Sydney FC’s charge towards the Hyundai A-League Minor Premiership continued with two late goals handing them a deserved 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix, sending them into equal leadership on the competition table.
Sydney FC-s charge towards the Hyundai A-League Minor Premiership continued with two late goals handing them a deserved 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix, sending them into equal leadership on the competition table.
Terry McFlynn celebrated his 50th A-League game in style with an audacious backheel goal in the 79th minute before Alex Brosque notched his 7th goal of the season four minutes later to send Sydney FC equal on points with Central Coast and Queensland.
Sydney FC left it late to put the Phoenix away but the victory was deserved and continues Sydney FC-s amazing late season run under Coach John Kosmina.
Sydney FC has now won six matches, drawn three and lost just once in the last 10 matches with the win also continuing Sydney FC-s amazing undefeated run away from home this season.
Kosmina made two changes to the side that defeated Adelaide last weekend with Ufuk Talay and Brendan Renaud replacing the injured Mark Milligan (toe) and Adam Biddle, who made way for defender Renaud.
The first half started slowly with Wellington having the better of the opening exchanges before Sydney FC managed to settle into a rhythm midway through the first half.
Wellington did manage to control possession in the first 15 minutes and put the visitors under pressure in front of a vocal home crowd of 14,288 but its early chances came through shots from distance.
As Sydney FC fought their way into the game, Brendan Santalab continued where he left off last weekend with some positive runs, one almost brought the opening goal when he headed straight to Wellington ‘keeper Glen Moss in the 21st minute from a McFlynn cross.
The Pheonix followed that up with two chances in quick succession, which were blocked by Sydney FC defenders in a goalmouth scramble from a Michael Ferrante corner.
Sydney FC finished the half strongly, carving out several clear-cut chances with Brosque and Santalab finding themselves in good positions to score but it was Ruben Zadkovich who had the best opportunity in the dying seconds of the first half.
Zadkovich made a late run to the near post where he met another McFlynn cross but he headed wide from 6m with Moss struggling to reach the ball.
Sydney FC should have taken the lead in the 47th minute Phoenix midfielder Richard Johnson handled the ball in the penalty area but Ufuk Talay-s spot kick was saved by Moss low to his left.
The game went into a lull for a short period before another golden chance presented itself in the 63rd minute. Zadkovich and Brosque both had shots blocked as Sydney FC had numbers inside the Wellington penalty area but the Phoenix survived and cleared the ball. From a quick break the home side also had a chance but Sydney goalkeeper Clint Bolton did well to intercept an Ahmad Elrich cross.
Two minutes later Brosque had another chance but Karl Dodd did well to close down his space and the shot deflected wide for a corner.
At this time the game had opened up with Sydney FC creating the better of the chances before McFlynn scored the first goal of the game in the 79th minute. A Steve Corica short corner was crossed by Talay for McFlynn to flick the ball past Moss with a delicate backheel.
McFlynn-s was a sublime goal but the second goal in the 83rd minute was pure class from Brosque. The Socceroo squad member beautifully controlled a delicate chip over the Phoenix defence with his first touch before sliding the ball under the advancing Moss with his second.
Sydney FC then controlled possession to wind the clock down but there was one final moment of note when substitute Ross Aloisi continued his frosty relationship with Sydney FC when he was given a straight red card for a challenge on Ufuk Talay just 10 minutes after coming onto the field.
Seconds later referee Ben Williams blew full time and Sydney FC went to the top of the competition.
Sydney FC now switches its attention to a crucial clash with Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium next Sunday before the final match of the season against Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium on January 20.
Sydney FC: Clint Bolton, Iain Fyfe, Tony Popovic (captain), Robbie Middleby, Ruben Zadkovich (Adam Biddle 92), Steve Corica, Brendon Santalab, Alex Brosque, Terry McFlynn, Ufuk Talay, Brendan Renaud. Subs not used: Ivan Necevski (gk), Ben Vidaic, Juninho.
Yellow cards: Ufuk Talay 26
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Tony Lockhead, Karl Dodd, Vaughan Coveny (captain), Shane Smeltz, Michael Ferrante, Richard Johnson (Jeremy Christie 82), Steven Old, Kristian Rees, Ahmad Elrich (Ross Aloisi 82), Felipe (Royce Brownlie 77). Sub not used: Mark Paston (gk).
Yellow cards: Kristian Rees 14, Shane Smeltz 81, Tony Lochhead 85
Red card: Ross Aloisi 91
Sydney FC 2 (Terry McFlynn 79, Alex Brosque 83) d Wellington Phoenix 0
Referee: Ben Williams