. M.Thompson (46- Y.Yau).
Unused Subs: 1. I.Necevski, 5. M.Jurman.
Yellow Cards: 45- S.Ryall.

Melbourne Heart FC: 1. A.Redmayne, 3. R.Wielaert, 7. I.Ramsay (46- M.Dugandzic), 8. M.Murdocca, 11. M.Mifsud, 15. D.Williams, 16. A.Behich, 17. J.Hoffman, 22. N.Kalmar, 24. P.Kisnorbo (84- G.Mebrahtu), 25. A.Migliorini (56- H.Kewell).
Unused Subs: 20. T.Velaphi, 6. P.Gerhardt.
Yellow Cards: 30- J.Hoffman, 32- A.Migliorini, 70- M.Mifsud.

SYDNEY FC SET TO ROAR – Make sure you don’t miss any of the action in a Boxing Day smash hit when Sydney FC take on Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium.

It’s set to be a Christmas spectacular. Get your tickets from Ticketek. Prices start from $25* for an adult, $15* for a Junior.

Pre-purchase your ticket to avoid additional costs and benefit from FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT to the game.

*Subject to Ticketek booking fee.