Sydney FC 2 (O’Neill 6’, Ninkovic 90+3’) def. Melbourne Victory 1 (Barbarouses 16’)
Sydney FC closed the gap on Perth Glory with a 2-1 win against Big Blue rivals Melbourne Victory at the SCG in dramatic fashion.
Moments That Mattered:
- Le Fondre Chance – 3’ – Alfie cuts inside and attempts to chip but it’s just tipped onto the bar by Action.
- O’Neill Goal – 6’ – O’Neill finds the top corner with a lighting bolt of a shot.
- Barbarouses Goal – 16’ – Melbourne’s forward is played in behind and finished one on one.
- Zullo Chance – 35’ – Zullo tries to squeeze it in from an acute angle after ghosting in behind the Melbourne defence from a far post cross.
- O’Neill Chance – 73’ – Another long range effort which would have the same result but the keeper just does enough to tip wide.
- Toivonen Chance – 79’ – The Swede intercepts a pass at the back but drags his shot harmlessly wide.
- Ninkovic Goal – 90+3’ – Ninkovic wins it for the Sky Blues after finishing from close range following a de Jong cross.
The latest Big Blue instalment burst into life early on with O’Neill notching another ‘goal of the season’ contender after finding the top right hand corner from 25 yards out.
However, largely against the run of play, Melbourne hit back 10 minutes later after Barbarouses sprung the offside trap and finished one on one against Redmayne.
A midfield battle ensued in the second half with the Sky Blues edging the chances throughout the majority of the half and just as it looked as though Steve Corica’s men would have to be content with a point, up stepped Milos Ninkovic.
After Grant and de Jong connected brilliantly down the right, the latter provided an expert cut back for Ninkovic. He made no mistake, adjusting his body to bundle home from close range and send the Sky Blue faithful into raptures.
The vital win reduces the gap to Perth down to three and extends the gap on Melbourne to four.
Sydney FC will now quickly turn their attention to a thumping AFC Asian Champions League clash against Shanghai SIPG at Jubilee Stadium.
What they said:
Steve Corica: “The first half performance was really good. Defensively we didn’t give them a lot of chances; even their goal was a ricochet into Barbarouses path.
“The second half was very end-to-end but we had quality coming off the bench in Reza and Siem and we finished strong. Pleasing to get three points and to beat them.
[On de Jong returing] “He’s worked very hard to get fit and of course he’s been disappointed not to be available for a while. He’s come back at a good time with a lot of games to play including finals. The goal last week was unbelievable and the work to set up the winner tonight was great.
[On O’Neill’s performance] “Brilliant. Has been brilliant all season and he caps off a performance with another fantastic goal. He works so hard for the team and he deserves what he got tonight.”
“Our boys believed we were the better team in the first two games this season against them and got nothing. It was great to get the late goal at the end and myself and the boys are very happy in opening a four point buffer on them.
“I’ve said to our boys, every game we need to win from now until the end of the season. “
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Aaron CALVER 4. Alex WILKINSON, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 9. Adam Le FONDRE (8. Paulo RETRE 90+4’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 14. Alex BROSQUE (16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD 65’), 17. Anthony CACERES (22. Siem de JONG 65’), 23. Rhyan GRANT.
Subs Not Used: 20. Aleksander CISAK (GK), 11. Daniel De SILVA.
Yellow Cards: 2. Aaron CALVER 75’
Red Cards: None.
Melbourne Victory: 1. Matthew ACTION (GK), 4. Keisuke HONDA, 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8. Terry ANTONIS (24. Elvis KAMSOBA 78’), 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES (16. Joshua HOPE 90’), 10. James TROISI, 11. Ola TOIVONEN, 14. Thomas DENG (3. Corey BROWN 88’), 17. James DONACHIE, 21. Carl VALERI.
Subs not used: 30. Matthew SUTON (GK, 25. Anthony LESIOTIS.
Yellow Cards: 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER 41’.
Red Cards: None.
Ground: Sydney Cricket Ground
Referee: Alex King